Ramsey hits winner at Burnley as Arsenal keep up pressure on Chelsea
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Burnley 0 Arsenal 1
Aaron Ramsey’s early strike at Turf Moor was enough to secure Arsenal’s eighth straight league victory and maintain their pursuit of leaders Chelsea.
Ramsey netted after 11 minutes for his third goal in five games – and that proved sufficient to settle an often scrappy encounter and lift the Gunners to within four points of top spot.
A couple of early opportunities fell to Alexis Sanchez, who had a 30-yard free-kick easily held by Tom Heaton and then swept a shot on the turn over the bar.
Burnley’s best moments came when Sam Vokes found space out wide and the visitors looked in trouble when he outpaced Per Mertesacker and cut inside, but David Ospina came out to smother the chance.
And the Gunners broke the deadlock when Francis Coquelin cut out Jason Shackell’s misdirected pass and set up the counter-attack, with Mesut Ozil’s drive blocked by Heaton before a round of pinball in the penalty area ended with Ramsey slotting crisply into the roof of the net.
For the most part, Arsenal comfortably dictated possession without creating many chances in a contest that was punctuated by a string of free-kicks.
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And the home side went close to levelling from one of those, with Kieran Trippier’s effort curling away from Ospina, who sprang to his right to punch the ball clear.
Burnley began the second period brightly and Ashley Barnes swivelled to strike a right-foot volley that brought another save from Ospina.
At the other end, Sanchez was denied again by Heaton and Ozil set up an opening for Ramsey, but the Welshman delayed his shot and enabled Ben Mee to get the block in.
And Mee then created the Clarets’ best chance with 21 minutes remaining as he gave Hector Bellerin the slip and crossed for George Boyd, whose attempted half-volley resulted in an air shot.
Danny Ings also went close with an awkward volley, but that brief sniff of hope for the home side soon gave way to a renewed spell of Arsenal domination.
The Gunners seemed content simply to keep the ball and rarely looked like adding further goals, although both Santi Cazorla and Coquelin struck ambitious efforts wide of the target in the closing stages.
Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Cazorla, Coquelin; Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez (Chambers 90); Giroud (Welbeck 82).