Burnley 1-3 Arsenal – Aubameyang double downs Clarets as Gunners end league season with a win
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal beat Burnley 3-1 thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace and a first league goal for Eddie Nketiah, ending their Premier League season with a win at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon
Despite both sides having nothing to play for on the final day, it was game with plenty of chances in a physical encounter as the sun shone down in Lancashire.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring on 53 minutes when he capitalised on a wayward Jack Cork pass to race through on goal and slot home, before grabbing his second with 63 minutes gone with a powerful volley from Alex Iwobi's cross.
Burnley got themselves back in the game just three minutes later though as Ashley Barnes nodded in a cross on the edge of the six-yard box, but Nketiah secured the win for Unai Emery's side with a deflected third from a tight angle.
Arsenal should have been ahead inside three minutes when they won a free-kick after Tom Heaton handled outside his area, with the resulting ball in finding Aubameyang from close range, but his header came back off the crossbar.
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The Gunners' top scorer was full of confidence after his midweek hat-trick at Valencia fired Arsenal to the Europa League final, and he forced Heaton into his first save of the afternoon from a tight angle.
Burnley grew into the half though and had two good chances of their own.
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A long ball downfield on 25 minutes wasn't dealt with by Shkodran Mustafi as Ashley Barnes's muscled him to the ground. This allowed Chris Wood a clean run at goal and he fired past Leno with the German motionless, only to see his shot cannon off the base of the post.
The Clarets came close again on the half-hour mark as Barnes' cutback forced Mohamed Elneny into a superb last-ditch tackle before Mustafi bravely blocked Matthew Lowton's goal-bound effort.
Arsenal had the final chance of the half as Joe Willock came within inches of scoring his first Premier League goal, turning sharply on the edge of the area and curling a shot just past the post.
The first chance of the second-half resulted in the opening goal, and it was the Gunners who got it thanks to a bit of help from the hosts.
As Arsenal pressed the Clarets, Cork was forced to play a pass back to Ben Mee. He got it all wrong though and Aubameyang pounced, racing in on goal, opening his body and coolly slotting past Heaton from inside the area to put the visitors 1-0 ahead.
Burnley were nearly back in the game when Leno came to clear a ball into the channel, but he misjudged the flight and found himself in a wrestling match with Barnes, but the 'keeper recovered well to win the ball back and clear.
With 63 minutes on the clock, Aubameyang doubled Arsenal's lead with his second of the afternoon. Iwobi's clipped ball to the back post found the inform frontman in space as he smashed a volley back across Heaton and into the net.
The home side fought back though, making it 2-1 just two minutes later thanks to Barnes' glancing header on the edge of the six-yard box, setting up a nervy ending to the game.
Despite the home side piling on the pressure and launching ball after ball into the box, Emery's men held firm and even grabbed a third through Nketiah's deflected goal from a tight angle, to end their Premier League season on a positive note ahead of the Europa League final against Chelsea on May 29.