BURNLEY 1-1 ARSENAL
- Goals: Chris Wood (£6.2m) | Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m)
- Assists: Willian (£7.5m)
- Bonus: Wood x3, Bernd Leno (£5.0m) x2, Aubameyang x1, Willian x1
TAKE IT TO THE BLANK
Aubameyang scores early in the first half at Turf Moor
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) continues to keep himself on the Fantasy Premier League radar for Blank Gameweek 29 after adding his ninth goal of the season in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Arsenal’s trip to West Ham is one of just four fixtures in the truncated upcoming round of matches that will take place just before the international break.
And those planning for that fixture, either with their Free Hit or free transfers, are sure to be considering Aubameyang, who now has six goals across his last four Premier League starts.
There remains some doubts over the FPL midfielder’s ability to deliver against tougher opposition though, with those strikes coming against Newcastle and Leeds while many would argue Burnley should have denied Aubameyang at Turf Moor.
On Saturday, after Willian (£7.5m) was allowed to run at Burnley from midfield, the Brazilian found Aubameyang on the left of the area.
Aubameyang squeezes an effort past Pope
Both Matt Lowton (£4.5m) and James Tarkowski (£5.3m) were hoodwinked into going right as Aubameyang’s touch took him towards the centre of the box.
The striker’s low shot crept into the bottom corner, despite Nick Pope (£5.6m) getting a hand to the effort.
“For Popey at the top level he is at now, he will question himself. It doesn’t need me to question to him. So he will be thinking he could have saved it.” – Sean Dyche
It is also worth pointing out that Aubameyang has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley (eight) than against any other club.
GRANIT GETS BERND
After a relatively comfortable opening 38 minutes for Arsenal, an absolute clanger from Granit Xhaka (£5.2m) allowed Burnley to level the scoreline.
As the Gunners attempted to play out from the back through the Burnley press, Bernd Leno (£5.0m) passed the ball to Xhaka inside the penalty area – doing his team-mate absolutely no favours.
The midfielder’s first touch was back towards the goal, while his second was an attempted pass which struck the midriff of Chris Wood (£6.2m) before sailing into the Arsenal net.
Since the start of 2016-17, Xhaka has made more errors leading to goals (eight) than any other outfield player in the Premier League.
Asked after full time if the style of play that lead to Burnley’s goal needs to eradicated, Mikel Arteta responded:
“No. It’s something we work on and we’re gonna keep doing. The first goal that we scored is through Bernd – Bernd starts the whole thing and we score a goal with Aubameyang. And then we made a mistake which cost us a goal. But as well, the only chance that they had it was a long kick from Bernd – we were in an open structure and they have the chance. So, it can happen when you play short or long. It’s what it is, it’s the way we play, it’s the way I want to play and we just have to know the risk and the rules that we have in certain areas and the types of balls we have to play.” – Mikel Arteta
Arsenal have now kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions after keeping five in a row directly before that, likely minimising interest in their defence for Blank Gameweek 29.
Burnley players celebrate with Wood
While Wood’s goal was mostly put down to Arsenal’s ‘playing out from the back’ mantra, Sean Dyche had a different stance on the matter.
On Burnley’s equaliser and his team’s style of play against the Gunners, Dyche explained:
“The fact that we pressed them for more or less the whole game, or we certainly tried to – sometimes you get your rewards. I thought we did [get our reward]. We set out to do that, we wanted to do that [press Arsenal]. We did it at their place very well, effectively and I thought we did it for a large part of the game today. We attempted to effect the game by pressing all match. I was super pleased with the physical capability of our players, because we’re relying on the same group. I thought they were outstanding, the way they kept going after Arsenal for the whole of the 90 minutes. If teams want to play from literally inside their own penalty box, then my belief is to get on the front foot but it doesn’t always work. We want the team to be bold and play in the top third of the pitch and try and win games.” – Sean Dyche
One member of the group who Dyche has recently been relying on is Charlie Taylor (£4.4m), who was replaced by Erik Pieters (£4.3m) after 63 minutes due to a leg injury.
Pieters, incidentally, had a tumultuous half-hour. The Dutchman avoided the wrath of the VAR after a potential handball, only to be shown a second yellow later on for a goal-line clearance with his arm.
The VAR did step in on the second occasion however, as Pieters had used his shoulder to deny substitute Nicolas Pepe (£7.6m).
On Taylor, Dyche said:
“It’s been a tough spell for us. We hope this spell from now gives us a chance to get people fit. Obviously, Charlie Taylor, we’ve lost him again today. Hopefully that’s not too serious.” – Sean Dyche
The Clarets face a trip to Everton in Gameweek 28, before an extended break ahead of Gameweek 30.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; Taylor (Pieters 63′), Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Gudmundsson (Brady 68′); Wood, Vydra (Rodriguez 86′).
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tierney, Mari, David Luiz, Chambers; Xhaka, Partey (Ceballos 80′); Willian (Pepe 69′), Odegaard (Lacazette 63′), Saka; Aubameyang.
Elsewhere in Double Gameweek 27…
It was a mixed afternoon for Southampton’s injury situation as they beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane.
A first league win in 10 is, of course, music to the ears of Ralph Hasenhüttl… but what did it cost?
Danny Ings (£8.4m) is the latest addition to the Saints’ physio room, taken off with what looked to be a groin injury just 13 minutes into his latest Double Gameweek.
Whether or not he plays in the second match of the round, a Wednesday-night trip to Manchester City, remains to be seen.
But there was still plenty of good news for Southampton as James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m) converted a first-half penalty won by Nathan Tella (£4.3m) and substitute Che Adams (£5.8m) got his first goal since Gameweek 12 – the last time the Saints faced Sheffield United.
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.7m), Ibrahima Diallo (£4.5m), Moussa Djenepo (£5.4m) and Takumi Minamino (£6.0m) all returned from injury, the latter spending some time out-of-position as a centre-forward.
And Fraser Forster (£4.0m) did enough to remain on the Fantasy radar with a second successive Premier League start, keeping his second clean sheet from a possible three this season.
Emiliano Martínez (£5.3m) was at it again as Aston Villa drew 0-0 with Wolves.
The Villa Park side were on the back-foot for most of the second half, which is usually the perfect scenario for owners of their goalkeeper.
In keeping a 14th clean sheet of 2020/21, he produced two saves and claimed two one point.
The woodwork was arguably the man of the match in this midlands rivalry match on Saturday evening though.
None felt that more keenly than Ollie Watkins (£6.6m) and his owners as he struck the crossbar in the opening exchanges, the seventh time he has done so this season.
Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) also hit the post during the opening period while Martínez owners could thank the woodwork for Conor Coady‘s (£4.8m) second-half effort somehow not ending up in the back of the net – before Romain Saïss (£4.9m) skied the even easier rebound.
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