Arsenal took on Burnley in the Premier League this afternoon and the Gunners secured all three points thanks to a 1-0 win at Turf Moor.
Mikel Arteta brought in Thomas Partey and Emile Emile Smith Rowe in place of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga. It was a very attacking lineup from the Arsenal boss and it paid off.
A sensational free-kick from Martin Odegaard in the first half gave Arsenal the lead and that was enough to secure the win. Here are five things we learned from the game…
Five things we learned as Arsenal beat Burnley 1-0
Odegaard was sensational
As soon as Bukayo Saka won the foul a few yards outside the box, almost every Arsenal fan would’ve expected Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Thomas Partey to stand over the ball. The Ivorian, however, was replaced by Odegaard and the former Real Madrid man scored a stunner.
Even without his goal, the Norwegian was brilliant all game. He was always available for a pass, got us out of tight spaces on a few occasions and is proving to be a phenomenal signing. Hopefully, he can keep this up.
Arteta was right, we were wrong
Mikel Arteta and Edu received a ton of criticism for spending a fortune on Aaron Ramsdale. Hardly anyone in the footballing world understood that move, but the Arsenal boss remained adamant that we made the right decision.
It’s time for us to hold our hands up and admit Arteta was right. Ramsdale was sensational yet again. He didn’t have a lot to do like last weekend, but whenever he was required, he stepped up. He is proving to be a quality signing as well.
Arsenal can function without Xhaka
Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Arteta have been overly reliant on Granit Xhaka, who has almost always been our most important player. Arsenal couldn’t find a way to be efficient without the Swiss international, but things may have changed now.
Smith Rowe and Odegaard either side of Thomas Partey really suited our style of play. Yes, it’s only against Burnley in a game where we maintained most of the possession, but it really is a good sign going forward.
As far as Xhaka is concerned, it won’t be easy for him to get back into the side.
Bit of complacency from Ben White
Ben White started alongside Gabriel Magalhaes for the second week in a row and the pair were solid defensively. However, the Englishman had a few shaky moments with the ball at his feet, which is a surprise as that’s arguably his biggest strength.
White took a couple of needless risks today and that could’ve cost us. His short back pass almost gave Burnley a penalty as well. He is undoubtedly our best defender with the ball at his feet and Arteta very clearly wants him to play that way.
Arsenal fans have been raving about his skills on the ball as well, which may have induced some complacency, but we’re sure he’ll be a lot better next game.
Similarities to Manchester City
Arsenal fielded a 4-3-3 with a midfield of Partey, Smith Rowe and Odegaard. On paper, that looked extremely attacking, but the Gunners didn’t seem to lack balance at all. This reminded us of Manchester City.
Arteta, who worked alongside Pep Guardiola, saw him play Fernandinho in the middle with two attack-minded midfielders either side of him. That worked wonders for City, and it won’t be a surprise to see Arsenal gradually move to a similar system in the coming weeks and months.