Two familiar faces arranged him for the Arsenal. But after the attack pair of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang secured a second win of the season, it was the performance of the new guy Dani Ceballos who made the fans of the house lick their lips.
The Real Madrid borrower received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Lucas Torreira with seven minutes remaining after a brilliant performance that suggested that the Arsenal could guarantee one of the summer's businesses. Together with experienced defender David Luiz – a £ 8m signed by Chelsea – Ceballos made his full debut against opponents who have now lost 11 straight games against the Arsenal.
When Ashley Barnes equalized at the end of the interval, it was tempting to think that the old vulnerabilities of the Arsenal on the back would have undermined them again, but a display of the second dominant time, covered by Aubameyang's ninth goal in the his last seven games was the least they deserved.
"We wanted to create a good atmosphere to start the season in front of our fans and the impact that the new players had in their first match was very encouraging," said Unai Emery visibly happy. The Arsenal coach was unable to appeal to Mesut Özil despite his return to training this week after security concerns as the former German national was not deemed to be in form, although Sead Kolasinac appeared late on the bench.
At that point, the hosts were back in the lead after Ceballos rushed to expropriate Johann Gudmundsson in his half before feeding Aubameyang to score what turned out to be the winner.
"We are disappointed but our mentality has been excellent," said Sean Dyche, who thought that Mike Dean should have warned "three or four" Arsenal players who went to the ground too easily. "When you think about what the Premier League is for advertising around the world and are the people who obviously fall to the ground, how do you think it will stop?", Said the manager of Burnley.
Emery opted to deploy the teen Joe Willock alongside Matteo Guendouzi, which means the Arsenal midfield pair boasted a total of 39 years and 24 Premier League games between them. On his return to the side after a pre-season ankle scare, it was Lacazette who opened the score after his initial effort was overthrown by Nick Pope. Showing exceptional strength to resist the challenge of Erik Pieters, the shot seems to surprise the goalkeeper and the ball writhes between his legs.
Yet despite all their playful offensive action, often started at the foot of the Ceballos, there was always the suspicion that the Arsenal was vulnerable during the break. A corner in the middle of the first half was brought to safety with the dangerous Barnes lurking, while David Luiz's new collaboration with Sokratis Papastathopoulos seemed rocky every time Burnley delivered a ball into the area.
Two parades by Pope to deny Reiss Nelson and Guendouzi his part in the game and there was a sense of inevitability on Burnley's equalizer when they arrived two minutes before the break. David Luiz was guilty of playing Barnes on the outside when Dwight McNeil's shot was deflected over the attacker's path, which made no mistakes 12 meters away.
Arsenal thought he had immediately restored the advantage only to the flag of the assistant who would have ruled out Reiss Nelson's tap-in after Nacho Monreal had moved away from the offside in the build-up. The England Under-21 striker may be unlucky to be retired on the break for £ 72 million signed Nicolas Pépé, with Aubameyang shifted to the left to accommodate ivory.
Burnley could easily have taken the lead if Westwood hit the target with an unmarked header 15 minutes into the second half. At that point, Aubameyang had twice approached the score from the other side, the second attempt well saved by the pope after a good transition from Pépé. The England goalkeeper then had to dive to full force to give a curling shot from Ceballos around the pole. He could do nothing for the next occasion while Aubameyang was shooting at home just outside the area.
Even then Burnley almost earned a point when McNeil left the target and a final goalmouth comeback ended, to Emery's great relief, with Guendouzi bringing the ball to safety.