Football

Another Arsenal defeat, but Arteta says there's no panic

Defeat by Burnley is Gunners' fourth in their last five EPL matches

Arsenal slumped to their fourth defeat in five English Premier League matches yesterday morning (Singapore time) after going down 1-0 at home to Burnley. Despite the club sitting just five points above the relegation zone, manager Mikel Arteta is not pressing the panic button.

With 13 points from 12 games, Arsenal are off to their worst start to a season in almost 40 years and the pressure is building on Spaniard Arteta, who was brought in last season to turn around the north London club's fortunes.

"I wouldn't say there's panic. I can see in training the way they try and the energy they put in," Arteta said.

"A team that is struggling, normally you don't see them play the way we were playing, and the way they played against Tottenham Hotspur.

"But we lost the game, we gave the opponents a chance and they scored. And at this level, it is all about winning football matches."

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka was sent off early in the second half before forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored an own goal.

Scottish fullback Kieran Tierney said the players had let Arteta down.

"We are not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him," Tierney said. "Every game there are signs we are doing a bit better but it is still not good enough.

"There are no excuses. There is nothing I can say that will make people believe a positive thing is going to come out of this."

Arteta's side were enjoying a spell of strong pressure after the interval, testing Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, when Xhaka was sent off after a VAR (video assistant referee) review spotted him grabbing Burnley's Ashley Westwood by the throat.

The London side have received six EPL red cards since Arteta took over Arsenal in December 2019, double that of any other side in that time.

Indeed, Arsenal were lucky not to go down to nine men after Mohamed Elneny pushed James Tarkowski firmly in the face at a corner but was given just a yellow card after a VAR review.

Westwood created the decisive goal in the 73rd minute, when his dangerous in-swinging corner was headed by Aubameyang into his own goal as he rose to challenge Josh Brownhill at the near post.

Arsenal created plenty of pressure in the latter stages but Sean Dyche's team held firm, helped by the excellent goalkeeping of Pope.

Pope had kept Burnley on level terms before the break with a good save with his feet from Alexandre Lacazette in the 28th minute and a reaction save from a Bukayo Saka snap-shot after the interval.

Burnley striker Chris Wood had missed an early chance when he was found unmarked in the box by Robbie Brady but his head failed to find the target.

There were 2,000 supporters at the Emirates Stadium but some left before the end, while one fan was pictured with his face mask pulled up over his eyes.

"I think the win gives us more belief. The fitness is getting better, the Premier League sharpness, the win adds to the belief but the next game comes around quickly," Dyche said. - REUTERS

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