Arsenal showed a high degree of resilience to hold off Championship team Burnley on the fourth round of FA cup tie at the Emirates. Goals from Calum Chambers gave Arsenal the lead within twenty minutes before parity was restored by a stunning header from SamVokes. However the Chilean Alexis Sanchez finished a fine first-touch goal to ensure Gunners progress into the next round.
Despite the win, Arsenal had to dig deep to keep Burnley players at bay, in which was a match if high nerves. Here are the five talking points from the game.
Calum Chambers has shown his worth
The England defender has been enduring a difficult time at Arsenal, which caused as a result of him failing to emulate his last season heroics. The defender was left out of starting eleven on many matches this season and was also played out of position.
Nonetheless, Wenger played him today in his natural position, right-back, and the player repaid the faith shown in him by a goal and an assist. Such performance will be expected from him more often and this FA cup game could turn the season in his favor.
Ospina and Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to step up
The goalkeeper and the midfielder performed very poorly in the game, and this could add to the already woven thread of bad outings. The English midfielder was of little purpose for the gunners, despite starting the game in good fashion, showing great optimism. He even missed a glorious chance towards the end of the game.
The Colombian goalkeeper played out of tempo and his ball handling was dismal. He often took more than enough time to clear the ball, putting himself under pressure.
Arsenal must show killer instinct.
In such a fierce-paced game, Arsenal after scoring the goal should have shown more prolific nature in front of the goal and wrapped the game before the nervy last period began.
Credits for Arsenal to grinding out the result, but they had enough time and chances to score one more time and save themselves from suffering the battle of nerves. Wastage of chances after leading should also be pointed, the pic of it being Walcott’s miss after coming one-on-one with Burnley goalkeeper.
Arsene Wenger has learnt the lesson
Even before the game, Arsene Wenger made clear that he will not use inexperienced players in the game. He may have used youngsters for a home game like this, that too against a Championship squad. But he didn’t and the best inference from that decision is he has learnt the lesson.
Last October, Wenger used a fresh and younger team against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on Capital Cup and lost the game 3-0. However, he knows it is was his fault to see them as minnows. Aftermath, Arsenal started today with an experienced squad, Iwobi being the only exception.
Selection of midfielders will decide the season for Arsenal
Arsene Wenger will face an uphill task in selecting the midfielders, probably for two positions- the central midfielders. It is evident that Ozil, Alexis and Walcott/Oxlade-Chamberlain will play behind Giroud, and the spot for Central defenders will be vacant for 6 players, of which only two gets the chance to feature.
Ramsey, Coquelin, Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky and newcomer El-Nenny are in contention for the spots, while another option Jack Wilshere is not expected to be back before March.
The onus is upon Wenger to formulate the strategy and fill the crucial spots with apt players for every game.
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