Arsenal star proving Martin Keown right as Gunners blow Burnley away | Football | Sport

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Arsenal retained their unbeaten Premier League record in 2024 with an impressive 5-0 victory over Burnley on Saturday. Bukayo Saka stole the show for the Gunners, scoring twice to showcase why he will be key if his side are to get their hands on the title this season.

Martin Odegaard opened the scoring in sensational style after just four minutes at Turf Moor, receiving Gabriel Martinelli’s cut-back just outside the penalty area before whipping a sweet strike into the bottom corner to set the tone on the afternoon.

Bukayo Saka then doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot in the 41st minute after Leandro Trossard was brought down by Lorenz Assignon as he made his way towards goal. The England international grabbed his second just moments after the half-time break, smashing a fierce strike into the roof of the net with his right foot.

Trossard then made it four in the 64th minute after the ball deflected into his path after a ruthless counter-attack down the left, with the ex-Brighton star curling a neat finish pass James Trafford with his left foot before Kai Havertz put the icing on the cake with an impressive solo effort in the 78th minute. Express Sport runs through five key talking points from the match…

Sensational Saka proves Keown right

Title-winning sides often have a star player, and Saka is exactly that for Arsenal. The England international has scored six goals and assisted one in his last five appearances, and his back-to-back braces only highlights further why Mikel Arteta is reluctant to ever rotate the 22-year-old out of his starting XI.

Numerous former players have sung the praises of Saka previously, and the winger evidenced why ex-Arsenal star Martin Keown recently claimed that the ‘sky is the limit’ for the academy graduate. He told talkSPORT: “He’s a top player; there is no doubt about that. (He and Gabriel Martinelli) are still the two main players, and he’s top quality. Let me tell you, he can go right to the top. It’s all in front of him. The sky is the limit.”

Saka’s current form shows Keown’s assessment is absolutely spot on.

Trossard the key to unlock Havertz

Arteta appears to have found the way to unlock the potential in Havertz. The Germany international was impressive in midfield for Arsenal, largely due to his connection with Trossard. The pair appear to be developing an unspoken connection, with the duo interchanging in the final third and creating plenty of space for one another with relative ease.

It is no secret that Havertz is keen to push forward from midfield, whereas Trossard is most effective when dropping deep to get on the ball, and their rotation could be what is required to get the very best out of both players in the title run-in.

Kiwior starting to find his feet

It has taken Jakub Kiwior time to find his feet in the Premier League, but the versatile defender now looks at home in Arsenal’s backline. The 24-year-old held Arsenal’s width well against Burnley, bombing forward to overlap Martinelli whilst also showing composure to tuck inside when Ben White inverted into midfield.

Depth has been an issue for the Gunners previously but they now have fringe players, such as Kiwior, who are more than capable of stepping up when required.

No. 9 food for thought

Trossard will be pleased to have got on the scoresheet for Arsenal, though Arteta may be more satisfied with how he is starting to look like he could be the final piece of the puzzle in the final third for the north London outfit for the remainder of the campaign. The Belgian international links up well with Saka and Martinelli, whilst also bringing out the very best in Havertz when he bombs forward from midfield.

Arsenal are expected to be in the market for a marquee striker in the summer, though Trossard’s performances in recent weeks could lead to some discussions over whether Arteta’s side truly need a traditional striker or rather someone who can get the best out of his team-mates instead, similarly to how Roberto Firmino did for Liverpool.

Arsenal show their class

Burnley midfielder Aaron Ramsey looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off of the pitch on Saturday, with both medical teams rushing to his aid after a coming-together with Odegaard.

Ramsey looked in serious distress with what appeared to be a knee injury and after the incident, Arsenal sent the Burnley man their best wishes with a tweet, which read: “There’s been a significant stoppage in play which ends with Burnley’s Aaron Ramsey leaving the pitch on a stretcher following an awkward landing. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Aaron.”

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