Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: Player Ratings
Holders Arsenal progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup by defeating a resurgent Burnley side with a 2-1 win at the Emirates. The game saw the much awaited debut for Arsenal’s new midfielder, Mohamed Elneny. The game started with Calum Chambers getting the lead for the Gunners inside the first 20 minutes.
But Burnley equalised through Sam Vokes’ cracking header. Alexis Sanchez, however, scored Arsenal’s second when Alex Oxlade Chamberlain found him in the box at the start of the second half. A nervy second half display did make the Gunners’ fans anxious but they closed out the game well.
We look at how the players from both sides fared:
David Ospina – 6
The Colombian was back in the side after his nightmare last outing for the Gunners in the Champions League. He was nervy early on, but collected the crosses well as the game progressed. He could do nothing about Sam Vokes’ header. He was his usual self, being solid between the sticks. He did fail to collect the crosses twice but it did not cause him trouble.
Calum Chambers – 7
The youngster was picked ahead of Hector Bellerin to give the Spaniard some rest. He was good going forward throughout the game but was pinned back in phases. He scored his side’s first goal with a brilliant finish when Alexis found him on the right inside the box. He was troubled at times by the darting runs by Arfield.
Gabriel – 6
The Brazilian got into the team with Per Mertesacker suspended due to his read card against Chelsea last week. He did not look assured in the first half but as the game progressed he was solid and did not let any through balls get past him. However, he was caught on the backfoot once when Andre Gray ran quicker and shot at Ospina’s goal, only to shoot wide.
Laurent Koscielny – 6
The French defender did not have the best of games. He seemed to struggle with the pace of Gray and Vokes early in the game, but recovered well. He was quick to get off his lines and intercept any through balls and passes from the Burnley players. He put in a good display after he was tested by the forwards.
Kieran Gibbs – 6
The England fullback replaced Nacho Monreal in the starting eleven. However, he showed why he is the second choice left back at Arsenal. He was not very active when going forward and lacked the crossing that Monreal can provide. But he was well assured when defending.
Francis Coquelin – 6
The Frenchman played his first game since November. He did a decent job of shielding the back four but he had his occasional wobbles. He got overrun at times as the opponents bombed forward on the counter. His decision making was not precise which was a sign of lack of match fitness.
Mohamed Elneny – 7
The Egyptian made his first appearance for the Gunners and impressed. He was good while defending and provided the team with good energy. Elneny was seen attacking the goal through his shots on multiple occasions and it will not be a surpise if he ends up on the scoresheet soon.
Alex Iwobi – 7
The youngster showed why he was again given a start. He drove forward at every opportunity in the first half and looked lively. He created plenty of chances and proved to be a menace. He is a big prospect for the Gunners and he’s still 19. He was sustituted early in the second half.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – 6
The England international was composed and provided his side with the pace in attack as well as defence on the right flank. He looked dangerous early on and shot at goal inside the first three minutes. He pulled a low pass back for Alexis Sanchez to score the winner. He is starting to put in performances that will help him in the long run.
Alexis Sanchez – 8
The Chilean was the best of the Arsenal attackers as he drove forward at every opportunity with real intent. He popped up with a nice assist as his pass was met by Chambers who scored early on. He was later found in the box by Chamberlain to give the Gunners the lead. A good return to the team for the attacking forward.
Olivier Giroud – 7
The French striker did not influence the game as much as he would have liked but he made sure that he held the ball up for his teammates. He was there to perform his defensive duties. He did not get many crosses to feed off with Monreal and Bellerin rested.
Tomas Rosicky – 6
The Czech came on in place of Iwobi and instantly got the crowd behind him after his return from injury. He did not influence the game much but fans will be happy to have him back.
Mikel Arteta – 6
The Spaniard brought with him a calming presence to the midfield. He was there to win the ball back on multiple occasions and led the team well.
Theo Walcott – 6
He recently completed his ten years at the club and brought with him speed and pace. But barely got to touch the ball.
Tom Heaton – 7
The Burnley captain made some saves but the best was from Alexis Sanchez’s freekick in the second half. He seemed assured at the back, and could not do much to deny the two goals as Arsenal’s precision was there for all to see. He encouraged his defenders to move forwards after clearing the ball and with the saves, showed why he is captain.
Tendayi Darikwa – 7
His pace and crossing ability was one of the few bright spots for the visitors. The Englishman was impressive and got the cross for Burnley’s goal as he crossed the ball from the right wing, which was met by Vokes.
Ben Mee – 6
He had a good first half but struggled in the latter stages of the game when Arsenal put pressure on the Claret’s defence. He had his run-ins with the pacey attackers of Arsenal, luckily for him, it did not cause much trouble.
Michael Keane – 6
The former Manchester United man had a fairly decent first half. He coped up with the threat of Giroud and Sanchez but struggled in the second half. He was solid at the back overall but could have done better with Sanchez’s goal.
Stephen Ward – 6
The big versatile leftback had a decent outing but he was unable to stop Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from crossing the ball for Arsenal’s second. The Burnley man could not stop the right winger from getting in the crosses. He did go forward on a couple of occasions but to no avail.
Fredrik Ulvestad – 5
The defensive midfielder could not provide a cover to the back four at all times. He did not have enough possession to affect the game, and produce chances for his teammates. He was missing for large parts in the game.
David Jones – 6
He played an important role in Burnley’s midfield as he provided cover and troubled both Elneny and Coquelin in the middle of the park. However, he did not get in the tackles, did not stop the passes in midfield and struggled to cope up with the quality of his opponents.
George Boyd – 6
He had nothing much to offer for Burnley during the game. He did not cause the problems for Arsenal through his runs through the middle. He went without possession of the ball for large parts even when Burnley had the ball.
Scott Arfield – 7
He has been one of the positives this season for Burnley. Sean Dyche rates him very highly and he showed exactly why. He made some marauding runs into the Arsenal territory, but could not come up with an end product. He did get in some crosses from the left.
Sam Vokes – 7
Apart from one chance throughout the game, the attacker could not provide anything to his side when going forward. The forward was assigned a left-sided role in attack by his manager and did not fare well. But he got a goal to his goals at the Emirates with a thumping header from Darikwa’s cross.
Andre Gray – 6
Gray has scored 17 goals in the Championship this season but could not impress against the Gunners. He had plenty of chances to score but could not convert, the most glaring being when he ran faster than Gabriel and shot towards the goal, but the shot was wide. He could not provide any ray of hope for his side and their fans.
Joey Barton – 6
He did not see much of the ball after coming on in place of David Jones. He took a couple of freekicks and tackled Arteta which was received with boos by the home crowd.
Rouwen Hennings – 5
The substitute came on in place of Sam Vokes and barely had a chance to impress. He went missing in attack as Arsenal held on.
Michael Kightly – 5
The forward came on for George Boyd when Dyche felt the game needed fresh legs.