EPL Matchday 27 of 38: Arsenal held by Burnley / Leicester solidify Top 4 berth
EPL Matchday 27 of 38 reports: Arsenal held by Burnley as Leicester solidify Top Four berth in the Premier League table.
Burnley 1, Arsenal 1 – Saturday, March 7, 2021
Arsenal lost a chance to break into the Top eight when an error from Granit Xhaka allowed Burnley to equalize and hold Mikel Arteta’s Gunners to a 1-1 draw after they were down to an early Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal at Turf Moor on Saturday noon.
Arteta who made five changes to his side ahead of a trip to Greece to play Olympiakos in the Europa League next Thursday, saw his team forge ahead in the 6th minute through Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker was put through by Willian as he fooled right-back Matthew Lowton with a stepover in the build-up and squeezed in a shot under the glove of goalkeeper Nick Pope into the bottom corner of the net.
Burnley looked insipid in the first half and should have gone down by another goal but Bukayo Saka missed a golden opportunity as he sent his shot flying wide from close range. Thomas Partey then came close to threatening a shaky Pope, but his effort sailed over.
Martin Odegaard who was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette on the stroke of the hour almost gave Arsenal the lead when his low drive six minutes into the second period was somehow saved by Pope.
Arsenal thought they had earned a penalty a little later when Erik Pieters appeared to handle the ball inside the box but after replays, the VAR showed he had diverted Nicolas Pepe’s shot onto the bar with his shoulder and the Burnley left-back survived a potential red card for deliberate handball.
Buoyed by the let-off, hosts Burnley looked to take control of proceedings as Bernd Leno was forced into a fine in keeping out Erik Pieters’ dipping 30-yard volley and then used his leg to deny Wood in a one-on-one situation.
Chris Wood then wasted a glorious chance to put Burnley ahead with 10 minutes remaining in a one-on-one with Leno but the Gunners custodian stood firm. Arsenal laid a late siege on the Burnley goal in the dying stages of the game as an unmarked Pepe completely missed his kick from 8 yards away and both Aubameyang and Dani Ceballos failed to capitalize on Kieran Tierney’s cross in injury time.
The Clarets survived one more call for penalty even as a Ceballos effort hit the post.
Burnley clung on to their fifth successive draw at Turf Moor as they inched seven points away from relegation to the 15th spot now. For Arteta and Gunners, it was sheer frustration as they lost out on three expected points and now cling on to top half of the table on the tenth and are two points behind Aston Villa have two games in hand to boot.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1, Leicester City 2 – Saturday, March 7, 2021
Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes came back from being a goal down to beat Brighton 1-2 at the Amex stadium on Saturday night and secure their position in the 3rd spot on the Premier League table.
The Seagulls went ahead with just 10 minutes of play gone when Adam Lallana was played through with a clever pass from Neal Maupay and the ex-Liverpool midfielder made no mistake with a nice finish past Kasper Schmeichel for his first goal in 32 league games.
Leicester were denied an equalizer by a superb finger-tip save from Burnley custodian Robert Sanchez off a thunderous 25-yard half volley from Sidney Tavares. Brighton went agonizingly close to make it 2-0 when Lallana’s header from a whipping Pascal Gross free kick hit the far post.
The hosts were made to pay for the missed opportunity when Youri Tielemans’s pass completely bamboozled the Brighton defense to find out Iheanacho who coolly dinked in his finish past Sanchez in the 62nd minute of play.
Mark Albrighton whipped in a late corner as keeper Sanchez’s punch through a maze of bodies fell to Daniel Amartey who was in the right place to head home.
Brighton after Saturday’s defeat are just a place away from relegation territory and in the 17th spot currently. The Seagulls are on equal points with 18th placed Fulham who dispatched off title-holders Liverpool 0-1 at Anfield on Sunday.
Other results from Saturday, March 7, 2021 games
- Aston Villa 0, Wolves 0
- Sheffield United 0, Southampton 2
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