Burnley 0 Arsenal 1BURNLEY were denied what would have been a hard earned point against Arsenal in controversial fashion in stoppage time.
The Clarets looked to be heading for an excellent goalless draw against the Gunners.
But a 92nd minute corner for Arsene Wenger’s side went in off the arm of Laurent Koscielny from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s finish.
It was a cruel double blow for the Clarets, who had defended resolutely to limit Arsenal to few chances overall, while forcing Petr Cech into a fine save and hitting the woodwork at the other end.
And Sean Dyche’s side would have been fully deserving of the draw they seemed destined for before the late set piece.
Burnley, unsurprisingly unchanged from Monday night’s 2-0 win over Watford, used their 4-5-1 formation to good effect defensively to silence the Gunners’ ammunition for the most part and allowed them to build attacks of their own.
After Arsenal tried to make early inroads through Alex Iwobi, who could not keep his shot down, Matt Lowton had the right idea in driving forward and looking for Sam Vokes, but the right back's pass ran through to Petr Cech.
Arsenal went forward again and Theo Walcott turned to receive a clever ball from Alexis Sanchez, but dragged wide across Tom Heaton’s goal.
Stephen Ward was then alert to cut out the danger when Santi Cazorla tried to slide in Victor Bellerin.
And as Burnley continued to run a tight, organised and disciplined ship against the Gunners Dean Marney got back to defend well to stop Iwobi linking with Mesut Ozil in the box.
Heaton was being well protected by the 10 men in front of him, pressing hard in all parts of the pitch to frustrate the visitors and provide opportunities to counter.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson demonstrated good movement and awareness to try to find a way through before Vokes came up with the chance of the half as Burnley began to see more of the ball as half-time approached.
Play was switched from left to right, where Lowton picked out Vokes in the box, but the Wales international headed wide of the near right post.
It was a big chance for the striker after beating the offside trap, and he knew it.
But Burnley could be satisfied with a solid opening 45 minutes in which everyone stuck to their tasks.
It was not the way that Wenger would have expected his 21st year in charge to begin, and Arsenal started the second half strongly.
Sanchez provided the first real test of Heaton early after the Gunners worked the ball sharply around the box, but Heaton was a match for the Chilean, stopping the shot then smothering the ball.
Burnley were keen to show they still had plenty to offer in an attacking sense to this contest.
Jeff Hendrick had time and space on the ball but went for an ambitious long range shot that curled away from goal, despite having Lowton in support.
Gudmundsson was unlucky not to put the Clarets in front with a towering header from Stephen Ward’s excellent cross that had Cech at full stretch to save.
Gudmundsson turned provider with a corner, from which a towering Michael Keane headed against the crossbar.
Burnley’s near miss came in between Sanchez flashing a right foot volley narrowly wide and Walcott bending a shot from the edge of the box wide across Heaton’s goal.
Burnley looked to have done enough to get the point.
But when Walcott headed on a stoppage time corner, Oxlade-Chamberlain turned it goalwards, hitting the arm of Koscielny, and Heaton was helpless.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Defour (Arfield 62), Hendrick, Marney, Gudmundsson, Vokes
Subs: Robinson, Flanagan, Kightly, O'Neill, Bamford, Tarkowski
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka (Elneny 71), Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71), Alexis
Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Reine-Adelaide
Ref: C Pawson
Att: 20,982 (2,402)