The FA Cup is known for its shocks and upsets but today was fortunately not one of them.
In this 4th round tie, it was a battle of the 3rd placed teams as Arsenal faced Championship side Burnley. It would definitely not be an easy game as they are high flying, only just got relegated last year and they still have a similar team.
As usual in the FA Cup Wenger rested some players and tried out others (9 changes from the defeat to Chelsea.) In defence, Ospina started instead of Cech, Chambers was at right back instead of Bellerin and Gibbs instead of Monreal. Mertesacker was suspended so it meant that Gabriel partnered captain for the day Koscielny which I think is the best centre back pairing anyway.
In midfield there was a debut for Elneny and he partnered fit again Coquelin who had returned from a long injury spell. Youngster Iwobi also started as he has impressed when given a chance and he joined Chamberlain and fit again Alexis Sanchez as the more attacking midfielders.
Giroud started up front and had a point to prove after unfortunately getting sacrificed because of Mertesacker’s sending off against Chelsea.
The game started lively and Arsenal quickly asserted their premier league dominance by dictating the play and creating chances. However Burnley had a great chance saved by Ospina on the break so we needed to stay balanced.
We broke the deadlock after just under 20 minutes through a very unlikely source in Calum Chambers (imagine putting a bet on that) but it wasn’t a typical defender goal by any means! After some good work from Sanchez he set up Chambers who surprisingly curled it into the net in style.
However this lead lasted only 10 minutes as Burnley’s big number 9 Vokes headed in the equaliser before half time.
So it was 1-1 at half time and we weren’t at our best but I still thought we would win.
It took under 10 minutes for us to take the lead again and this time it was from a much more likely scorer. Alexis Sanchez came back to full fitness with a bang after finishing a great team counter attack.
With the game on Tuesday against Southampton Wenger took off the returning Coquelin and Sanchez as well as Iwobi who really took his chance well.
Rosicky came on for his first appearance of the season which was good to see and for once everyone is coming back for us rather than getting injured. Welbeck is also on his way back so that just leaves Cazorla and Wilshere on the treatment table. Fan favourite Joey Barton also came on for Burnley and received a nice welcome!
After Sanchez’s goal Burnley couldn’t get back into it and we had chances to kill the game off. Walcott in particular should have made it 3-1 right at the end when he was one on one with the keeper only to run straight into him.
After a nervy last few minutes we held on to get the result and are through to the fifth round awaiting the draw on Sunday.
We have now gone 14 games unbeaten in the FA Cup and we still have a chance to win it an impressive three times in a row!