The surprise news before the game was that Mesut Ozil wouldn’t play due to illness, and the Doctor had ordered him back to London to get checked out. Sadly, this also looks like the German will miss our game against Huddersfield on Wednesday night.
Alex Iwobi came in to replace him but we didn’t get things our own way on a grim Sunday afternoon as expected, Burnley played really well and probably deserved a point in all fairness, albeit thanks to some rather dubious refereeing. They managed to hit the post, and Petr Cech made some great saves to keep the scores level but at the other end, we just didn’t look like scoring at all and it shaped up to be one of those days.
Phil Mitchell Lee Mason more than levelled things up when he gave us a last minute of injury time penalty for a clear push on Aaron Ramsey in the six yard box. It’s being reported as a controversial penalty, but it was a clear push, and all that was controversial about it was that it was a repeat of the last two times we have played Burnley. Losing to 3 last minute goals in 3 games isn’t controversial, it’s just coincidental, I’d have been upset had it happened to us, but it didn’t so there. Anyway, a frustrated and exhausted Alexis Sanchez stepped up to just about squeeze the ball past the Claret’s keeper to send the away fans into ecstasy and the home fans into a proper Northern rage about the decision as the final whistle blew.
The result also means our new red wall, of Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal have keep a clean sheet in all of the games they’ve played together, lets hope this continues, starting with Huddersfield on Wednesday night.
Now is it just me, or do we really struggle with these midweek games, which aren’t on TV – I remember several games where we have been so poor (Swansea H when Ashley Williams scored the winner, Watford at home, City/Everton away) so I am really not banking on a resounding win this week. However, we can take heart from our last two rather gutsy league performances and let’s hope the lads can build on that and continue our surprise push up the league table.
Yesterday’s win (however lucky) has taken us above Liverpool and Tottenham into fourth spot, so things are looking a lot more rosy for Arsenal in the Premier League garden.