Aaron Ramsey powered home a goal in the 11th minute and Arsenal lulled Burnley to sleep the rest of the way to hold on for all three points at Turf Moor.
The home side put in a spirited game and never seemed out of the game, but they were unable to get by Arsenal’s stout defending that smothered the Burnley midfield and isolated their strikers.
Both teams had early chances in the opening six minutes, as Ashley Barnes beat Per Mertesacker on a counter but had no help and was smothered by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, and on the other end a ball fell to Alexis Sanchez in the box but he lashed an awkward shot well high.
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Arsenal held most of the early possession, and they would capitalize just 11 minutes in. A pair of Santi Cazorla shots were blocked, and the second fell right at the feet of Aaron Ramsey who buried the chance from point blank range.
Burnley built themselves into the game around the 20 minute mark, and came so close to leveling the score. A free kick from Kieran Trippier at the top of the box went over the wall and bent towards the corner but Ospina produced an athletic leaping save to keep it out. Arsenal had a similar chance down the other end four minutes later, but Santi Cazorla curled the ball just inches wide of the top corner.
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Both teams got sloppy the rest of the way to halftime, but the game weaved towards the break nonetheless. As the game crawled towards the hour mark things ground to a halt, a testament to Arsenal’s ability to both absorb pressure and keep a scrappy, fit Burnley side shackled down.
Santi Cazorla had a half-chance with a shot from distance that fizzed just wide of the top left corner, but that was about it as the clock ticked past 20 minutes to go. Burnley had another solid opportunity on the 73-minute mark as Sam Vokes headed down in the box to Danny Ings, and the striker attempted an acrobatic overhead kick that had some power but Ospina was there to collect.
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The Gunners built themselves a solid spell of possession as the clock wound down, and while they hardly threatened the Burnley goal they kept the Clarets from holding any kind of possession. Ings had a late opportunity in the Arsenal penalty area but failed to get a shot off despite powering his way through the defense.
The Arsenal win sends Arsene Wenger four back of Chelsea, although the Blues hold a pair of games in hand. More importantly, it sends the Gunners four points clear of Manchester City with the Citizens set to play the Manchester derby tomorrow. For Burnley, they fail to keep pace with earlier winners Leicester City, and are now just a point above the Foxes at the bottom of the table.
Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Arfield, Jones (Taylor 90′), Barnes; Vokes, Ings.
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis (Chambers 90′), Giroud (Welbeck 82′).
Goals – Ramsey 11′