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Arsenal 3 - 0 Burnley: Alexis Report

Darmok and Jalad, on the ocean.

Julian Finney

1 - 0 Alexis Sanchez 70'
2 - 0 Calum Chambers 72'
3 - 0 Alexis Sanchez 90'

Burnley came to the Emirates today as quite probably the Premier League's not-bestest team. There are a couple of ways to look at what transpired for the first two thirds of today's match:

1) Arsenal lacked the creativity to break down a stubbornly packed, committed Burnley defense.

2) Arsenal had generated an ocean liner full of chances and surely would find the goal soon, as mathematics demanded it.

Whichever way you were leaning 70 minutes in, there is but one truth to take away today, and that is that Alexis is ludicrously good at footballing footballs around a football pitch. He was already doing things while the match was still 0-0; but for a couple of really good Tom Heaton saves in the first half, Arsenal would already have been out of sight by the time Aaron Ramsey came on for Mikel Arteta 60 minutes in.

It was one-way traffic, though, really, and the first goal summed up everything about Alexis. Calum Chambers fired in a floaty, sort of dangerous-maybe cross from the right, and two gigantic Burnley defenders stood where it was coming down, surely to easily head it clear, until Alexis, who, remember, is FIVE FOOT SEVEN, looped around, got a running start, and ANGERED the ball past Heaton with his head. The guy is just an absolute gem. He is always in the right spot, always winning 50/50s and coming away with the ball out of impossible situations, and on top of that, he exudes skill and class.

After his opener, Arsenal kept on the pressure, and another corner flung in fell to Danny Welbeck, Heaton saving initially, but Calum Chambers was on hand to poke home the rebound and basically seal the three points for Arsenal.

Theo Walcott came on to much rejoicing from the Arsenal fans, and joining him was Lukas Podolski, who, despite two of the hardest volleys you will ever see, could not score, denied once by Heaton and once by the post. Injury time arrived, and Kieran Gibbs' low cross made it through a tired Burnley defense to Alexis, who did a little jig before scoring his second past Heaton to put the cherry on what ended up being a much better second half from the Gunners.

Next up--Anderlecht at the Emirates on Tuesday after a quick turnaround. Hopefully Alexis gets some rest.