Granit Xhaka was the guilty party as Arsenal dropped points against Burnley at Turf Moor, with the Swiss midfielder’s poorly judged pass in his own penalty area cannoning into the goal off the hip of Clarets forward Chris Wood late in the second half.
It was a game in which VAR showed its good side when Burnley left-back Erik Pieters was wrongly deemed to used his arm to block a goal-bound shot from Nicolas Pepe late on. He was shown a red card and Arsenal were awarded a penalty, but replays showed the ball struck the Dutchman’s shoulder and the decision was rightly overturned on review.
However, the same player was arguably fortunate that he wasn’t penalised for an earlier handball in the penalty area. VAR surprisingly wasn’t used to look at the decision.
The contest generally lacked attacking quality for most of the 90 minutes, although late saves from Bernd Leno and a flurry of late Arsenal chances threatened to give either side the win. In the end, the points were probably deservedly shared.
Nick Pope (GK) – 6/10: Will be disappointed he didn’t get a stronger hand on the opening goal. Did everything else well.
Matthew Lowton (RB) – 6/10: Beaten too easily by Aubameyang’s stepover but improved afterwards and wasn’t really in danger.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 7/10: Defended well and kept Arsenal’s front-line at bay.
Ben Mee (CB) – 8/10: A crucial late block saved a point for Burnley and he finished as Man of the Match.
Charlie Taylor (LB) – 6/10: Limped off at the hour mark after being on the receiving end of a couple of knocks.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (RM) – 5/10: A quiet game for the Iceland international. Quality delivery in to the box was missing.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 6/10: Good on the ball.
Josh Brownhill (CM) – 7/10: Never allowed Arsenal to dictate the midfield.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 5/10: Plenty of running wasn’t backed up by enough quality with a final pass or cross to create real chances.
Matej Vydra (ST) – 7/10: Pressed Arsenal defenders well and that directly contributed to the equaliser. Generally caused problems for the visitors with his running and movement all game.
Chris Wood (ST) – 7/10: Positioned himself well to put to ensure that Xhaka had no out-ball and got his reward with the goal. Could have scored again but for a top save from Leno.
Erik Pieters (LB) – 7/10: Replaced Taylor in a like for like change at left-back. Could have scored himself and denied Arsenal a certain winner with a shoulder block following a VAR intervention to correct the original call.
Robbie Brady (RM) – 5/10: Quiet during his minutes on the pitch.
Jay Rodriguez (ST) – 6/10: Came off the bench for his 200th Premier League appearances in the closing stages and had a half chance.
Bernd Leno (GK) – 7/10: Probably should have sent the ball long instead of passing to Xhaka in minimal space for Burnley’s equaliser. Made two very important saves in the final 15 minutes.
Calum Chambers (RB) – 6/10: His first Premier League appearance of the season after recovering from a long-term ACL injury.
Pablo Mari (CB) – 6/10: Composed on the ball as he continues to adapt and stake his claim for a long-term starting place.
David Luiz (CB) – 6/10: Not his best day at the office but far from his worst.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – 7/10: Arsenal’s best defender on the day. Played well on the cover and also got forward to help create chances from the left.
Thomas Partey (CM) – 5/10: Had a good chance in the first half but didn’t otherwise impose himself on the game enough.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 4/10: Overplayed the ball at the back and let Burnley back into the game just before half-time. Madness.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 5/10: Pressed quite well in a defensive capacity but lacked enough quality to unlock Burnley’s back-line and was withdrawn for Lacazette at the hour mark.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – 7/10: Energetic as he became the second youngest Arsenal player to reach 50 Premier League appearances. Was treading a fine line in the second half on a yellow card.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) – 5/10: Marked his return to the starting XI with the early goal but was too far quiet for the remaining 85 minutes.
Willian (LW) – 6/10: Fed Aubameyang to register assists in consecutive Premier League games but it was the highlight of his impact.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 5/10: Didn’t ask the right questions of Burnley when he came on with half an hour still to play.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – 6/10: Very lively when he came on to give Arsenal fresh impetus but completely fluffed his lines right in front of goal when he should have put the Gunners ahead. Was also denied by an inch perfect block.
Dani Ceballos (CM) – 6/10: Hit the post in stoppage time.
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