Premier League 2018/19: Arsenal players ratings' in 3-1 victory over Burnley
Perhaps, after two losses, it would mark yet another unbeaten run led by Unai Emery. The last time the Gunners lost two games in a row, the team then started an unbeaten run across all competitions which eventually involved more than twenty games.
It felt as if things were crashing back to reality when Arsenal were beaten 2-3 by Southampton and then a 0-2 loss to North London rivals, Tottenham. With the mounting number of injuries, the depth of the squad has been greatly reduced and things certainly are not going as planned.
Fortunately, against a stubborn Burnley side, Arsenal managed to find the lead early in the game. The team welcomed Ozil back into the squad and back into the starting eleven at the Emirates. His presence certainly made a difference and showed that the Gunners are still reliant on him to create something for the team when things are against them.
Emery's preference to rely on wide players has forced Ozil to the bench and made him seem ill-suited for the manager's preferred formation. Now that many of the players who play on the flanks are injured, it's time to introduce Ozil again.
At last, the comforting scoreline of 3-1 meant that the Gunners are temporarily level on points with Chelsea before the rest of the games for the weekend are being played. Here was how the players fared in their victory over Burnley.
Bernd Leno: 6/10
Once again, Leno failed to keep a clean sheet in Premier League. It's been ages since the Gunners kept a clean sheet, and it appears that Leno's arrival has not quite made a difference as compared to the days when Petr Cech played in goal.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6/10
Maitland-Niles started as part of the back-four before becoming a winger. Though fast, he shows that he is not as good as Hector Bellerin. Arsenal had preferred to attack through the left rather than rely on Maitland-Niles, giving him little chances to create something for his team.
Despite not helping keep a clean sheet, Sokratis displayed his physical side and it was exactly the reason why the Gunners had bought him from Borussia Dortmund. The Gunners had lacked someone who would dive into challenges and make every attempt to block his opponents' shot. He looked more comfortable playing as part of a back-four rather than alongside Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka.
Nacho Monreal: N/A
Having just returned from an injury, the Spaniard left the pitch early following a suspected injury.
Sead Kolasinac: 7.5/10
Kolasinac had a superb game once Emery changed the formation to suit a wingback like himself. He had all the time to get forward when needed and was excellent in the buildup to Arsenal's opener. His finishing can be further improved, but overall, he did well to help his side to the three points.
Mohamed Elneny: 5.5/10
Caught out of possession on multiple occasions and he looked as if he was not well prepared for the game. The midfield felt weak when he played with Guendouzi and Xhaka.
Matteo Guendouzi: 6/10
Guendouzi was targeted by many Burnley players throughout the game and thus, this limited his influence on the game. His partnership with Elneny and Xhaka was hardly effective as they were largely all over the place and uncoordinated.
Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10
Prior to the game, he was delighted to be back in his position. Not long later, he found himself being asked to play in the defence once more. The Swiss midfielder is certainly more suited to play in the midfield but in the midst of a defensive crisis, he is needed to help out at the back and his influence and ball distribution were greatly missed.
Mesut Ozil: 8/10
As the captain of the Gunners for the match, he led by example through setting up Arsenal's opener and had a role in the team's third goal too. He had a fine game since coming back into the starting eleven after being dropped due to tactical reasons and injury. His passing was precise and everything he had done neatly played out in the way he envisioned.
Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Even if Lacazette fails to score, he has played such a huge role in many of the goals that Arsenal has scored this season. The French striker works so well with Ozil and Aubameyang that he certainly needs to start together with them in every game. It is understandable that he was upset after Emery withdrew him in the second-half as he should have been given the time to play the full 90 minutes.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7.5/10
Aubameyang was clinical and accurate in both goals. He did not hesitate a single bit and waited for the right opportunity to score. A pity that he did not score a hattrick but the two goals he scored coupled with Iwobi's third one was enough to secure the victory for his side. After not scoring for five games, it will surely serve as a boost in his confidence levels.
Stephan Lichtsteiner: 6/10
Lichtsteiner did what he had to throughout the game and simply defended instead of trying to get forward when he played as a right-back for the Gunners. He did not do anything particularly eye-catching but with age catching up on him, fans know that he is not the long-term solution to the defensive woes of the team.
Lucas Torreira: 6/10
His failure to clear the box in his own penalty box meant that Burnley managed to pull one back when the scoreline was 2-0 to the Gunners. Fortunately, their opponents were unable to capitalise any further on the club's vulnerable defence line. Torreira then found himself adapting more comfortably as a substitute.
Alex Iwobi: 6.5/10
Iwobi was deservedly dropped for the game after not performing up to standards in the previous few that he had started in. After coming on, he scored Arsenal's third goal of the afternoon to seal the victory for the Gunners. He may not work well as a starter for his side, but as a substitute, he can indeed make a difference.