Alexis Sanchez wheels away in celebration after converting a 98th minute penalty for Arsenal against Burnle in the Premier League
Arsenal snatched a vital win at the Emirates Stadium last night in a tension-filled Premier League clash against Burnley. Alexis Sanchez scored a 98th minute penalty to take Arsenal to second place after manager Arsene Wenger had been sent off for pushing the fourth official on the touchline.
Arsenal came into the game optimistic, having beaten Burnley away at Turf Moor earlier this season by a solitary goal. The game sprung to life just around the hour mark, when German defender Shkodran Mustafi rose to head home his first goal for the North-London side since his move from Valencia.
It went wrong just minutes later for Arsenal, when Swiss international Granit Xhaka lunged in at Steven Defour recklessly after losing the ball to him. His two-footed challenge was deemed worthy of a red card by referee John Moss. This was the second red card Xhaka had received this season. The former Basel and Monchengladbach man had been sent off against Swansea before, ironically by John Moss again. The midfielder now faces a four game ban.
Granit Xhaka has been sent off more times (5) than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues since the start of last season. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/6pPrENI9ko— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 22, 2017
The tension was electric as the match progressed towards stoppage time in the second half. When the fourth official decided to give seven minutes of injury time, the entire stadium groaned in unison. Moments later, Burnley were given a penalty after a clumsy challenge from Francis Coquelin on striker Ashley Barnes was spotted by the referee. Manager Arsene Weneger was then given his marching orders for pushing the fourth official on the touchline.
Andre Gray, a lifelong Arsenal fan, stepped up and slotted the ball past Petr Cech, who managed to get a hand on it but not a decisive one. Arsenal seemed destined for a draw when Alexis Sanchez swung in a hopeful cross into the box for Laurent Koscienly to meet. The defender was caught on the face by Burnley centre back, Ben Mee, as Arsenal got an unlikely lifeline to win the game.
Alexis Sanchez stepped up to take the subsequent penalty, executing a delightifully cheeky Panenka chip over the keeper to keep Arsenal within sniffing distance of Chelsea, who seem to be unstoppable at the moment. The Blues lead the league with 55 points from 22 games. Arsenal are eight points behind Atonio Conte's men.
Alexis Sanchez's ice cool panenka penalty in the last minute ☄️ pic.twitter.com/pS0omNNcTq— abdeè (@abdirahmanali96) January 22, 2017