Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after failing to get the four-goal win they needed to leapfrog Chelsea into top spot.

However, they swept aside struggling Burnley with ease, winning 3-1 at the Emirates, a scoreline that could have been much more flattering had Nicklas Bendtner had his shooting boots on.

As has been the case on many occasions this season, the Gunners began slowly. Having huffed and puffed for more than half an hour, their influential skipper Cesc Fabregas gave them the lead.

Samir Nasri was give far too much room 25 yards from goal and he flicked a superb pass over the back line for Fabregas to run onto and prod through the legs of Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen.

However, the Spanish playmaker soon limped off with a hamstring injury that could be a huge blow to Arsenal’s title hopes.

Bendtner missed a set of glorious chances, placing both headers and shots wide from excellent position. Had he been on form, it would have been game over at the break.

But Burnley equalised just five minutes into the second half. David Nugent seized upon a loose ball on the edge of the Arsenal box and lobbed Manual Almunia with a stylish lob into the top corner.

It wasn’t to last though, as Theo Walcott, widely pilloried after a poor performance for England in the week, put Arsenal back in front.

It was the Englishman at his very best, cutting inside and curling a fine strike inside Brian Jensen’s far post from 15 yards with his left foot.

Burnley pressed for another leveller as Bendtner continued his comedy of errors at the other end, and the Clarets could have snatched an unlikely point at the end.

But Steven Thompson blazed over with the goal at his mercy and Andrey Arshavin scored a third for Arsenal at the death, thumping in a low drive at Jensen’s near post.