Martin Odegaard’s moment of magic proved the difference as Arsenal hung on to secure a vital 1-0 win away at Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
Mikel Arteta made two changes from the side that recorded a first league win of the season at home to Norwich City last weekend, with Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey taking the place of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga in midfield.
Faced with the tricky task of getting a result away at Turf Moor, the Gunners made a bright start in the opening exchanges, with Martin Odegaard pulling the strings in midfield, albeit with his side struggling to fashion any real clear-cut openings.
With the game crying out for a moment of magic to break the deadlock, up stepped the Norway international to do just that, the playmaker curling in a delightful free-kick from just outside the area for his first goal since his permanent return from Real Madrid in the summer.
The introduction of debutant Maxwell Cornet after the break appeared to breathe new life into the home side, the former Lyon man going to close making an instant impact with a curling effort from just inside the box.
Sean Dyche’s men then thought they’d been gifted a way back into the game after Aaron Ramsdale looked to have brought down Matej Vydra inside the area following a sloppy Ben White back pass, before the penalty decision was eventually overturned following a lengthy VAR review.
Aggrieved by that decision, the hosts continued to probe for an equaliser in the remaining 20 or so minutes, yet the visitors held firm to secure a second successive win to relieve the pressure on Arteta.
After the game, the Spaniard admitted he was ‘proud’ of his side for securing the win, with particular praise going to the defence who recorded a second successive clean sheet.
“It was a hard-fought victory at a really tough place. You have to be ready for a fight,” Arteta told BBC’s MOTD.
”In the first half we had some really good periods when we were really dominant and should have scored more goals. In the second half we gave the ball away cheaply too many times.
“We have players who are not at their strength playing in this type of game, but they did their best and we got the win. I’m very proud of them defensively and I’m really pleased with the win.
“It’s two wins in a row, two clean sheets. Let’s go again. We have a lot to catch up!”
Arsenal are next in action at home to AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, with the north London derby to come against Tottenham at the Emirates next Sunday.