Daily Star

Kai and mighty

Critics say Arsenal still lack an out-and-out striker but Havertz hits back: The goals are flying in from all over the pitch now


BURNLEY 0 ARSENAL 5 KAI HAVERTZ claims Arsenal have proved they were right not to splash out on a striker in the last transfer window.

Mikel Arteta was urged to buy a top goalscorer after Arsenal netted just five times in seven games, culminatin­g in their FA Cup defeat by Liverpool.

They scored just once in the back-toback Premier League defeats by Fulham and West Ham and the critics said Arsenal could not win one of the game’s big prizes without a proven marksman.

But a sunshine training camp in Dubai clearly sorted them out and the on-fire Gunners have now banged in 21 goals in their last five games.

Arteta always believed in his players and Havertz, who bagged the fifth goal at Burnley, claims the key is sharing the goalscorin­g burden: Nine different players have netted during their hot run.

“We have to stay focused because after one game without five goals you’re gonna write we need a striker!” former Chelsea star Havertz said

“So we just work hard and enjoy ourselves on the pitch – that’s what we did today. We all trust ourselves and we know the quality we all have. We have to give trust to each other and that’s what we’ve done.

“It’s not only up to the strikers to score goals, defenders can score goals for us. That’s so important.”

Arsenal have climbed above Manchester City to second in the table, just two points behind leaders Liverpool, but Havertz played down any title talk.

“It’s too early to speak about that,” he said. “We try to just look game by game and then see where we go because Liverpool, City, Spurs, Aston Villa are all winning so many games. So it’s so tough. It makes no sense to look at them, we just look at ourselves, win the games and then see where we go.”

Arsenal, the Premier League’s form

team, obliterate­d

Burnley after the mercurial Martin Odegaard began the onslaught in the fourth minute.

Bukayo Saka scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, to take his tally to six in his last four games, before Leandro Trossard and Havertz netted.

Turf Moor started emptying of home fans when Trossard scored on 65 minutes and more left when Havertz capitalise­d on some awful Burnley defending to complete the rout 12 minutes later for Vincent Kompany’s heaviest league defeat.

Burnley, who have lost an embarrassi­ng 10 of their 13 home games, are surely doomed to relegation.

By the starkest of contrasts, Arsenal are perfectly placed to improve their Champions League record

– they have not gone beyond the last 16 since

2010 when they beat Wednesday’s opponents, Porto. The Gunners have lost their previous seven last-16 ties but Havertz says they are in the mood to put that right.

“We go into this game to win it, 100 percent,” he said. “We have big goals. We said that before this season as well. These games are the most important, but also the nicest to play.

“We’re looking forward to the Porto game on Wednesday and we’ll work hard to be well prepared.”

Three of Arsenal’s next four Premier League matches are at home. They host Newcastle on Saturday night and, after a trip to Sheffield United, they welcome Brentford and Chelsea to the Emirates.

Burnley do not meet another top-six side until a visit to Manchester United at the end of April.

BURNLEY (4-4-2): Trafford 4, Assignon 3 (Vitinho 77), O’Shea 3, Esteve 4 (Taylor 61, 4), Delcroix 3, Ramsey 4 (Rodriguez 62, 5), Berge 5, Brownhill 5, Odobert 5 (Bruun Larsen 78), Fofana 4, Amdouni 4 (Gudmundsso­n 45, 4) Subs: Muric, Cork, Benson, Cullen

ARSENAL (4-3-3): Raya 6, White 7 (Soares 67, 7), Gabriel 7, Saliba 7, Kiwior 7, Odegaard 9, Rice 7 (Jorginho 77), Havertz 8 (Smith Rowe 82), Saka 9 BURNLEY

(Nelson 67, 6), 35% 0 Trossard 7 (Nketiah 5 67, 6), Martinelli 7 309 Subs: Ramsdale, 73% Elneny, Bandeira, 4 Sweet 5 11

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 ?? ?? TASTE VICTORY Saka is a happy man after bagging his second goal to make the scoreline 3-0
TASTE VICTORY Saka is a happy man after bagging his second goal to make the scoreline 3-0
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Havertz enjoys scoring the Gunners’ fifth goal to complete the hammering
YOU F-EAR US! Havertz enjoys scoring the Gunners’ fifth goal to complete the hammering

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