Arsenal went unbeaten for the fifth Premier League game on the bounce as they settled for a goalless stalemate against Burnley on the road. Mikel Arteta’s side also picked up their fourth successive draw in the top-flight and as a result, they were unable to reduce their 10-point deficit to Chelsea, who are occupying the final Champions League spot.
Three things we learned:
Arsenal’s struggles turn from defence to the attack: The Gunners’ poor defensive record was the main concern during the first half of the season but there has been an improvement over the same with two clean sheets in the past five league games. Moreover, they have looked more assured at the back under the guidance of Arteta, but that has somewhat hampered the attacking prowess of the team. While the frontmen have got into genuine goalscoring positions, they have not been able to capitalise on the chances at hand. Alexandre Lacazette has been the main disappointment, having squandered a string of scoring opportunities. The Frenchman has failed to find the net for nearly two months despite being the regular choice to lead the line.
Shkodran Mustafi proving his worth: Mustafi was the subject of immense criticism from some fans after the defensive mistake which contributed to David Luiz’s sending off at Chelsea few weeks ago. The German was able to produce a solid second half performance in that game as the Gunners came up with a hard-fought 2-2 draw. Since then, the centre-back has been handed with back-to-back starts at the heart of the defence and he has redeemed himself with standout and faultless performances. At Burnley, the Gunners did concede a couple of clear-cut chances but Mustafi still had a command over his position. He made seven clearances, two interceptions and won seven aerial duels, as per whoscored.
Arsenal’s unbeaten but frustrating run: Arsenal continue to remain unbeaten since the beginning of 2020 but the fans won’t be entirely pleased with the set of results. Though Arteta has changed the mentality and workrate of the players, the same has not necessarily resulted in victories, especially in the Premier League. The Gunners have managed one win and four draws in the top-flight in 2020 and that has meant that they have been unable to close the 10-point gap to fourth-placed Chelsea, who have also bagged five points from as many games. Arteta’s side have the home advantage for the next three league games against Newcastle United, Everton and West Ham United and they definitely need to pick up maximum points to keep their top-four hopes alive.