Alexis on Form as Arsenal Coast to the FA Cup fifth Round
As expected, Arsene Wenger shuffled the squad minimally for the Burnley game with the likes of David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel Paulista, Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny, Francis Coquelin, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez coming into the side.
It was particularly good to see two important first team players like Sanchez and Coquelin return to the side as both players got injured in the month of November.
Arsenal huffed and puffed on the Burnley back line but the match opener arrived from the unlikeliest of sources. Alexis found a tight opening on the Burnley defense and threaded a through ball to Chambers. The right back used the outside of his foot to blast the ball past Tom Heaton in goal. His only goal for the club came against Burnley last season and he had repeated the feat.
However, the Gunners went to sleep and Sean Dyche’s team pegged the hosts back with a glancing header from Sam Vokes that left David Ospina flat-footed. The Emirates was silent after the equalizer as both teams went into the break at 1-1.
Arsenal began firing on all cylinders in the second half and Alexis scored what proved to be the winner from a perfectly timed team goal. Iwobi instigated the counter attack with a pass to Alexis. The Chilean teed up Giroud that flicked it first time to Iwobi. The Nigerian forward found Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on his right hand and the Englishman drilled the ball into the danger area. Up stepped Alexis to blast the ball past a hapless Heaton.
There were a couple of chances for both sides but in the end, Arsenal had enough in the tank to see out the threat of Burnley. There was also a return to action for Tomas Rosicky and the ageless Czech made some decent touches in the course of the game.
It was good to return to winning ways after a poor return of two points from a possible nine. All focus will be shifted to Tuesday’s game against Southampton.
More on that came in the coming days.