Arsenal could muster only a draw at home against Burnley as they missed out on the chance to temporarily go fourth on the table.
Arsenal ended a torrid January without a win and scored just one goal in five games. They got knocked out of the FA Cup, then the Carabao Cup, and have now fallen a bit behind in the top-four race. On paper, Burnley were arguably their best bet to get a win this month, which they squandered by only earning a draw.
It wasn’t an uneventful encounter by any means, with Arsenal able to get 20 shots against Burnley. Their biggest problem this month has been scoring, as the Gunners got more red cards than goals in January, with Bukayo Saka’s strike against Manchester City the only one on board.
Against Burnley, they were utterly dominant, leaving the Clarets to scavenge upon slight counter-attacking chances. With their two main central midfielders missing, Albert Sambi Lokonga floated around the park in support of the attackers in front, with the heavy final third selection unbalancing the squad a little
The Burnley defence was stout, although much will be talked about Arsenal not taking their chances properly. Alexandre Lacazette missed a brilliant opportunity created by Emile Smith Rowe, which will ring in the Frenchman’s years for some time now.
Arsenal had 20 shots against Burnley, the most they’ve had in a Premier League home game without scoring in the last six seasons.
No way through. ⛔️ pic.twitter.com/g7NTE2DwaN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 23, 2022
Burnley earned a much-needed point in their relegation battle, while Arsenal dropped two crucial ones in their top-four race. With the international break on the horizon, the Gunners will have time to regroup themselves and look to get back into winning shape come February.
Here’s how the Arsenal players fared against Burnley in their goalless draw at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10
Aaron Ramsdale had to be alert with Burnley’s visible threat from set-pieces and in the air. Although there were a few nervy moments, he did fine, managing to keep a clean sheet at the end.
Ben White – 7/10
He did a decent job at right-back, although he did not offer the attacking support or overlapping runs of a typical full-back. Ben White was strong in his defending and provided good support to nearby teammates. There were some exceptional, inch-perfect diagonal balls from the defender, which were a joy to watch.
Rob Holding – 6/10
Rob Holding did a fine job at the back, although his passing quality was not as good as his fellow defenders. He did an excellent job against the physical threat posed by Burnley forwards and won everything in the air.
Gabriel – 6/10
Gabriel was exceptional with his passing and was able to deal with everything that was thrown at him. At times he seemed too static and needs to work on being quicker with the ball at his feet.
Kieran Tierney – 6/10
He had a good game from a defensive point, as Kieran Tierney dealt with Aaron Lennon well. However, the decision making on most of his deliveries were questionable, especially when he had space and options around him.
Sambi Lokonga – 5.5/10
As Sambi Lokonga put in a laboured performance, Arsenal severely missed their senior midfielders. While he was decent for most parts, the splitting quality of Xhaka or Partey was not there to be seen from the Belgian. For the majority of the game, the attackers were finding themselves deep to carry the ball and take it forward.
Martin Ødegaard created more chances (3) and had more shots on target (2) than any other player in the first half vs. Burnley.
He was the only player on the pitch to create more than one chance. 💪 pic.twitter.com/xirIKRjJTl
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 23, 2022
Martin Odegaard – 7/10
In January, Martin Odegaard was one of Arsenal’s best players, and there was no exception to it in this game against Burnley. The Norwegian was lively throughout and seemed like the team’s best creator, clipping in dangerous balls, with the end product the only thing missing from the attacker today.
Emile Smith Rowe – 6.5/10
Smith Rowe wasn’t as involved as he would have liked to be, but he did have his moments. The midfielder’s talent of driving with the ball came in handy as he created the game’s best chance for Lacazette. The player himself came the closest to scoring, only for Nick Pope to deny him.
Bukayo Saka – 6.5/10
While Bukayo Saka was lively, he wasn’t very sharp today and was often off with his decision-making. He did have some moments, but nothing that created a goal. There is no indication he is losing form, but surely Arteta will look to improve his dominance in games like these.
Alexandre Lacazette – 5/10
A terrible miss from the glorious chance created by Smith-Rowe sums his evening up. Lacazette should have used all his experience by slotting it past an empty net; instead, he side-footed it wide, which ended up costing Arsenal two points.
We will not get top 4 with Lacazette and Nketiah as the centre forward options.
— LTArsenal™ (@ltarsenal) January 19, 2022
Gabriel Martinelli – 6/10
Gabriel Martinelli had a normal game by his recent standards, as he ran along the channel and threatened the wide defenders. His tracking back was good, although he sometimes lacked decision-making when he had the ball in the final third.
Eddie Nketiah – 5/10
Arteta wanted to bring in a new dimension in the attack, as he brought in Nketiah. The forward did not have any impact on the game and just floated around up front, waiting for a chance to fall at his feet.