Arsenal count lucky stars after ‘fortunate’ win
Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal were lucky to come away with a narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley after a disputed injury-time winner took them within two points of the Premier League summit.
Burnley were left frustrated after defender Laurent Koscielny scored from a corner deep into stoppage time, as the ball rebounded off his hand and over the line.
Despite the controversial finish, a fifth consecutive league win moves Arsenal up to third, two points behind leaders Manchester City who surrendered their 100 percent start in a 2-0 defeat to second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“I was fuming because we played the short corner at the end of the two added minutes,” said Wenger.
“I was asking why didn’t we take the direct corner? I didn’t see it go in, but I’ve been told that we were fortunate to get the goal.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche cut a frustrated figure after the defeat, which left his newly promoted side 14th in the table.
“It’s a frustrating way to lose because the goal is handball and it’s six seconds over the allotted two minutes of injury-time. It might not sound a lot, but it was to us,” said Dyche.
“Despite the defeat, there are a lot of positives for us to take. We kept Arsenal to very few real chances, so I was pleased defensively.”
Arsenal went a record ninth game unbeaten in all competitions and Wenger described it as a “big win” after City’s defeat to Spurs.
“It’s a big win because City lost,” said Wenger, adding: “We were five points behind them going into this game, and when you get a chance to move closer you can’t miss it, so we have to be pleased with the way we kept going to finally get the win.”
The veteran French boss made just one change from the side that beat Basel in the Champions League mid-week, and conceded his players looked jaded at times as they struggled to overcome a Burnley team which is adapting well after to life back in the top flight.
“We came through what was a big test against a very motivated side,” he said. “Our legs were not as dynamic as recent games and we made some technical mistakes.
“Burnley made it very difficult for us, they played with intelligence so I have to pay credit to my team for the way they kept going. You only have a chance to win a game like this if you do that.
“In the end, I thought that it was the kind of game where you can win by a single goal, or you can lose by a single goal.”