Saka scores twice as Arsenal thrash Burnley to go second


Nicol names Saka as the key man to Arsenal's title charge

Steve Nicol compares Bukayo Saka's importance to Arsenal to Mohamed Salah's at Liverpool.

Bukayo Saka scored either side of half-time as Arsenal crushed second-from-bottom Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday to go second and keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Martin Ødegaard opened the scoring in the fourth minute, shooting left-footed from outside the box into the bottom right corner, and Saka made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 41st after a foul on Leandro Trossard.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Saka claimed his second two minutes after the break for his 12th league goal of the campaign with a powerful right-footed finish, before Trossard made it 4-0 and Kai Havertz added a fifth as Arsenal cruised to a fifth straight win in 2024.

The north London side are two points behind Liverpool, 4-1 winners at Brentford, after 25 games and three clear of champions Manchester City who host Chelsea in the late kickoff.

Bukayo Saka has scored four goals in his last two Premier League games.
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted the afternoon had been easier than expected, with everything flowing his side's way after the early goal and goalkeeper David Raya having no shots to stop.

"They wanted more. The way they tracked back on the 95th minute was just incredible. That shows the desire that everybody has in this squad," Arteta said.

"Individually, we are in a really good moment...we need to maintain that. When you have that momentum it is now about keeping doing it, we can still play better and do better things.

"We have to believe that we can win every game and we are approaching every game in that way. And when the team has that belief and confidence something good can happen."

Arsenal, who thrashed West Ham United 6-0 last weekend, have scored 21 goals in their last five games and they could easily have added more to the tally against the Clarets.

Trossard, who has now scored three goals in three games, missed several other chances including one big miss early in the first half.

Saka's second goal was assisted by Ødegaard but the England forward's hopes of a hat-trick ended when he was taken off in the 69th with a yellow card to his name and the game won.

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany was always going to be in for an uncomfortable afternoon, having to watch from the stands after collecting a touchline ban for his third booking of the season, and it went from bad to worse.

The match was halted in the 63rd minute when Burnley's Aaron Ramsey was given oxygen and carried off on a stretcher after apparently injuring his knee in a tackle by Ødegaard.

"Not good enough. In moments like this, it's one where you take it on the chin. They were better than us," Kompany told Sky Sports.

Burnley remain deep in trouble in 19th, level on points with bottom club Sheffield United.