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Odegaard’s free kick earns Arsenal 1-0 win at Burnley in EPL

September 18, 2021 GMT
Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game against Burnley during their English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor in Burnley, England, Saturday Sept. 18, 2021. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)
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Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game against Burnley during their English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor in Burnley, England, Saturday Sept. 18, 2021. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)
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Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game against Burnley during their English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor in Burnley, England, Saturday Sept. 18, 2021. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)

BURNLEY, England (AP) — Martin Odegaard’s first-half free kick clinched Arsenal a 1-0 win at Burnley, whose winless home run in the English Premier League was extended to 13 matches on Saturday.

The Norway international curled home the only goal in the 30th minute to further ease the pressure on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, whose team opened the season with three straight losses.

Arteta’s side clinched a second successive league victory, after beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend, but was indebted to a controversial VAR intervention that Burnley felt robbed the team of a second-half penalty.

Referee Anthony Taylor initially pointed to the spot when Burnley substitute Matej Vydra went down under Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale’s challenge, only to change his mind after watching the replay.

Burnley edged the opening 20 minutes in terms of half-chances, with two efforts from striker Ashely Barnes sandwiching James Tarkowski’s header.

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Arsenal lacked the pace or creative spark to threaten Burnley’s well-drilled 4-4-2 system during the opening 25 minutes, but that all changed after Barnes tripped Bukayo Saka in a central position 25 yards from goal.

Barnes was shown a yellow card by the referee and Odegaard curled the resulting free kick beyond Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope for his first goal of the season and third in total for Arsenal.

Burnley pressed forward in search of an equalizer before the break and Barnes, under pressure from Arsenal defender Gabriel, failed to get his shot on target after Josh Brownhill’s clipped ball into the box.

Arsenal went close to doubling their lead on the stroke of halftime when Emile Smith Rowe curled a first-time shot just off target after being picked out by Nicolas Pepe.

Burnley’s intent after the second half resumed fired up the Clarets fans and Ashley Westwood failed to get enough power on his close-range effort.

The Gunners responded through Smith Rowe, whose low shot was easily gathered by Pope after good work from Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche made a double substitution in the 56th minute, sending on Maxwel Cornet and Vydra for Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Barnes, and it had an instant impact.

The recently signed Cornet was given a rousing reception and he lifted the home crowd further when forcing Ramsdale into a flying save minutes later.

Vydra was also quick to contribute. He raced on to Gunners defender Ben White’s short back-pass and when the Czech Republic striker went down under Ramsdale’s challenge, referee Taylor awarded a penalty.

After a VAR intervention, Taylor checked the replay and promptly reversed his decision.

The England goalkeeper was adjudged to have made contact with the ball first and Taylor’s U-turn left Burnley furious.

Chris Wood headed over for the Clarets, Dwight McNeil fired into the side-netting, and Vydra glanced Charlie Taylor’s cross just wide.

Arsenal held on to extend its unbeaten league run at Turf Moor to 10 games and leave Burnley with one point from its first five matches.

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