Martin Odegaard’s moment of class and a VAR review helped Arsenal come away with a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Both clubs put forth the appropriate effort for a point but Odegaard’s exceptional free kick gave the game its lone goal and Matej Vydra’s bid to win a penalty was overturned by Video Assistant Referee.
The Clarets took more shots but few were of real concern for Aaron Ramsdale, who made three saves and claimed five balls into the box in a second-straight clean sheet.
Arsenal moves onto six points, currently 12th. They won’t finish the weekend lower than 14th.
Burnley remains winless with one draw, good for 19th in the table.
Burnley vs Arsenal final score, stars
Final score: Arsenal 1, Burnley 0
Scorers: Odegaard (30′)
Shots: Burnley 18, Arsenal 13
Shots on target: 3-3
Possession: Arsenal, 55%
Three things we learned from Burnley vs Arsenal
1. Bridge too far: The broadcast said late in the game that Arsenal had one bit of the otherworldly and Burnley had one lapse, and that’s the problem for both teams. It says something that the Gunners twin 1-0 wins over Norwich City and Burnley seem an uptick in fortune when they should be considered borderline certainties. And for the Clarets, they still need a perfect game against teams with real skill and a foul outside the area qualifies as their lapse. Sean Dyche has been given a new four-year deal and he could benefit from leaving Ashley Barnes on the bench and letting Maxwell Cornet — who looked bright — join Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil in front of Ashley Westwood.
2. VAR rightly helps Gunners (aka VAR-senal): Aaron Ramsdale was initially whistled for taking down Matej Vydra and the penalty awarded to Burnley never arrived thanks to VAR. Ramsdale caught the ball first but the referee wouldn’t have seen that from his angle. The new rule clarification that the referee is allowed to judge the way the fouled player is altered by contact helped Ramsdale, who caught Vydra a little after getting the ball but was hardly the reason for the Clarets man’s bid to burrow into the earth.
3. Odegaard (and Partey) are special:Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Nuno Tavares all deserve praise for their roles at the back (we’ve saluted Kieran Tierney plenty in the past), but with Odegaard pulling the strings and a healthy-for-now Thomas Partey disrupting the midfield, this can be a team that pulls itself into the top six mix if Nicolas Pepe gets help from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Arteta lets Alexandre Lacazette play more often.