Arsenal’s bad week continued with a late 2-0 loss to Swansea at the Emirates this afternoon.
Arsene Wenger rested Olivier Giroud, playing Gervinho as a centre-forward with Lukas Podolski returning the left hand side. After a hard game in midweek Arsenal started slowly and the visitors had two good chances in the opening stages.
Firstly, Ashley Williams miskicked from about 6 yards out after we struggled to clear a Swansea free kick, then after a great spell of passing and possession, they fashioned a chance for Angel Rangel on the right hand side of our box. His first powerful effort was saved by Szczesny and the Pole stood up well to deny him from the rebound.
It took Arsenal some time to get going, a good Jenkinson cross was headed away before Lukas Podolski had a shot blocked. The German then almost played in Gervinho but his flick was just too heavy and the keeper claimed. Another good Jenkinson cross saw Cazorla have a free header but it was fairly tame and easy for Tremmel.
Just after that though, Swansea had the best chance of the game. Nathan Dyer got in behind, onto a Michu flick on, got away from Vermaelen but as he moved to shoot the skipper got back and blocked the shot at the last moment. Jonatan de Guzman then fired a free kick not far over the bar after Arteta had fouled Michu.
Late in the half Arsenal had their best chance. Gervinho had a free header from about 8 yards out after a Gibbs cross but rather than, you know, head it on target, he decided to try and hit the corner flag. He didn’t even manage that.
Arsenal started the second half brightly, looking more alert, and good play from Jack Wilshere set up Santi Cazorla on the edge of the box. His left footed shot was struck well but straight at the keeper. The Spaniard had another go from further out but again it was easy enough for Tremmel.
Arsenal were on top but the visitors were still dangerous. Angel Rangel ran through Arsenal’s midfield, like a knife through butter, forcing Szczesny into a save which pushed his powerful shot into the side netting.
Arsene Wenger brought on Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud for the disappointing Podolski and Gervinho, and the Frenchman was involved straight away. He ran onto a misplaced pass only to be taken down on the edge of the box by last man Flores, but referee Mark Clattenburg saw the faintest nick on the ball by the Spaniard and waved play on.
Santi Cazorla had another volley saved by Tremmel while at the other end Szczesny was forced into another good save when Swansea cut us apart. The keeper kept Arsenal in it and although Thomas Vermaelen had a chance to put Arsenal ahead, there was late drama as the visitors nicked the game.
In the 88th minute Michu exhanged passes with Luke Moore to find himself clean through on goal, his finish was measured to make it 1-0. And late on, as Arsenal pressed to find an equaliser Carl Jenkinson was robbed of possession on the halfway line, Michu found himself with just Szczesny to beat again and did so with style to make it 2-0.
Boos rang out around the Emirates and it’s easy to understand why. Swansea played well but never really had to work for their chances. Arsenal looked feeble, out of ideas and like a team that needs something drastic to turn things around.
Another depressing slice of football pie.
I realise this will spark some ‘lively’ discussion – please keep it reasonable and sensible, both in terms of what you say and how you say it. Thank you.
Caz Volley SZCZ save – Verm header