Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Koscielny controversially wins it with final kick of the game

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Arsenal held much of the possession at Turf Moor, but couldn’t do anything with it as the Burnley defense worked to a 0-0 draw. It could be argued the home side even had the best chances in the match as Sam Vokes fired wide and a Johann Gudmundsson header was saved by Petr Cech after the break.

Until the very end.

With the clock ticking down in injury time, a short corner produced a chance for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in front of goal, and while he lashed his foot at the ball, it hit off Laurent Koscielny and trickled into the back of the net with the final kick of the game.

But should it have counted? It appeared Koscielny was offside on the Oxlade-Chamberlain kick, and the ball clearly hit the arm of the defender on its way in. While the handball could be argued as harsh given that Ox’s kick that sent the ball into Koscielny’s arm was at point-blank, but the offside call seemed clear.

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Throughout the opening 20 minutes, Arsenal looked to break down a Burnley defense that has only conceded five goals in its last 17 home matches. They struggled to do so, with the middle of the pitch completely shut off by the home side.

The game was a snoozer through the opening half-hour, but the home side suddenly had a chance that evaporated as quickly as it emerged. Burnley’s Matthew Lowton, stationary on the right flank, floated a cross into the box where Sam Vokes had found himself free having beat the offside trap, but all alone, Vokes headed a good distance wide of Petr Cech’s near post.

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With halftime to make adjustments, Arsenal produced a chance straight after the break. Alexis Sanchez got on the end of Hector Bellerin‘s hard work in the box, but his shot from a tight angle was saved smartly by Tom Heaton.

Burnley continued to prove dangerous in spurts, as a powerful header from Johann Gudmundsson was turned round the post by Petr Cech past 56 minutes.

Meanwhile, Arsenal struggled mightily to produce anything else in front of net despite the expected lead in possessional statistics. The Gunners held 65% of possession past the hour mark, but began to show signs of frustration as Alexis Sanchez went to ground looking for a foul, but with nothing given he showed his discontent with the refereeing.

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Mesut Ozil looked for Sanchez with a lofted ball into the box on 67 minutes, but Heaton was strong to charge down the effort before Sanchez could rise to the occasion. Sanchez worked tirelessly on the break with five minutes to go, but Theo Walcott‘s curling effort sailed just wide with Heaton beat.

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Then finally, with the last moment of the game, the goal came. Two minutes of added time had all but expired, and the short corner from Alexis Sanchez fell to Oxlade-Chamberlain in the box. He whipped his boot up at it, and the ball struck off Koscielny right next to him at the far post, trickling past a wrong-footed Heaton and in for the winner.

The goal gave Arsenal all three points in the match, helping them keep pace with Tottenham and pulling within two points of the top of the table. Burnley, meanwhile, comes away with nothing despite their hard work, leaving them in 14th position with seven matches.