Burnley 0, Arsenal 2
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his team had been lucky after captain Laurent Koscielny’s last-gasp winning goal downed Burnley and closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
Koscielny’s 93rd-minute effort came in controversially circumstances, the defender appearing the kick the ball onto his hand and over the line from close range as the Gunners searched for a breakthrough.
It left Burnley incensed and exasperated but ensured that Wenger’s men climbed to third in the table and capitalised on City’s defeat at Tottenham earlier in the afternoon.
“I haven’t seen the replay and honestly from the bench I didn’t even see the ball going in. Maybe we were a bit lucky there, yes,” said the Frenchman, whose side have now won seven of their last eight games.
“I think you’re always disappointed when you put that effort in and lose the game. We made many technical mistakes in the first half.
"We really wanted to win, we knew it could be a good week for us. Maybe we played a little bit with the handbrake – not enough freedom, not enough combinations, not enough pace to go in behind. Is it down to us being below our level or because Burnley defended well? Certainly a bit of both.
“When you are five points behind a team of that quality [Manchester City] of course it is big. So when you have any opportunity to get a bit closer you have to not miss it.”
In-form Gunners forwards Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott both went close with first-half shots, though it was Burnley striker Sam Vokes who had the clearest chance before the break, heading wide from a Matt Lowton cross.
Sanchez forced a save from Tom Heaton and then fired narrowly wide after the re-start, and Walcott was inches away from opening the scoring with a curling effort that had the Clarets goalkeeper beaten.
Burnley’s resilient rearguard, marshalled by Michael Keane, looked to have earned a point until the last action of the match saw Walcott glance a header across goal and Koscielny beat substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the loose ball.