The quality of Ceballos and new look Gunners – Five things from Arsenal’s win over Burnley
PUBLISHED: 11:11 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 19 August 2019
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As Arsenal pick up another three points, the Islington Gazette’s Dan Mountney assesses their 2-1 win over Burnley at the Emirates on Sunday.
Dani Ceballos made his full Arsenal debut against Burnley, and what a debut it was.
In a masterful display reminiscent of Gunners favourite and compatriot Santi Cazorla, the Spaniard showed all the hallmarks of an Arsenal player.
Delighting the Emirates faithful with some brilliant touches and close control, he brought a calmness to Unai Emery's midfield as he dictated the game.
For all the tricks and flicks, there was a toughness about his game too, stepping in to win the ball on a number of occasions most notably to set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's winner.
The 23-year-old received a standing ovation when he came off in the 83rd minute, and it was one he'd thoroughly earned.
If Ceballos can keep putting in those kind of performances, he's in for a brilliant season in north London.
Pepe shows promise
Club-record signing Nicolas Pepe came on at half-time as Emery looked to swing the game back in Arsenal's favour, and the Ivorian showed signs of just how devastating he can be.
A powerful cross-field run to drag the Gunners forward, a clever ball to set up a chance for Aubameyang, some dazzling footwork and a brilliant nutmeg on Ben Mee were among his highlight reel.
The 24-year-old is still getting up to speed with his fitness and adapting to life in England, but the signs look good.
There is a sense that Pepe will explode into life soon, and the upcoming clash with Liverpool at Anfield or the north London derby against Tottenham would be the perfect places to do it.
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When Arsenal signed David Luiz from Chelsea on deadline day, there was a feeling that while he has a mistake in him, he would shore up the Gunners defence well enough.
That's exactly what happened on his debut.
The experienced Brazilian looked solid for the most part as Arsenal weather Burnley's bombardment of crosses and long balls, but it was his mistake that let the Clarets back into the game.
As everyone around him stepped up to play offside, Luiz was switched off, playing Ashley Barnes onside as he levelled the scored.
While the defender will be an asset in north London, they need him to cut out the mistakes if they want to make the top four come the end of the season.
Toughing it out
It was pretty at times on Saturday, but as was the case last weekend at Newcastle, Arsenal earned a result after being tested.
As crosses and long balls rained down on the Gunners box, they held firm and weathered the storm with a solidity that has often evaded them in recent seasons.
Unai Emery used the word 'professional' to describe the win at Newcastle, and you could use the same word again to describe victory over Burnley.
A sign of a top team is winning games when you aren't playing well. Arsenal certainly showed that on Saturday, but they will face sterner tests and must improve.
Often criticised for its lack of atmosphere, the Emirates was alive on Saturday afternoon.
The roar that went up for both goals was deafening, and the everyone in the ground rose in unison to applaud Dani Ceballos off the pitch.
Whether it's just because of the optimism after a brilliant summer of transfer business, or the change will last throughout the season, the atmosphere at the Emirates was much better against Burnley.
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