First, let’s take a look at the moment everyone’s talking about.
Of course when you’re playing a team like Arsenal, you can defend perfectly for 90 minutes – but if you have a lapse just once, you can be made to pay. As time was winding down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took a shot from the top of the box which was deflected over the goal for a corner. Arsenal played it short, and Alexis Sanchez played a cross perfectly to the far post. The OC and Laurent Koscielny were both there waiting for it, sans Burnley defenders. Ox’s “shot” appeared to glance off of Koscielny’s hand and in as stoppage time expired, and that was that.
You have got to hand it to Arsenal. When it looked like the game was slipping from their grasp after a hard fought 90 minutes in which Burnley barely gave them elbow room, the team stepped up and produced a late show winner to snatch a victory and three big points. Armed with the more potent attack, the Gunners found Burnley a staunch opponent ready to shoulder the load of stout defense. They did everything they could think of to claw their way out of the mire and nail down a win, but found every attacked slapped aside. It took a brave showing by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on his off side no less, to help bungle the ball into goal scorer Laurent Koscielny, no Maradona he, for the winning goal. Some may have found this outcome humorous but in the radius of Burnley, it was a thumb in the eye of a great team effort.
Not that the opinion of a retired referee is a QED on the whole situation, but in the opinion of Dermot Gallagher, who was a Premier League referee from the day Sky invented soccer in 1992 until his retirement in 2007 (and who is a distant relative of the Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame), the call was correct: People said his arms were up but that's because he used his arms for elevation. He has actually mis-kicked it, it has flown up and hit him, so it's not hand to ball, it's ball to hand. In Gallagher’s eyes, then, the fact that the ball was mis-kicked is key; it’s not that Kos helped the ball across the line, it’s that he was inadvertently in the way of a messed up shot.
This was a different, more rugged showing from a team that had stylishy swept both Chelsea and Basel aside recently. But the boss has spoken of his side adding maturity to their game, and they demonstrated that here, fighting until the end and getting their reward at the death. Wenger has taken charge of 1,130 games as Arsenal boss - few will have had such a dramatic ending.
But a 92nd minute corner for Arsene Wenger’s side went in off the arm of Laurent Koscielny from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s finish. It was a cruel double blow for the Clarets, who had defended resolutely to limit Arsenal to few chances overall, while forcing Petr Cech into a fine save and hitting the woodwork at the other end. And Sean Dyche’s side would have been fully deserving of the draw they seemed destined for before the late set piece.
This was a game which Arsenal dominated and should have won by a healthy margin, but missed chances, indecision and, at times, laziness in front of goal, had threatened to see them drop two points, but Koscielny’s winner claimed all three. As Arsene Wenger strode out across the Turf Moor pitch ahead of his 1130th game in charge of the club, the Frenchman was saluted and serenaded by the travelling Arsenal supporters singing his name in recognition of his twentieth anniversary as manager. Wenger’s first game was October 12, 1996, ten miles down the M65 from Turf Moor at Blackburn, where two Ian Wright goals gave Arsenal a 2-0 victory at Ewood Park.
A bizarre last-gasp goal deflected into the net off Laurent Koscielny's hand from a close-range effort by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Burnley that moved them up to third in the Premier League on Sunday. Just when the home side thought they had secured a hard-earned draw, their defence failed to deal with a short corner that swung in from the right. The ball was headed on to substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain, who bundled the ball in off the hand of an oblivious Koscielny near the end of added time. It was a cruel end for Burnley, who had twice gone close when Sam Vokes headed wide and Michael Keane hit the crossbar. At the other end, Alexis Sanchez forced a good save from Tom Heaton and blasted wide from inside the area.