Report: Arsenal 2 – 1 Swansea (inc.goals)

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Starting XI: Cech, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez.

Subs: Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Holding, Iwobi, Coquelin, Macey


Arsene Wenger kept the same first team that trounced a wayward Everton side last weekend, with the very impressive looking front three of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette keeping their place, mirrored by the slightly less impressive back three of Mertesacker, Koscielny and Monreal also returning.

After a dire first half that luckily only ended with us going in one behind at the break, Arsenal came to life in the second half to dominate a well organised but toothless Swansea side, with a powerful display from Sead Kolasinac, scoring one and creating another for Aaron Ramsey to finish.

FIRST HALF:

Arsenal dominated the first ten minutes of the game, with almost complete spoils of the possession and two decent half chances, one resulting in a Ramsey shot being blocked and one Sanchez free kick being headed directly at the Fabianski by Mertesacker.

Then after another waffly ten minutes of ineffective Arsenal possession, Swansea obviously equalised with their first foray into our final third when Abraham slid an easy through ball to Clucas who seemed to have all the time in the world to poke it past a stranded looking Cech. 0-1, and I have to say this whole ‘dominate possession, concede first’ Arsenal way of playing in the Premier League is now becoming painfully repetitive.

This predictably kicked us up the arse a bit, but in reality all it made us do is the same thing we’d done for the first 20 minutes but faster and with a now more vocally grumpy home crowd to soundtrack our efforts. Sanchez managed to test Fabianski with a decent shot, but really Andre Ayew should have really put us in a whole world of hurt near the close when he went one on one with Cech after robbing Mertesacker, but luckily for us he was selfish and not very good so instead of squaring to the open Abraham he tried to chip it and fluffed it. Badly.

Then after much huffing and indeed puffing the half finished 0-1 to the away side.

SECOND HALF:

The second half started more brightly for the home side, when after some good work down the left hand side and a cheeky backheel from Lacazette, the ball ended up fumbling to Kolasinac who absolutely booted the ball into the back of the net to emphatically level the scores on the 51st minute. 1-1.

But Arsenal weren’t done being Arsenal so obviously had to almost concede literally a minute after scoring, when Abraham took advantage of slack defending to drill one in, only for it to be correctly called offside.

But Arsenal had finally woken up, and after Big Sead Kolasinac missed a header that he really should have scored, he atoned by laying a cross to Ramsey who gently put us ahead with with a neat near post finish. 2-1.

By now Arsenal seemed to smell blood, and especially Ramsey, who took it upon himself to be the epicentre of a lot of spurned chances. First he blasted high over from a decent position, then after Lacazette almost got his head on the end of a cross, Ramsey again chipped a lovely ball over to Bellerin who connected with a lunging first time volley that kissed the crossbar and went over. Weird how we always need to go behind to play well but there you go.

Lacazette and Kolasinac were replaced by Giroud and Holding respectively, and other than a lovely Giroud volley and another drive of his that whistled past the post, the game petered out into a fairly comfortable win.

 

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