It was an encouraging start for Arsenal. David Luiz and Dani Ceballos both started for the Gunners and pulled the strings early on. Luiz played a fine long ball for Aubameyang which got the side up the pitch and started a spell of dominance.
First, Lacazette came close from a corner before the Gunners won a free kick in an encouraging position. The ball was cleared but Sokratis headed it back for Lacazette who forced a good save from Nick Pope.
Unfortunately for the Burnley stopper, he could do little from the resulting corner. A shorter ball found Lacazette with his back to goal. The Frenchman held off his marker, span and powered his shot between Pope’s legs.
But the visitors grew into the match. Burnley overloaded the flanks and hurled crosses into Bernd Leno’s area. They came close to equalising on a number of occasions but it looked as if Arsenal weathered the storm.
But that wasn’t to be. Just a minute after Matteo Guendouzi came close to scoring for Arsenal, a goal went in at the other end. Dwight McNeil’s cross-shot was deflected right into the path of Ashley Barnes who was unmarked and free to hit a shot past Leno.
The Gunners almost ended the half in front. Nacho Monreal broke clear down the left and cut the ball back for Reiss Nelson to score. The goal was ruled out for offside and VAR backed the decision up.
Nicolas Pepe entered the fray at half time as a familiar pattern emerged. Arsenal saw a lot of the ball but struggled to really break down Burnley’s deep defensive lines. Aubameyang and Ceballos came close with a couple of efforts but it was becoming a frustrating afternoon for the Gunners.
That soon changed. The dogged Ceballos won the ball back high up the pitch and found Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker moved quickly into the space which Burnley had vacated, striding forward before powering a shot into the bottom corner
— AubaLacaStats (@AubaLacaStats) August 17, 2019
Arsenal just needed to see out the match from then on. They reverted to a back five and used Aubameyang and Pepe on the counter. It almost led to the third goal on a couple of occasions but it wasn’t to be. Two goals were enough for the Gunners to pick up all three points.
Man of the Match: Dani Ceballos
An outstanding home debut from Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard glided around the pitch when he had the ball, showcasing the kind of tight control which has been missing from Arsenal’s midfield since Santi Cazorla. But it was the Real Madrid man’s work rate which shone through.
He worked so hard in the centre of the park, hassling his opponents and tracking back to help out. It was an outstanding all-around display.
Dani Ceballos vs Burnley
90% pass accuracy
4 key passes
4 dribbles won
2 tackles won
Brilliant player. Exactly what Arsenal needed. 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/iCS5XwHZDH
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) August 17, 2019
Arsenal take on Liverpool at Anfield next weekend.