All eyes on White but Gabriel stands up in Turf Moor scrap


here was a moment in this first-half between Arsenal and Burnley where Gabriel celebrated so wildly you thought the Gunners had scored again.

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes had been played the ball in the box and, as he chested it down, the goal seemed to be gaping in front of him.

But Gabriel came from nowhere to make an excellent last-ditch tackle, which resulted in the Brazilian wheeling around and punching the air.

It was an emphatic celebration from the centre-back and summed up how he seemed to relish this fight at Turf Moor.

This was a classic away game at Burnley – scrappy, messy, an afternoon when sometimes you just have to dig in for a battle.

Arsenal did that here and Gabriel was at the heart of it, seemingly heading every ball that came into the box. In fact, he made the most tackles of any Arsenal player, the most clearances and the most blocks.

There has been, understandably, a lot of talk about Ben White this summer, but it was Gabriel who set the tone for Arsenal’s performance here.

The Brazilian was backed up by Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who were both excellent too, and Mikel Arteta will be very happy to leave Turf Moor with three points.

When you are a team struggling for rhythm and groove, Burnley are not necessarily the ideal opposition. They make things difficult and that was exactly what they did to an Arsenal team who are still very much finding their feet.

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