Martin Odegaard’s sublime first-half free-kick secured a 1-0 Premier League victory for Arsenal at Burnley.
The Gunners lifted the gloom by getting their season up and running with a win over Norwich City last weekend and they doubled their points tally at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Odegaard scored his first goal since returning to the club on a permanent deal from Real Madrid with a moment of class that had been badly lacking in a flat first half.
Referee Anthony Taylor overturned his decision after awarding Matej Vydra a penalty with 20 minutes to go, with Burnley unable to get their first top-flight win of the season in a week that saw boss Sean Dyche sign a new contract.
Ashley Barnes put a free header wide from 12 yards out and Arsenal were struggling to break the Clarets down before they opened the scoring on the half-hour mark.
Bukayo Saka was upended by Ashley Westwood as he surged towards the penalty area and Odegaard punished the midfielder, bending a sumptuous left-foot strike into the top-left corner from around 20 yards out.
Emile Smith Rowe came close to a second with a first-time shot that flew just over the crossbar after Nicolas Pepe picked him out and there were boos from Burnley fans when the half-time whistle sounded.
Smith Rowe failed to finish off a slick move after Burnley applied pressure early in the second half.
Maxwel Cornet came on for his Burnley debut along with Vydra 11 minutes after the break and he came close to an equaliser soon after being introduced, Aaron Ramsdale tipping the Ivory Coast international’s shot from inside the box over the bar.
Vydra was awarded a spot-kick when Ramsdale was adjudged to have brought him down following a poor backpass from Ben White, but referee Taylor ruled the keeper had touched the ball after checking the pitchside monitor.
What does it mean? Gunners show steel
Mikel Arteta said he could see “light at the end of the tunnel” after the win over Norwich and the Spaniard has more grounds for optimism after this battling victory.
There should be much more to come from Arsenal from an attacking perspective, but Arteta will be delighted with the manner in which they dug in for a clean sheet – although Burnley’s lack of quality in the final third was also a major factor.
The Clarets’ club-record run of games without a home win in the league stands at 13 and they are second-bottom with just one point from five matches.
Ramsdale cementing number-one spot
New signing Ramsdale has not conceded a goal in his three appearances for the Gunners since his move from Sheffield United.
The 23-year-old did not put a foot wrong and while he only had to make three saves, his handling was excellent in a commanding display as Bernd Leno watched on from the bench.
White gets away with it
While Gabriel was rock-solid at the heart of the Arsenal defence, Ben White looked shaky at times.
The England international was too casual on the ball on more than one occasion and he would have breathed a huge sigh of relief when Burnley were denied a penalty following a VAR check.
Key Opta Facts
– Arsenal have won consecutive league games by a 1-0 scoreline for the first time since December 2014.
– Eleven different players had a shot for Burnley – only once have they ever had more players with an attempt in a Premier League match (12 vs Wolves in March 2010).
– Martin Odegaard scored Arsenal’s 40th direct free-kick in the Premier League; he is the 17th different player to score one for the Gunners, with only Newcastle United (19), Everton and Manchester City (both 18) having more different scorers.
– Aaron Ramsdale is the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in each of his first three appearances for Arsenal since Wojciech Sczcesny between 2009-2010.
The Gunners are at home to AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Cup on Wednesday before a derby with arch-rivals Tottenham next Sunday, while Burnley entertain Rochdale on Tuesday.