Odegaard free-kick secures Arsenal’s win at Burnley


Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Martin Odegaard’s exquisite free-kick handed Arsenal a 1-0 win against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday as Mikel Arteta’s team recorded back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season.

The Norway midfielder guided a shot above Burnley’s wall from 25 yards out in the 30th minute to score his first goal since joining Arsenal permanently from Real Madrid in August.

The Gunners had recorded their worst start to a league campaign in 67 years after losing their first three matches without scoring a goal.

But a 1-0 win against Norwich last week eased the pressure on beleaguered manager Arteta and Arsenal followed it up in the northwest after withstanding Burnley’s expected aerial barrage.

Thomas Partey made his first league start of the season as Arteta brought in the Ghanaian and Emile Smith Rowe for Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Clarets strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood caused problems for Arsenal’s defence without creating clear-cut chances.

Gabriel and Takehiro Tomiyasu denied Barnes from close range as the visitors struggled to fire despite dominating possession before Odegaard’s sumptuous free-kick.

Arsenal signed the 22-year-old — long touted as one of football’s brightest young talents since joining Real Madrid aged 16 in 2015 — for £30 million ($41 million) after he impressed on loan last season.

Matt Lowton tested Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale — who retained his place ahead of Bernd Leno in front of onlooking England manager Gareth Southgate — after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Burnley thought they had a penalty after Matej Vydra tumbled over Ramsdale following Ben White’s poor back-pass.

But VAR intervened and referee Anthony Taylor overturned his initial decision, much to Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s displeasure.

The hosts continued to press late on but Arsenal’s defence held firm to ease the concerns the London club’s fans had after their team’s poor start to the season.

Winless Burnley remain in the relegation zone having taken one point from their opening five league matches and have not won any of their last 13 home top-flight games.

Arsenal host arch-rivals Tottenham in the north London derby a week on Sunday.

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