Arsenal maintained hopes of winning the FA Cup for a third season in a row as Alexis Sanchez’s goal carried them past Burnley and into round five.
The Premier League side led when Calum Chambers superbly curled in from 18 yards with the outside of his foot.
Burnley hit back as Sam Vokes headed in Tendayi Darikwa’s cross and Andre Gray came close after the break, Alex Iwobi making a timely interception.
Sanchez – making his first start since November – finished coolly to win it.
The Chile international – who has made just one substitute appearance since suffering a hamstring injury – was lively throughout and turned in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross after Darikwa was dispossessed in midfield.
There can be no doubt the holders deserved a place in Sunday’s draw as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and chances, though Burnley created a nervy finish.
The impressive Gray caught sight of goal late on but could not get meaningful power in his shot and as the visitors threw bodies forward, substitute Theo Walcott missed a glorious chance to add a third on the break as he failed to round Tom Heaton.
History beckons for Gunners
Arsenal’s match programme featured the FA Cup trophy on the front cover along with the words “To have and to hold”.
They move a step closer to emulating the Blackburn Rovers side of 1886 by winning a third FA Cup in a row, though this was far from vintage.
They made nine changes to the side beaten by Chelsea last weekend but still fired 23 shots at the Burnley goal as Arsene Wenger maintained his record of only losing to lower-league opposition once in 41 FA Cup ties.
Solid appearances from the likes of Chambers and Iwobi show he has a squad capable of maintaining a challenge in this competition but the anxious moments – particularly with the ball in the air in their box – will continue prompt some concern.
A solid debut
Mohamed Elneny saw more of the ball than any other player – with 100 touches – on his first outing since joining for £5m from Basel earlier this month.
His completion of 96% of his passes was impressive but as a deep midfielder, he often found himself with plenty of time on the ball, meaning there will be tougher tests to come.
Little of his work took place in either penalty area, a stark contrast to Sanchez.
The Chile international didn’t break stride to slam home his goal, created the opener for Chambers and looked lively throughout. His return could be crucial ahead of a key February when Arsenal play the likes of leaders Leicester, Barcelona and Manchester United.
Clarets going up?
Like Arsenal, Burnley sit third in their respective table and their offering at the Emirates shows they the grit needed to win promotion back to the top tier at the first time of asking.
Gray missed an early one-on-one chance and looked set to put his side 2-1 up after the re-start but for Iwobi’s last-ditch intervention.
His manager Sean Dyche was bold in making just two changes with a league fixture at Ipswich to come on Tuesday.
But the Clarets looked cohesive and more finishing of the quality Vokes displayed could have asked tough questions of the Premier League side.
They undoubtedly look capable of staying the pace in the second tier.
More to follow.