Arsenal made a good week even better with a vital 2-0 win against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium today.
Arsene Wenger made three changes from the team that beat Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Nacho Monreal replaced Kieran Gibbs at left back, and there were two changes in midfield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby replacing Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey who both dropped to the bench.
The game had a lively start with a Giroud header and a Dyer shot at each end before Oxlade-Chamberlain came close with an effort that hit the bar. He got the ball on the left, cut into the area, opened himself up and his shot bounced out off the top of the bar.
As expected the home side were efficient and patient on the ball, probing at the Arsenal defence for an opening, and they found one when Angel Rangel wasn’t flagged offside but under pressure from Koscielny and Monreal his shot was deflected wide.
Arsenal were lucky not go behind in the 17th minute after a bad mistake from Carl Jenkinson. He played a pass across goal on the edge of his own box, the ball was intercepted, played into Michu who shot on the turn and saw it go just wide.
At the other end the ball was played into Giroud, he flicked it back to Cazorla and the Spaniard’s left footed volley was heading for the top corner, but for the intervention of Vorm in the Swansea goal.
Theo Walcott hit the wall with a free kick after Cazorla had been fouled just outside the area, before Michu forced Fabianski into a smart save at his near post but the Spaniard was flagged for offside in the build up.
Arsenal probed for an opening and when Santi Cazorla fed a pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain about 30 yards out, the England youngster again saw his shot land on the top of the crossbar with Vorm well beaten. The teams went in scoreless at half-time.
Early in the second half Abou Diaby fired a left footed shot over the bar, before Cazorla made Vorm get down low to his right to save a left-footed effort. Diaby then overran a good position before Michu shot over from the edge of the Arsenal area, and soon after Hernandez fired a curling shot not too far away from Fabianski’s goal.
The game settled into a kind of dull, monotonous to and fro with neither team offering much from an attacking point of view. Arsene Wenger introduced Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diaby in the 71st minute.
Gervinho had an immediate impact, burning down the right hand side before his cross let him down, but soon after Arsenal got the goal they were looking for. It came after a brilliant run by Cazorla, he crossed it into the box, it looked like it was going to fall for Ramsey for a tap-in, Giroud got in the way, poked it back, Monreal ran onto it and his shot crept in past Vorm. 1-0.
Kieran Gibbs replaced Theo Walcott late on, and Santi Cazorla saw a goalbound shot deflect just wide off Monk, but in injury time Arsenal wrapped up the points. Swansea were caught high up the pitch, Arsenal played it forward to Ramsey, and with 2 on 1, he squared it for Gervinho. The Ivorian took a touch and slid it under Vorm to seal the game. 2-0.
A crucial three points for the Gunners but on the balance of the game well deserved.