Swansea 0 - 2 Arsenal
As Arsenal begin their long search for a top four finish in the Premier League, they visited Wales to face a dangerous Swansea side. The Gunners were confident on the back of a good performance away at Bayern Munich, and Swansea were still feeling the good effects of their Carling Cup glory.
The Gunners started off the game well, looking energetic going forwad and composed at the back. Within the first five minutes, Santi Cazorla picked out Chamberlain on the left wing, who beat his man and rattled a shot off the Swansea crossbar. The opening signs were positive for Arsenal.[quote_right]”The second half was a tactical struggle. Neither side seemed to have the creativity to muster up a typically well-fashioned chance…”[/quote_right]
But as the game progressed, Arsenal slowly took their foot off the pedal, as The Swans grew into the game. As expected, Michu was indeed causing problems for the Arsenal defence, slipping in dangerous passes and placing a shot not far wide of the post.
Arsenals offensive display wavered as time went on. Olivier Giroud & Theo Walcott both had quiet games against Bayern Munich, and were continuing their mute performances today. A mixture of poor crossing, passing and positioning saw many attacks break down.
The second half was a tactical struggle for both sides. Neither Swansea or Arsenal seemed to have the creativity to muster up a typically well-fashioned chance, and fatigue was setting in fast.
Santi Cazorla was looking lively, but lack of movement from Chamberlain, Giroud & Walcott meant that attacks went as quickly as they came. Swansea weren’t an offensive threat, but were looking defensively solid.
However, in the seventy-fourth minute, Arsenal’s luck changed. Nacho Monreal picked up a loose ball in the Swansea area and fired a relatively poor shot towards goal. The ball deflected off a Swansea defender and beat Vorm. It was scrappy, but it was Golden.[quote_left]”As the final whistle blew, a wry smile was seen on Arsene’s face, and warm handshakes were exchanged”[/quote_left]
With their priceless goal, Arsenal’s confidence began to grow as the clock wound down. Swansea were looking to get back into the game with a late goal, but a stern defensive display from Arsenal kept The Swans at bay.
Then, in the ninetieth minute, the unthinkable happened. Aaron Ramsey was set free down the right flank, with Gervinho racing down the middle of the field, completely unmarked.
Ramsey’s pass was poor, but Gervinho did well to rescue the chance and slot the ball home. Arsenal were smiling again.
As the final whistle blew, a wry smile was seen on Arsene’s face, and warm handshakes were exchanged. Two back-to-back away wins is good for any side in trouble.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Due to some good defending, Lukasz didn’t have too much work to do. Distribution was good though.
On the back of a great performance away at Munich, Carl did himself proud once again today. Good defending, great crossing. A poor pass in the first half across goal was not what we want to see though.
Seemed a bit nervous under pressure at times, and gave a few balls away as a result. Apart from that, Per was solid enough.
Commanding and hard in the tackle, and won his fair share of aerial battles too. Vermaelen may just find it difficult to get back into the squad at this rate.
Defended brilliantly all game, and consistently made runes forward. His goal, although lucky, was perfectly timed.
Sloppy defending and silly fouls have let Arteta down today. He needs to work on winning more 50/50 challenges. Needs a rest.
Visibly tired. Abou’s performance was epitomised by his excellent run through the centre in the second half, beating many Swansea players - only to take the ball out of play with a bad touch. Needs to be eased back into first team football.
MOTM. Santi was energetic all game, and let off two extremely good shots from long range which tested Vorm. His passing was sound, and his defending was useful.
The Ox was in and out of the game at times, but looked very dangerous when on the ball. He hit the crossbar in the opening few minutes, and provided some opportunities via crosses and clever passes.
Once again Walcott found himself quite isolated today, but failed to do anything about it. He needs to drop deeper and cut inside if he is to make a difference. Not in his best form.
No direct errors, but it’s easy to see that Giroud is badly out of form. Poor first touches and awful positioning at times. Needs a rest.
I made a jokey tweet regarding the introduction of both Gervinho & Ramsey, but their efforts paid off. Gervinho showed good pace and skill to round a player after coming on, only to provide a poor cross. But his goal was taken well, and we’ll all be hoping that he can grow in confidence.
As mentioned above, I was not happy with Ramsey’s introduction. However, in the ninetieth minute, Aaron got himself an assist, albeit via an extremely poor pass.
[title]No Swanning Around[/title]
It’s good to see Arsenal back to their winning ways. Two touch away fixtures have now been dealt with in a relatively confident manner, and that may be exactly what we need for this run-in for fourt spot.
Santi Cazorla was brilliant today, as was Nacho Monreal. Olivier Giroud & Theo Walcott will need to step up if we are to produce an Arsenal-esque comeback in the Premier League, but for now, these three points will do just fine. Next up, Reading.
What did you think of the Swansea Vs Arsenal match? Share your views in the comments section below!