Here we go again

There was a collective sigh around Turf Moor when referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot in injury time. We all thought ‘here we go again’, a fine performance against Arsenal that looked set to be rewarded with a point cruelly snatched away at the death.

The bizarre thing is all three late winners have been controversial. Perhaps this one was the least controversial of them, with Sean Dyche admitting it was ‘probably’ a penalty.

James Tarkowski certainly made contact, but Aaron Ramsey made the most of it, spreading his arms out as if he is about to take flight.

It falls into what Dyche has always called gamesmanship, although you could make an argument that Ramsey’s excgarated fall deceived Mason, making contact look worse than it was.

Either way, you’d think it was Burnley who were due a decision against the Gunners. Apparently these things always equal themselves out, so the Clarets must be due a day to remember against Arsenal at some point.

Matching Arsenal

The cruel thing about this late winner was that it came at the end of a game where the Clarets had more than matched their more illustrious, expensive visitors.

The two teams had gone into the game level on points and while Burnley may have looked out of place in keeping pace with the top six they proved it to be no fluke.

Any neutrals taking an interest in Burnley for the first time this season must have been impressed with what they saw. This was an even game, one you would expect from two teams locked together on the same number of points, and although it ended in heartbreak the Clarets can take great heart from their performance.

Fast start

Especially their first half performance in which they pinned Arsenal back for large periods and could easily have gone into the break ahead.

Given Arsenal’s difficulties before kick-off - they only arrived at 1.08pm - and the rotten weather it always seemed a likely approach that Burnley would come flying out of the blocks.

They did just that, playing with a wonderful intensity and relentless that got Turf Moor on its feet.

There was a theory that Burnley would go direct, seek to stick it on Arsenal heads at every opportunity and make it uncomfortably, but in truth there was very little of that.

The first half dominance was built on moving the ball quickly and through the midfield. The wide players were influential in getting on the ball and the Clarets played some very good football in that 45 minutes.

Wing wonders

Both Robbie Brady and the excellent Johann Berg Gudmundsson had fine games. This was perhaps the first game that they’ve both reached such a high standard in the same game.

If there’s been a question mark over Burnley this season it’s perhaps been the inconsistent displays out wide, but there can be little doubt that these two are the best combination on the wings at the moment.

Gudmundsson is happy to pick the ball up and drive at players, cutting inside onto his stronger foot and looking to link with the attackers and he did that to good effect.

Brady has the ability to stay wide and whip crosses in, but he can also take up clever positions inside from the left, allowing Stephen Ward to overlap, and his use of the ball on Sunday was very good.

This was an encouraging performance from both men.

Bouncing back

So far this season Burnley have responded to setbacks very well. After the Turf Moor defeat to West Brom they dumped Blackburn out of the Carabao Cup a few days later and then claimed a point against Tottenham at Wembley.

When the second defeat arrived at Manchester City the Clarets responded with a run of straight three win for the first time in the Premier League era.

Now it’s another test of their ability to bounce back. It’s worked in Burnley’s favour that they have a game in three days, giving them little time to stew on this defeat.

The Clarets are used to the games coming thick and fast from their time in the Championship and they will relish a trip to Bournemouth and a chance to get back to winning ways.