Graham Alexander’s 100th career league goal won a point for Burnley as they continued their excellent home form with a 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

But the Clarets will consider themselves unlucky not to have taken all three after television replays showed that the linesman was wrong to disallow Steven Fletcher’s goal as the striker was onside when he slotted home a tap-in at the back post.

Arsenal were also fortunate not to concede a penalty after Mikael Silvestre handled in the area.

However at one point early in the game it looked as though the Gunners would win comfortably. Cesc Fabregas slotted them into the lead seven minutes in after sloppy defending and moments later the influential midfielder could have had a second, but sliced into the side netting after excellent close control. Andrey Arshavin hit the post with a smart effort as Arsenal looked to stretch their lead.

That opening goal had come against the run of play as the hosts started the brighter side. Manuel Almunia had to tip Thomas Vermaelen’s back header on to the crossbar in just the second minute of play and Burnley’s industry was already causing Arsenal problems.

After the shock of conceding the first goal Burnley slowly worked their way back into the game and deservedly levelled after 28 minutes. Kevin McDonald did well down the left channel before playing in Stephen Jordan, who jinked past a challenge into the area before passing to Andre Bikey. The Cameroonian midfield player miscontrolled the pass but got lucky as Vermaelen clattered into him, giving referee Mike Dean no choice but to point to the spot.

Alexander, who recently passed 900 career appearances, stepped up to crash in the spot kick, his 70th conversion from 75 attempts, and the Clarets were level.

Not long after that Fabregas had to be substituted after struggling with a hamstring injury and his replacement Aaron Ramsey, although tidy in possession, never offered the same attacking thrust as the Spaniard. Vermaelen forced a smart save from Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen just before the break, but Jensen was to be cirtually untroubled for the rest of the match.

The hosts, cheered on by almost 20,000 locals who smelled the chance of adding Arsenal to the list of scalps at Turf Moor this season which already includes Manchester United, Everton and Aston Villa, took the initiative in the second half, with Chris Eagles the main threat for the Clarets. And it was Eagles who had the best chance to put the Clarets ahead. The former Manchester United winger rode a heavy challenge from Silvestre before squeezing between two Arsenal defenders into the box and then, from a tight angle, smashed his shot against the angle.

McDonald was monopolising possession in the middle of the park and it was the Scot that set up his compatriot Fletcher for a wrongly chalked off goal. Replays showed Fletcher was level when McDonald played the ball in behind the defence and the goal should have stood.

Arsene Wenger threw on Eduardo for Theo Walcott, who had been superbly marshalled by Stephen Jordan, as he looked for a winner and the Croatian could have won it in the closing minutes, but Jensen picked the ball off the striker’s toes. William Gallas headed weakly at the Burnley goalkeeper in the game’s final chance as the game stretched, but in truth a draw was probably a fair result with both sides able to make their cases for winning the game.

For Arsenal the result, though disappointing, gives them confidence that they can pick up results at difficult grounds even without playing well, while for Burnley, though the match is their sixth in a row without victory, the point edges them away from the relegation zone.

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