‘He was the best player on the pitch by a mile’: Robin van Persie hails Dani Ceballos debut as Real Madrid loanee inspires Arsenal 2-1 win over Burnley
- Dani Ceballos was named man of the match on his debut as Arsenal beat Burnley
- The midfielder ran the game and was unlucky not to mark his debut with a goal
- Ceballos ran further than any other player on the pitch at the Emirates
The midfielder was named man of the match as goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang either side of a Ashley Barnes equaliser gave Arsenal a 2-1 win.
Ceballos joined Arsenal on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid in June and made an instant impact at the heart of the midfield.
The 23-year-old partnered Matteo Guendouzi in a youthful central midfield pairing, but showed maturity beyond his years with a brilliant display.
Dani Ceballos was named man of the match on his Arsenal debut in a 2-1 win over Burnley
The 23-year-old ran the game for Arsenal before being replaced by Lucas Torreira late on
Ceballos was denied a debut goal when Nick Pope saved his brilliant 20-yard curling effort
Ceballos displayed his passing range and ability on the ball with a series of feints, shimmies and dribbles to bamboozle the Burnley midfield.
The Spaniard was keen to mark his debut with a goal but was denied by Nick Pope, who tipped wide a brilliant curling strike from 20 yards in the second half.
He also played a big role in the winning goal by winning the ball high up the pitch, allowing Aubameyang to fire home from 20 yards.
Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal a first half lead before Ashley Barnes’ 43rd minute leveller
Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s winner with a brilliant 20-yard strike in the second half
Statistics showd that Ceballos covered more ground than any other player on the pitch
‘Ceballos was the best player on the pitch by a mile,’ Van Persie told BT Sport. ‘He was always creating something, I really enjoyed watching him.
Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole was equally enthusiastic about his performance and praised his ability to stay calm in high pressure situations.
‘You’re always excited by technical players and he was so comfortable,’ Cole added. He dribbles off both feet which keeps you guessing. In areas he should be panicking he looks calm.
‘He controlled the game. Arsenal haven’t seen someone like him for a while. He looked at home.’
Statistics after the game showed that Ceballos covered more ground than any other player on the pitch, and Van Persie believes that marriage of technique and work rate is exactly what the Gunners need.
‘He runs a lot. He ran the most of any player on the pitch. That tells you that he’s alive. He’s a very positive player who is clearly having fun and every first touch was forwards.’
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