Cheer and Soaking in Burnley  (Burnley away)

Cheer and Soaking in Burnley (Burnley away)

Cheer and soaking in Burnley  

by Stef, The North Bank: An Arsenal Podcast 

For almost the entire journey north to Burnley on Saturday, fans were joyously regaling each other with their tales of the 6-nil thrashing delivered to West Ham the previous Sunday. For those that didn’t go (despite The London Stadium being a terrible arena in which to watch football), it was hard not to be jealous. No way Arsenal could do something similar in successive away games? 

Within 4 minutes, the Arsenal team and the travelling fans were picking up exactly where they left off just 6 days earlier. Odegaard controlled the ball effortlessly then half volleyed it beyond the scrambling Burnley keeper.  

It was the start of what would be a difficult day for Burnley’s young keeper, James Trafford. Signed from Man City for £15 million having never made a senior appearance, he typifies Burnley’s youthful approach to life in the Premier League. It looks like being a life that will be short-lived. Rarely has the cliché ‘men against boys’ seemed so apt. 

With ease, Gabriel celebrated tackles like peak-Chiellini, Saliba sprinted past forwards to pick up balls over the top, Ben White stepped into midfield and the quick thinking Kiwior were utterly dominant to any attempt for Burnley to relieve the pressure from Arsenal’s attack. 

And boy did Arsenal’s attack apply some pressure. Following Odegaard’s classy opener, Trossard could’ve had a couple of goals before he was wiped out in the penalty area. Saka dispatched the penalty, but the young Burnley keeper hesitated. If he had committed, he’d have probably saved it.  

Saka gave him no chance early in the second half when he rifled a right footed shot into the roof of the net. It sent the Arsenal fans into rapture. It was happening again. Away from home, the free-flowing, free-scoring Arsenal were brilliantly battering a team in claret and blue. They were relentless. They followed it up with another goal from Trossard who celebrated with the relieved fury of a player frustrated at earlier missed chances. 

Things were capped off with a goal that summed up both teams’ efforts. On the plus side, Kiwior took a quick throw-in to Havertz who, with a lot still to do, headed towards the Burnley goal skilfully before finishing clinically. On the minus side, it was such a naïve and soft goal for Burnley to concede.  

It would be easy to scoff at Arsenal beating a team so clearly out of their depth but the bigger picture of what they have done since the winter break is clear to see. Conceding very few chances while taking many of their own. The disappointing defeats over Christmas long forgotten, those Arsenal fans that missed West Ham but were at Burnley now have their own terrific tales to tell. 

So terrific you’d pay 6% more next season? Hmm.