Ben White survived an all-powerful fear as Arsenal clung to a vital 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The £ 50million summer signing from Brighton was Turf Moor’s most relieved man when VAR reversed a Clarets penalty after confirming Aaron Ramsdale had in fact touched the ball when challenging Matej Vydra.
It was a back pass from White that allowed the Czech forward to rush into the box, but compatriot Ramsdale got a crucial touch on the ball with his right boot.
The Gunners came under intense pressure from the hosts in the second half after taking the lead with a sumptuous free kick from Martin Odegaard.
Former Real Madrid starlet Odegaard left Nick Pope no chance as he sent a left-footed effort into the far corner and sparked crazy celebrations among his teammates.
After securing their first three points and scoring their first goal of the season against Norwich City last weekend, traveling fans in London had much to celebrate after an austere start to the season.
If they had any illusions about the difficulty of the task at hand in Lancashire, the unsuitable location of their changing rooms would have provided them with a timely reminder.
Due to Premier League COVID-19 regulations, visitors were forced to change in a free room as opposed to the usual outside dressing room – a true Sunday League flavor on display.
An airstrike ensued from the hosts and Ashley Barnes almost profited after a long Nick Pope ball fell favorably behind White, but the 31-year-old was only able to shoot his volley over the bar.
Arsenal were playing well however and duly took their deserved lead at the half hour mark when Odegaard hit a free kick located center right of the bewildered Pope and thrilled Arsenal fans.
In the second half and Sean Dyche threw everything in to save the game, with the record signing Maxwel Cornet forcing a save from the impressive Ramsdale.
They almost found the opportunity to equalize when substitute Vydra was inadvertently played by White’s back pass and cleaned up by the former Sheffield United goalkeeper.
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Anthony Taylor awarded a penalty, but the video assistant referee confirmed that the keeper had touched the ball and the decision was overturned.
Jay Rodriguez’s introduction threatened to spark panic in Arsenal’s box, but Ramsdale’s calming presence at the back ensured they remained strong and brought three vital points back to the Emirates.