Arsenal vs Burnley: Player ratings as Aubameyang makes the difference in testing clash - (2021)
Two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved key for Unai Emery's side, as the Gunners got back to winning ways in the Premier League immediately following their shock defeat at the hands of struggling Southampton. Sead Kolasinac was also a tireless presence down the left-hand side.
Mesut Ozil returned for the home side to take the captain's armband, on an afternoon where Unai Emery had plenty to think about in terms of naming his starting eleven. Defensive injuries have really taken their toll, forcing the Spaniard to cobble together his back three.
Burnley were without the likes of Steven Defour, Robbie Brady and Johan Berg Gudmundsson due to injury problems, but still showed shades of how tough they were to break down versus Spurs last week. A late goal from Alex Iwobi settled things down for the hosts, after Ashley Barnes made things interesting when he made it 2-1 in the second half.
Here's how the players rated on the day:
Bernd Leno 6/10
Had very little to do at the Emirates, as Burnley's counter attacks were rare. Could do nothing about Barnes' goal and was very irregularly involved.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 6.5/10
Tested Hart inside the first few minutes on the overlap, forcing him into a good low save. Very positive, neat feet and was keen to get beyond his man in one-versus-one situations whenever possible. Confident and pushed on well even after Lichtsteiner's introduction.
Got involved in a couple of comings together with Barnes in the first half. Made a fantastic last-ditch tackle to deny Wood, once the New Zealand international had brought down a Taylor free-kick delivery. Commanding once more at the heart of Arsenal's defence.
Nacho Monreal 6/10
Replaced by Lichtsteiner after 35 minutes, adding yet another player to Emery's extensive injury list. Solid yet unspectacular, comfortable on the ball and relatively untested.
Sead Kolasinac 8/10
Pulled back a ball from the byline to provide Aubameyang with an assist. Provided pace and drive down the left-hand side, with his power useful on the counter attack in the build-up to Arsenal's second goal of the afternoon.
Granit Xhaka 6/10
Tested Hart with an effort from 20 yards in the opening 10 mins. Dropped into the back three after an injury to Monreal just after the half hour mark. Should have done better with a clearance in the lead-up to Barnes' goal.
Mohamed Elneny 6/10
Gave the ball away cheaply a couple of times early on, but settled into the game as it progressed. Kept it mainly simple, keeping the ball moving, but offering nothing spectacular.
Matteo Guendouzi 7/10
Always positive on the ball, providing plenty of energy in the midfield engine room. Started off the move for the second goal, finding Kolasinac on the left flank, after winning back possession on the edge of his own box.
Mesut Ozil 7/10
Picked out a neat pass in the build-up to the first goal, finding Kolasinac at the byline with an eye-of-the-needle ball. That ball alone was enough to justify his selection by Emery for the afternoon. Went on a great run ahead of Iwobi's late goal.
Alexandre Lacazette 7/10
Some neat bits of footwork and movement to try and get in behind Burnley's deep back five early on. Let a late chance get away from him slightly, with Cork and Mee scrambling the ball to safety.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8/10
Scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season, finding the bottom-right corner with a neat finish, before making it 12 with a deflected effort a couple of minutes into the second half.
Stephan Lichtsteiner 6/10
Brought into the game at right wing back at the 35-minute mark. A solid but unspectacular performance, didn't offer a great deal on the front foot, just sat in and kept it simple.
Lucas Torreira 6/10
Introduced with half an hour to play. Fired one free-kick effort a long way high and wide and kept things fairly simple.
Alex Iwobi 6/10
Given narrowly over 10 minutes of normal time to make his mark, but didn't have much of an opportunity to get on the ball. Took his only chance very well, firing home a neat finish from a tight angle.
Joe Hart 6/10
Made a great save low to his right to deny Maitland-Niles early on and could do nothing about Aubameyang's opener. Beaten by a deflection on a powerful effort from the same man, but his distribution was quite poor.
Phil Bardsley 5/10
Struggled against the pace and physicality of Kolasinac, needed a fair amount of help from those around him. Didn't have the confidence to swing in many crosses with his right foot from deep.
Ben Mee 7/10
Stopped an Aubameyang counter attack on the hour mark to pick up a booking and was important in the air when challenging for set-piece deliveries at the other end of the field. Put a good foot in now and again to slow Arsenal attacks.
Kevin Long 7/10
Made a fantastic challenge in the penalty area in the final minute of first-half normal time, timing his tackle brilliantly to dispossess Lacazette. Laid the ball on for Barnes' goal.
James Tarkowski 6/10
Good clearance inside the opening 2 mins, putting his body on the line to prevent Arsenal from going ahead very early. Organised things at the heart of an organised Burnley unit.
Charlie Taylor 6/10
Fancied his chances against the inexperienced Maitland-Niles, looking to use his left foot to whip some dangerous balls into the opposition penalty area. Struggled defensively at times, but See supported him well.
Ashley Westwood 6/10
Had a chance inside 2 minutes on the counter, spurned. Looked to try and swing some balls into the box with his right foot from deep, but ultimately wasn't able to do that for a Burnley side that wanted to counter and play direct.
Jeff Hendrick 6/10
Was keen to be positive on the ball to get Burnley moving upfield on the counter attack. Competitive, tireless and full of energy, just lacked a touch of quality.
Jack Cork 6/10
Sat at the base of midfield to stitch things together, but Burnley didn't enjoy much possession. Had a great chance to equalise after receiving the ball on the edge of the box on 70 minutes, but opened his foot up too much.
Ashley Barnes 7/10
Picked up a first-half yellow card after a tussle with Sokratis, before almost lashing out as a reaction to a Sokratis challenge five minutes later. Found himself on something of a war path as the game went on, but blasted home a great finish on 63 minutes to make it 2-1.
Chris Wood 6/10
Acted as a target man for the away side to try and hit, but wasn't given a great deal of service in the first half at the Emirates. A danger in the air, as ever, but struggled to offer much in the final third and chances were at a premium.
Sam Vokes 5/10
Brought into the game to freshen things up in attack, but didn't manage to get hold of possession much.
Matej Vydra 6/10
Fed in behind late on, but was unfortunate to be flagged offside when he was a good couple of yards the right side of the last man.
Matt Lowton 6/10
Introduced to offer more quality with his right foot in the dying stages. A good foot in late on deflected a Kolasinac cross away from the lurking presence of Aubameyang.
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