Arsenal missed out on a chance to return to the Premier League’s top four after they were held at the Emirates Stadium by bottom club Burnley. Forward Alexandre Lacazette went closest for the Gunners, poking an Emile Smith Rowe cutback narrowly wide midway through the second half. Smith Rowe also forced a fine diving stop from Burnley keeper Nick Pope in the second period while Martin Odegaard was denied by the stopper’s feet with a powerful effort in the first half.
A draw for Burnley ended a run of three straight defeats with the Clarets now four points off safety having played four games fewer than 17th-placed Norwich City. Meanwhile Arsenal, now winless in their past five matches in all competitions, go sixth, two points off Manchester United in fourth. Arsenal will be pleased to see the back of January, so far in 2022 the Gunners have been dumped out of the EFL and FA Cups and have lost three of their past four matches. Arsenal dominated possession but were frequently frustrated in the first half by their opponent’s low-block.
After the break, the hosts upped the tempo, but Bukayo Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard and Lacazette all failed to hit the net despite finding themselves in promising positions. This season appears to be Champions League qualification or nothing for Mikel Arteta’s team, making their dropped points against their injury-hit opponents all the more infuriating for supporters. A small section of home fans booed their team off at full-time, the five-game winning streak at the end of 2021 an increasingly distant memory.