Granit Xhaka was poor while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled again as Arsenal lost 1-0 to Burnley in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
The first half was a rather dull affair, with very few chances coming for either team. Chris Wood had a great opportunity to put Burnley ahead, but sent his free header wide, while Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette was denied by a good reaction save from Nick Pope.
Arsenal then upped the ante after the restart, with Pope called into action a couple of times in the opening ten minutes by Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka. Just when it seemed like the Gunners were stamping their authority, a moment of madness from Granit Xhaka saw him being given the marching orders, reducing the home team to ten men.
Arsenal struggled to get into the game from that point on and it was Burnley who went in front in the 73rd minute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed an Ashley Westwood set-piece into his own net. The Gunners pushed for an equaliser, but it was to no avail as the Clarets held on for a narrow win.
The result meant Mikel Arteta’s side are without a win in five Premier League matches in a row now and here’s how we rated the performances of the Arsenal stars on the night.
Bernd Leno: 5/10
No major saves to make as Burnley did not threaten his goal much and there was nothing the German could do about Aubameyang’s own goal in the second half. Distribution from the back left a lot to be desired.
Hector Bellerin: 4/10
Another game, another ineffective showing from the Arsenal right-back. Did play three key passes, but was not as penetrative down the right side as he needed to be, completing just one cross. Lost possession nine times, played Wood onside for his first half chance and was booked for a lunge on Matthew Lowton which will see him the next game due to suspension.
Rob Holding: 6/10
Headed over from a promising chance in the first period and was nowhere to be seen when Wood was left free to head inside the box. But improved with time and stood up against the physical Burnley forwards, winning three aerial duels and making three tackles, two interceptions and four clearances, while completing the most successful passes on the night (61).
Gabriel Magalhaes: 5.5/10
Allowed Wood to ghost past him for the chance in the first half and was guilty of playing some wayward passes from the back as he completed only 74% of his 69 passes, losing possession 19 times in total. Did make a few key interceptions and blocks, especially after the Gunners were reduced to ten men.
Kieran Tierney: 6/10
Kieran Tierney said Arsenal "deserved" to be booed off after their shock loss to Burnley.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 14, 2020
One of the rare positives for Arsenal against Burnley as he offered a constant outlet on the left side. Created the chance for Lacazette in the first half and forced Pope into a save in the second. Made two key passes in the game in total while remaining fairly solid at the back as well.
Mohamed Elneny: 4/10
Preferred over Dani Ceballos in the middle of the park, the Egyptian looked energetic in the middle and kept Arsenal ticking in the middle, completing 53 of his 55 attempted passes while making a tackle and an interception each. However, very lucky to not concede a penalty and remain on the pitch after catching James Tarkowski’s face in the second half.
Granit Xhaka: 2/10
Arsenal have received twice as many red cards as any other club in the Premier League since Mikel Arteta took charge (6).
All of them straight reds. 😬 pic.twitter.com/1lJf0rHT6P
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 13, 2020
Just when Arsenal were on the ascendancy, Xhaka let his team down in a huge way. Made an unnecessary lunge on Dwight McNeil and then lost his head and grabbed Ashley Westwood by the neck to receive his marching orders. Inexplicable from one of the most experienced Arsenal players on the field on the night.
Given a start once again despite his sluggish performances of late, the Brazilian international did not lack for effort or endeavour but once again lacked the end product. While he may have played four key passes, Willian just completed 3 of his 14 attempted crosses and lost possession 19 times.
Willian has attempted 30 crosses in his last two Premier League games for Arsenal:
◉ 2/16 completed vs Spurs
◉ 3/14 completed vs Burnley
Struggling to find that end product. 😬 pic.twitter.com/ufRf5U9Iei
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 13, 2020
Alexandre Lacazette: 4/10
Starting in the hole behind the striker, Lacazette was sloppy with his distribution in the final third, completing just 66 per cent of his passes on the night. Had a shot saved by Pope in the first half and that was pretty much as good as it got for the Frenchman. Taken off after Xhaka’s sending off.
Bukayo Saka: 5/10
Looked the brightest of the Arsenal attackers on the night, although that is not saying much. Showed some good link-up with Tierney on the left, had a good shot saved by Pope in the second. Completed one key pass and two dribbles, but lost the ball 20 times.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
The Arsenal skipper was much more involved than he has been in recent games but still could not make the difference for his side. Played in a couple of decent crosses, made one key pass, had a shot saved by Pope. To cap off a disappointing outing, Aubameyang ended up scoring in his own net to hand Burnley the victory.
Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract was announced on September 16th, he has scored a single Premier League goal for Arsenal.
6 centre backs have scored more in that period (Zouma, Vestergaard, Mings, Konsa, Ogbonna and Keane).
Not ideal for a big money ST. 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/LvfJ6mb4c9
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 13, 2020
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Came on for Lacazette after Xhaka’s red card. Tried to get Arsenal going but could not change the course of the game.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 5/10
On for Bellerin with a little over fifteen minutes left. Could not influence the game.
Eddie Nketiah: N/A
Replaced Willian with less than ten minutes left.