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Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: 5 Talking Points

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Arsenal advanced to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over a visiting Burnley side led by manager Sean Dyche. Burnley went down to Calum Chambers' goal inside the first 30 minutes but equalised through Sam Vokes. The game went into the break at 1-1 with both sides looking dangerous and potential winners. But it took an Alexis Sanchez goal 8 minutes into the second half to book Arsenal's place into the next round.Here are the major talking points from the game at the Emirates:

#1 Well fought match by both teams

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The game at the Emirates saw both sides testing each other inside the first three minutes. The game started off with Burnley getting the first chance of the game, but Arsenal soon knocked on their door. End-to-end stuff was matched by good defensive tackles from both sides. For Burnley, Andre Gray ran into space and shot at Ospina which was saved by the keeper, and for Arsenal, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain shot just over the bar after a counter attack from the home side. Alexis Sanchez seemed the brightest from Arsenal, along with the pace of Oxlade Chamberlain. The Arsenal goalkeeper, David Ospina, who started his first game since his Champions League nightmare, was nervous at the start. But got confidence as the game progressed.

Burnley had their chances with the likes of Arfield and Vokes excellent in attack. But they lacked the quality and experience in the final third as Arsenal defenders brushed the attackers aside with ease on multiple occasions. The game looked like in balance throughtout the first hour, but Sanchez’s finished game some breathing space to the Gunners. Overall, both teams got enough chances and played out a competitive game.

#2 The return of Coquelin and Rosicky

Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky returned to the Arsenal line-up for the game against Burnley.

The win against Burnley saw the retun of vital midfielders in Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky. Both the players have had a spell on the sidelines but came back into competitive action against the Clarets. Arsenal’s star player, Alexis Sanchez had made a return from injury last weekend against Chelsea in a 1-0 defeat, and he again started his first game since his return from a hamstring problem. What was crucial to see what the quick and unexpected return of Coquelin. The Frenchman was originally stated to be back in March or April. But after the initial weeks of recovery went well, the defensive midfielder healed in time for the Gunners.

On the other hand, Rosicky had been out for most part of last season, and has missed the entire season so far. His ankle injury had left him on the sidelines. The legendary Gunner has played in 190 matches for Arsenal and has managed to score 19 goals since 2006. The last 10 years at the club have always seen Rosicky get injured but he has come into the team to score some crucial goals. Maybe he can score at the Camp Nou against Barcelona. The return of such players will instill confidence in the players.

#3 Debut for Mohamed Elneny

All eyes were set on Arsenal's newest purchase, Mohamed Elneny, who took the field for the first time.

Mohamed Elneny was purchased by the Gunners a fortnight ago from FC Basel for a fee in the range of £7.4 million. The new signing had not featured in the two games he has been on the bench after arriving to the club. However, when Arsenal took the field on Saturday against Burnley, the Egyptian was the glaring inclusion in the starting eleven from Arsene Wenger. His first act in an Arsenal shirt was to give away a freekick with a foul. He looked solid for his side on his debut. He showed why he is rated so highly as well as he was fresh and raring to go.

With Flamini, Arteta, Coquelin and Ramsey already fit for the central defensive midfielder spot, it could prove to be a tough competitive battle which Wenger will be happy with. Elneny also made a record of having the most touches in his debut match for any player at the Emirates with 100 touches during the game. With the Egyptian having aimed for the goal on more than four occasions, we can expect that Wenger has given him the freedom of shooting at goal which other midfielders have lacked, or maybe it is just what Elneny does.

#4 Andre Gray needs time and experience

Andre stepped into the game on the back of 17 goals this season.

Burnley’s star player this season and the saviour on multiple occasions this season, Andre Gray got a whole bunch of opportunities to score against the Gunners when he took field. The Englishman had scored a league high 17 goals for the Clarets in the Championship this season. But when he was against the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel, the striker was not able to produce anything of even worth being applauded. He missed the chance to give his side the lead just three minutes into the game as his shot was at Ospina. Sean Dyche needs to work more with a talent like Gray, so without any doubt, he can be the next Charlie Austin or Jamie Vardy next season in the league.

The striker lacks the experience as he has not played the top-tier English football. But as Gray gets his opportunity, he will have to take them and provide his side with better finishing at the top, in order to win games. He has the technical ability to work his way up to the top in the Premier League as well next season.

#5 Alexis Sanchez is truly back

In the absence of Ramsey, Walcott and Ozil, Sanchez took the responsibility to get his club over the line.

With key players such as Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, and Joel Campbell rested for the game by Arsene Wenger, there was a man in the lineup who needed to fire and fire soon. That man was Alexis Sanchez, and that is what he exactly did even with a low key performance. The Chilean was quick to spot Calum Chambers in the box and picked him out with a precise ball, that was directed successfully into the back of the net by the defender. In the second half however, the hosts got the lead through the energetic Sanchez as he popped up in the box to divert Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cut back into the back of the net to give Arsenal the lead.

The return of Sanchez is vital for Arsenal given the run of fixtures for the London club in February. The defence of the FA Cup will be ongoing along with a round of 16 clash with reigning champions Barcelona in the Champions League, it is important that players such as Sanchez get back to their best when the Gunners take on the best teams in the Champions League, Premier League and the FA Cup.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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