Arsenal began their home campaign in the Premier League with a tense 2-1 win over Burnley.
Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos impressed on his full debut and played a key role in ensuring his team looked sharp in midfield.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored either side of Ashley Barnes’ goal from close range to make it two wins in the opening games for the first time in 10 years.
We take a look at some of the talking points:
Ceballos announces himself in the Premier League
Ceballos played a pivotal role in maintaining Arsenal’s positive start to the season.
The 23-year-old was one of the best players on the pitch and helped his team win the midfield battle with an inspired performance in the no10 role.
Take away the two well-deserved assists and the Spaniard still had enough substance in his game to be labelled as a match-winning performance. He created several chances from behind the striker, linking well with Aubameyang and Lacazette.
Ceballos maintained a healthy passing accuracy of 90 per cent and produced four key-passes. The midfielder pressed very well and looked dangerous on the break.
Perfect deliveries from the corner capped a near-perfect performance on the pitch.
Burnley expose Arsenal’s aerial vulnerability
The visitors were bound to depend on set-pieces and crosses to trouble Bernd Leno.
It seemed that a centre-back pairing of Sokratis and David Luiz should have been enough to nullify any threat. But the inspired first-half performance from the visitors highlighted the frailties in Arsenal’s defence.
Barnes and Dwight McNeil were rampant on the left-wing and threatened on the second-balls they won in the box. Centre-backs Ben Mee and James Tarkowski were comfortably getting behind the Arsenal defence during set-pieces and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
Burnley knocked on the door several times, but were denied by the cluster of Arsenal jerseys in the six-year box. The persistence finally bore fruit when Barnes found himself behind a loose ball following a set-piece and made short work of Leno.
The visitors switched off in the second half, but they did make their point by asserting aerial dominance. The Gunners got away with a win, but this is something that Unai Emery needs to improve going forward.
Attack gets the job done despite hiccups
Scoring a crucial goal despite having a poor game is a crucial trait of any striker.
Aubameyang scored in a second-consecutive game in the Premier League and Lacazette opened his account for the seaso,n despite both players arriving in the final third sloppily at times.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward missed a couple of easy chances, including a sitter after being laid off by Lacazette in the death. But he stamped his name on the fixture with a brilliant goal following an incredible individual effort.
The Frenchman too struggled to really test the keeper, but walked away with his first goal of the season. The pair were far from their best, but got the job done.
Wins such as these are as crucial as thumping 5-0 wins that accompany complete domination. If the forwards maintain the prolificacy in front of goal and manage to churn points out of games in which Arsenal were not particularly superior, the Gunners could look at an improved season.
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