Arse­nal through thanks to Alexis

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FOURTH ROUND - By Jamie Reid

SEAN Dy­che praised his “awk­ward” Burn­ley side af­ter they pushed Arse­nal all the way at the Emi­rates Sta­dium, be­fore fall­ing to a nar­row de­feat.

Calum Cham­bers and Alexis Sanchez scored ei­ther side of a Sam Vokes equaliser to give the Gun­ners vic­tory.

But de­spite the dis­ap­point­ment the Clarets’ boss praised his play­ers for the spirit and en­deav­our they showed af­ter haul­ing them­selves back into the game fol­low­ing the early set­back.

“It was strong from us to come down here and de­liver a per­for­mance that pushed them all the way,” he said.

“We wanted to be a more awk­ward cus­tomer and I think we were. We cre­ated plenty of chances and scored a fine goal. Un­for­tu­nately we gave them a very cheap se­cond goal. That can hap­pen here but as a man­ager you’re dis­ap­pointed in that mo­ment.

“You come to win, wher­ever you are. Peo­ple on the out­side prob­a­bly didn’t think we had a chance, but we did.

“So that’s the ul­ti­mate dis­ap­point­ment – that we didn’t get some­thing from the game. But when you look at the over­all per­for­mance I was pleased with it.”

Cham­bers opened the scor­ing on 19 min­utes as he capped off an ex­cep­tional team move. It was his se­cond goal for the Gun­ners – his first coin­ci­den­tally also against Burn­ley, in Novem­ber 2014.

It came af­ter a long spell of neat and pa­tient build-up play around the edge of the box. The ball was even­tu­ally worked out wide to the Eng­land Un­der-21 in­ter­na­tional, who ex­pertly curled the ball with the out­side of his foot across goal and into the cor­ner. How­ever, within 11 min­utes Burn­ley were level through Vokes.With the vis­i­tors con­tent to let Arsene Wenger’s side dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion – 75 per cent in the open­ing half-hour – any suc­cess was likely to come through a counter-at­tack or set piece, and it proved to be the lat­ter.

Arse­nal failed to clear David Jones’ cor­ner and, af­ter a brief scram­ble in the box, Ge­orge Boyd picked up the ball on the edge of the box. He looked wide to find Ten­dayi Darikwa burst­ing down the wing.The right-back whipped in an inch-per­fect cross onto the head of Vokes, who rose above Gabriel and headed Burn­ley level.

With a ti­tle to chase and back-to­back Cham­pi­ons League games against Barcelona fast ap­proach­ing, Wenger would have been keen to avoid a re­play and in the se­cond half the Gun­ners came out of the blocks fly­ing.

Fol­low­ing an in­ci­sive break­away Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain was played into space on the right wing. He picked out Sanchez with a low cross and the game’s stand­out per­former calmly slot­ted Arse­nal back into the lead and into Sun­day’s draw.

The vic­tory means the Gun­ners re­main on course to be­come the first team to win the FA Cup three times in a row since Black­burn in 1886.

But the Arse­nal boss in­sists his side will not be dis­tracted by the prospect of be­com­ing his­tory mak­ers.

“We have only passed two rounds, it’s a long way to go,” Wenger said. “We are still in three com­pe­ti­tions so we try ev­ery time to get a team out to pass the round.

“We needed to work. At the start it looked like it would be easy be­cause we had a lot of the ball and good op­por­tu­ni­ties around the box. When it be­came 1-1 it be­came a dif­fer­ent game be­cause we were a bit shocked and they gained be­lief.

“Ev­ery­thing they do is based on ef­fi­ciency and they’ve shown that again.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CLARETS CUT DOWN: Alexis Sanchez scores the se­cond goal for Arse­nal

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