Ben White blames Burnley’s dry pitch for almost costing Arsenal penalty

Arsenal’s £50m man was very nearly responsible for costing the Gunners all three points during their trip to Turf Moor after his under-hit back-pass almost handed Burnley a penalty

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Arsenal central defender Ben White was incredibly close to scuppering the Gunners’ victory at Sean Dyche’sBurnley after his under-hit back pass failed to reach its intended target in Aaron Ramsdale.

Martin Odegaard’s 30th minute free-kick was enough to separate the two sides as Arsenal secured their first away win of the new Premier League season at the third time of trying against a Burnley side that have now not won at home in 13 attempts.

Mikel Arteta’s men dominated the majority of the first half, before the tie quickly turned after the interval – the hosts ramping up the pressure, though Ramsdale was rarely tested between the sticks.

Ben White nearly cost Arsenal in the latter stages of their clash against Burnley. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The game’s most dramatic moment came just after the hour mark, White drastically selling his keeper short as he attempt to pass it back to Ramsdale was intercepted by Clarets forward Matej Vydra.

Ramsdale came to meet Vydra and was initially deemed to have felled the Burnley striker by referee Anthony Taylor, before replays showed that England international had actually made contact with the ball in what was eventually adjudged to be a perfectly good tackle.

It was a nervy moment for the Arsenal players and supporters alike, particularly White – who conceded it was an anxious wait while the incident was reviewed by VAR.

Speaking to, White actually bemoaned the playing surface at Turf Moor as he explained: “It was a tough one…my heart skipped for a second, it was really really dry out there today, the pass back didn’t get there at all and luckily Aaron was there to save me.”

The £50m former Brighton & Hove Albion star went on to compliment his opposition, but cited the importance of keeping a clean sheet on the road.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game before we came here, coming here is so hard and the two big boys they’ve got up top are really difficult to handle.

“A clean sheet is really important, if you get that you’ve got a good chance of winning, you know we’ve got the quality up front so keeping the clean sheet we were always going to win the game.”

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Ben White explained the Burnley playing surface contributed to his poor back-pass (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The result lifted Arsenal from 16th to 13th, with the shadow of Sunday’s north London derby looming large.

Boss Arteta was quick to heap praise on his side after the game, claiming: “A really hard fought victory in a place that is really tough to come and win. They do really well what they do.

“We started really well, we had some big phases where we saw a lot of things I wanted as a team.

“They split the two blocks very much and then you have to defend crosses and long balls and we did that really well.”

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