Arsenal at sea against the Swans
Written By: Robert Halter
After two draws away at Aston Villa and then Everton, the Gunners were back at the Emirates Stadium beginning of December for the visit of Welsh outfit Swansea City, who were buoyant after a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion which saw the Swans unbeaten in five Premier League matches as they looked to end Arsenal’s run of six games in the division without loss. Now under the management of Michael Laudrup, the Swans were a point adrift and a point below Arsenal in the table, nestling in ninth spot, prior to kick off. On the quarter of the hour mark, the Swans stamped their authority on the game, when Itay Shechter found an unmarked Angel Rangel on the right, who pounced in the penalty area, forcing Wojciech Szczesny into a double save as he blocked Rangel’s first shot and then stopped his rebound effort. After thirty minutes of play, a last ditch tackle by Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen stopped Nathan Dyer’s run in on goal after Miguel Michu’s header had paved the way forward. On thirty eight minutes a foul by Mikel Arteta on Michu gained the Swans a free kick but Jonathan De Guzman steered the ball over the top. Three minutes into the second half, Jack Wilshere squared the ball to Santi Cazorla but his strike failed to trouble the Swans keeper Gerhard Tremmel. Another comfortable pick up by Tremmel from Cazorla’s effort outside the box on sixty one minutes saw the best of Arsenal’s chances. But Swansea were still looking good value two minutes later as Rangel worked his way through the Arsenal defence and then forced Szczesny into a save at his near post. The Gunners looked for more firepower midway through the second half with a double substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Gervinho and Olivier Giroud in place of Lukas Podolski while the Swans took off Shechter as Luke Moore took over. Another shot by Cazorla was collected by Tremmel after Theo Walcott’s cross failed to be cleared by De Guzman in the seventy second minute. De Guzman was soon replaced afterwards by Dwight Tiendalli. However it was the first sub Moore that threatened thirteen minutes from normal time as his long range strike was deflected behind off Per Mertesacker, as Szczesny covered his left post. In the final change for the Gunners, Tomas Rosicky returned to action in favour of Wilshere. On eighty four minutes, Szczesny made another near post block to keep out Tiendalli’s effort as he combined with Moore. Three minutes later, the Gunners rallied late on when from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross, Veremaelen headed the ball into Tremmel. The miss was to prove costly as a minute later Moore played through Michu and the Swans striker curled the ball over Szczesny into the right hand corner to give the visitors the lead near the end. Lightning was to strike twice when Carl Jenkinson lost the ball out to Dyer in his own half, and with all the Arsenal players up field, Michu was set free and ran clean through before striking his shot between the legs of Szczesny into the centre of the net to seal a 2-0 win for the Swans a minute into stoppage time which ensured all three points would be going back to the Welsh valleys.