Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
A second half Alexis Sanchez goal saw holders Arsenal edge out a spirited Burnley in an entertaining FA Cup fourth round tie at the Emirates .
Sam Vokes had earlier cancelled out Calum Chambers’ opener to reward their first half efforts and delight over 2,000 travelling Clarets in the 59,932 crowd, marking Burnley’s biggest FA Cup attendance since the 1962 FA Cup final!
But striker Chilean Sanchez, featuring for the Gunners for the first time since November, grabbed the winner early in the second half to keep Arsene Wenger's men on course for a third successive FA Cup triumph.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche made two changes, with Fredrik Ulvestad and Tendayi Darikwa replacing Joey Barton and Matthew Lowton, who both dropped to the bench.
Goalkeper Paul Robinson was named on the bench after his arrival on Tuesday.
And it was a fearless start from the Clarets, whose bright attacking display was almost rewarded just two minutes in.
Vokes’ flick-on found Andre Gray on the penalty spot, but the boyhood Arsenal fan drilled his half-volley inches wide.
And moments after a ninth minute applause for former Burnley striker Ray Pointer – who sadly passed away on Tuesday – Gray had a golden chance.
Michael Keane’s ball forward was intercepted by Laurent Koscielny, before Gray effortlessly shrugged off the Gunners’ captain.
Gray then advanced at goal with Vokes to his left, but opted to shoot, forcing a fine save from Columbian international David Ospina.
However the deadlock was broken nine minutes later when Chambers scored his second in as many starts against Burnley.
Sanchez, who also scored a brace against the Clarets last season, found his full back on the corner of the box, and the England international exquisitely beat Tom Heaton with the outside of his right foot.
But the hosts’ lead lasted just 10 minutes as the Clarets were level on the half hour mark!
Burnley’s initial raid down the left brought a cross from David Jones that was only was half cleared, before Scott Arfield squared to Darikwa on the right touchline.
And the full back’s sublime cross was inch-perfect for Vokes six-yards out, for the Welshman – who pledged his future to the Clarets last week – to bury his header into the bottom right corner.
The hosts were stunned and took time to recover, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went for goal a minute before the break.
However, his effort was straight at Heaton, meaning the Clarets deservedly headed into the interval on level terms with the cup holders.
From the restart Burnley continued to attack and could have taken the lead a minute in.
Jones’ free-kick into the box was flicked on to the far post by Ben Mee, where Gray was poaching, but couldn’t find the target.
And five minutes later, on the counter, the Gunners reclaimed their lead.
Arsenal collected a stray Burnley pass deep inside their own territory and broke quickly, before Chamberlain's low delivery from the right was struck first time by Sanchez into the top right corner.
Scott Arfield then cleared Koscielny’s header off the line to deny a quick-fire Arsenal double, before debutant Mohamed Elneny forced a decent save out of Heaton with a long-range strike.
Heaton then pulled off a stunning save to keep the arrears to one, clawing away Sanchez’s close-ranged free-kick at full stretch.
The Clarets made three changes midway through the second half.
Barton, Rouwen Hennings and Michael Kightly replaced the trio of Jones, Vokes and George Boyd as Burnley went searching for the equaliser.
And Barton almost set up an 89th minute equaliser, clipping the ball over the back four to play in Gray, whose shot from the edge of the area trickled past Ospina’s near post.
Heaton brilliantly denied sub Theo Walcott deep in stoppage time, as Burnley went fro broke.
But there would be no last-gasp chance for the Clarets, who now have their full focus on returning to The Emirates on an equal footing next season.
Burnley: Heaton; Darikwa, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd (Kightly 80), Jones (Barton 67), Ulvestad, Arfield; Vokes (Hennings 75), Gray
Subs: Robinson, Duff, Taylor, Lowton
Yellow: Arfield 65’
Arsenal: Ospina; Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Koscienly; Chamberlain, Sanchez (Walcott 78), Coquelin (Rosicky 70), Elneny; Iwobi (Arteta 70), Giroud
Subs: Monreal, Bellerin, Campbell, Cech.
Yellow: Koscienly 73’
Referee: Roger East