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Arsenal put five past Burnley to keep pace at top

Bukayo Saka’s double helped Arsenal earn a classy 5-0 win over lowly Burnley as the Gunners again closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to two points.

The Gunners controlled matters from start to finish as Martin Odegaard blasted the Gunners into a fourth-minute lead, before Saka doubled the lead from the spot after Leandro Trossard was fouled by Maxime Esteve.

Saka blasted in a third moments after half-time to make it seven goals in his last six Premier League games before Trossard curled in a fourth after the hour mark.

There was even time for Kai Havertz to get in on the act with a solo run and finish – as Arsenal made it 21 goals in five Premier League matches since the winter break.

Kai Havertz scores Arsenal's fifth goal at Turf Moor
Image: Kai Havertz rounded the scoring with Arsenal’s fifth

Burnley, meanwhile, have got eight games without a win and remain seven points from safety.

Player ratings

Burnley: Trafford (4); Assignon (5), O’Shea (5), Esteve (4), Delcroix (5); Ramsey (6), Berge (6), Brownhill (5), Odobert (6); Fofana (5), Amdouni (4)

Subs used: Gudmundsson (6), Taylor (6), Rodriguez (5), Vitinho (n/a), Bruun Larsen (n/a)

Arsenal: Raya (7); White (7), Saliba (7), Gabriel (7), Kiwior (8); Rice (8), Odegaard (8), Havertz (8); Saka (9), Trossard (8), Martinelli (7)

Subs used: Nketiah (6), Cedric (6), Nelson (6), Jorginho (n/a), Smith Rowe (n/a)

Player of the match: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

How Arsenal made the Clarets blue

Burnley actually held most of the ball and did the early running in the opening five minutes – but Arsenal hit them on the break for their first attack.

Team news headlines

  • Burnley named an unchanged line-up from the team who lost 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday. Charlie Taylor returned to the bench and came on at the hour mark.
  • Arsenal also named an unchanged team from their 6-0 win over West Ham, with Emile Smith Rowe returning to the bench after injury.

Declan Rice fed Gabriel Martinelli down the left and he cut the ball back to Odegaard on the edge of the area. The Arsenal captain, completely unmarked and under no pressure, took a touch before firing past James Trafford at the near post.

A sweet strike by Martin Odegaard gives Arsenal an early lead at Burnley
Image: A sweet strike by Martin Odegaard gives Arsenal an early lead at Burnley

Minutes later, it could and should have been two. Trossard was released by Saka for a one-on-one and instead of shooting, the Belgian cut inside in an attempt to round Trafford, who got a palm on the ball towards safety.

Gabriel headed a Saka corner over, while Burnley’s only chance of the first half came from Wilson Odobert – whose cross-cum-shot was parried by David Raya.

But it was Arsenal who made it two before the break. Trossard was clipped by Esteve in the box and that allowed Saka to beat Trafford from 12 yards.

Bukayo Saka celebrates after doubling Arsenal's lead at Burnley from the penalty spot
Image: Saka celebrates after doubling Arsenal’s lead at Burnley from the penalty spot

Seconds after half-time, Saka was at it again. Odegaard played him in down the right and the England winger blasted a right-footed shot high into the roof of the net.

Burnley’s afternoon went from bad to worse as Aaron Ramsey limped off with an apparent knee injury, with the young midfielder needing oxygen before being stretchered off the pitch.

Trossard missed two chances from Martinelli passes before getting Arsenal’s fourth – pouncing on a loose ball in the area before curling in with his left foot after Havertz’s shot was blocked.

Leandro Trossard celebrates after scoring Arsenal's fourth goal at Burnley
Image: Leandro Trossard celebrates after scoring Arsenal’s fourth goal at Burnley

The German eventually did get in on the act as Havertz latched onto Jakub Kiwior’s quick long throw before taking the ball down in the box and slotting home.

Arsenal rang the changes ahead of their Champions League last-16 tie at Porto in midweek, with Burnley’s agony compounded by 10 minutes of stoppage time. Arsenal used it to parade their advantage in the rain.

What’s next?

Burnley travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday in what could be key in the battle against relegation; kick-off 3pm.

Arsenal resume their Champions League campaign on Wednesday as they travel to Porto in the last 16 first leg; kick-off 8pm. They are back in Premier League action next Saturday as they host Newcastle; kick-off 8pm.

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