Arsenal managed to beat Burnley 2-1 at the Emirates on Sunday but it was far from a straight forward win.
After being the better team for most of the match and going 1-0 ahead through Shkodran Mustafi in the 59th minute, a red card for Granit Xhaka meant that Burnley put 10-man Arsenal against the ropes during the latter stages of the match.
The visitors equalised through a penalty in the 90+3rd minute only for us to go 2-1 up, also via a penalty, in the 90+7th.
Plenty of stuff happened but what did we learn?
Granit Xhaka needs to chill out
Although we pointed out when Xhaka was sent off (again by Jon Moss) against Swansea that the Switzerland international’s red card record isn’t nearly as bad as we’re led to believe, he is a little rash.
By the letter of the law, it was a red card. I’m not disputing this. I know that if it had been any other team, maybe a yellow would have been given. However, Xhaka is more than aware that his card has been marked. Therefore, he needs to be on his best behaviour. It might not be fair but it’s the way it is.
What’s more is the challenge was made because Xhaka panicked trying to win the ball back, which suggests immaturity. I’m hoping this will improve with age and time because he’s a huge player for us now. By getting red cards and serving bans, he’s putting the team at risk.
Francis Coquelin is still a liability
After coming on in the second half, Coq gave away a penalty to allow Burnley to equalise in the 90+3rd minute. Now, although Arsenal also got a penalty four minutes later, allowing us to win 2-1, if the score had stayed 1-1, a lot more people would be talking about the Frenchman costing us two points.
This isn’t the first time Coq has cost us. Remember the game at White Hart Lane where he got sent off for a ridiculous challenge, reducing us to 10 men?
Alexis Sanchez should take all the penalties
When Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the final minute of stoppage time, I felt sure we’d screw it up. Someone random would step up to take it and it would be saved. I’d already prepared myself.
However, when Alexis stepped up, I instantly knew he would score it. There was no doubt in my mind.
The guy is full of confidence and was never, ever going to miss. He needs to take all the penalties always.
Arsene Wenger’s still got fight
I always feel a sense of childish amusement when managers get sent off, even if it’s our own, and it’s been a while since Le Professeur was banished from the dugout.
Wenger wasn’t best pleased when Burnley received a penalty in the 90+3rd minute. Whether this was at his own players for allowing it to happen, the officials because he didn’t agree with it, or both, we’ll have to see.
Anthony Taylor joins Jose Mourinho and Alan Pardew on the list of people physically dominated by a pensioner in front of millions.
— Emperor Bumblewank (@CapableOfFlight) January 22, 2017
Jon Moss hates Arsenal
As if we didn’t need reminding, referee Jon Moss hates Arsenal.
Jon Moss just after Alexis scored pic.twitter.com/mN4WbWm6ay
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) January 22, 2017
Burnley challenges went unpunished and this wasn’t the first time the official showed bias towards our opposition. Although Xhaka’s red card in this instance was probably warranted, his last one against Swansea, also awarded by Moss, wasn’t.
He’s given three red cards in the Premier League this season and two have been for Xhaka!