Arsenal secure win against Swansea City
Written By: Robert Halter
There had never been a goalless draw between Arsenal and Swansea City as both sides met at the Emirates stadium in mid October. On twelve minutes from a Mesut Ozil corner, a powerful header by Shkodran Mustafi, struck the top of the crossbar, before rebounding over, as the Swans had a lucky escape. In the nineteenth minute, Swansea produced a three way combination with Modou Barrow to Kyle Naughton, before Leroy Fer, struck the ball over. But on twenty six minutes Arsenal took the lead, as Theo Walcott combined with Alexis Sanchez, whose ball over the top was knocked on by Hector Bellerin, and as Jordi Amat stumbled in the area, Walcott poked the ball in from close range as former Gunners keeper, Lukasz Fabianski, was left helpless. Three minutes later, from inside his own half, Granit Xhaka, sent the ball over to Sanchez, who raced clear, before striking an effort narrowly over. In the thirty second minute, Sanchez supplied Ozil, who spread the ball out to Bellerin, whose low strike produced a sprawling save from the legs of Fabianski, but from the Santi Cazorla corner, the ball deflected off Federico Fernandez and as Jack Cork fell to the floor, Walcott fired the ball in to punish the Swans for lack lustre defending and double the advantage for Arsenal. But a mistake from Xhaka, gave the Swans a life line, as Xhaka gifted the ball to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who bent the ball past Petr Cech, into the left side of the net, in the thirty eighth minute. Just before the break, Alex Iwobi armed Sanchez with the ball, whose low strike took a nick off Fernandez. But before the half time whistle, Nacho Monreal was penalised for a challenge on Sigurdsson, whose free kick was met by Amat’s head, with Cech making an important catch, to preserve the goal lead for Arsenal at the break. In the fifty six minute, Walcott was denied a hat trick by alert goalkeeping from Fabianski, after play down the left of the area by Iwobi, and as Neil Taylor failed to clear the danger, Ozil paved the way for Walcott, who was unable to score. But the Gunners only had to wait another minute for a third, after Sanchez teed the ball up for Ozil, whose thunderous volley crashed into the net and marked the birthday celebrations for the German playmaker. New Swans boss, Bob Bradley then switched his captain Leon Britton with Gonzalez Borja Baston, who made an immediate impact as the Swans again found a route back into the game on sixty six minutes, as Barrow cut the ball back from the right and Baston drove the ball past Cech, to bring the score back to 3-2. Arsenal then changed Iwobi with Francis Coquelin. But the Gunners were dealt a body blow when Xhaka received a straight red card from referee Jon Moss, for a tackle from behind on Barrow. The Swans made another change with Ki Sung-Yueng on for Cork. On seventy six minutes, Barrow squandered the opportunity to level the game, as Wayne Routledge found him unmarked in the area, but Barrow’s powder puff header was stopped by Cech. Another chance went begging for the Swans, as Barrow turned provider before Sigurdsson ballooned the ball over in range of the target, four minutes later. It prompted Arsenal to bring on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Sanchez and Kieran Gibbs for Ozil while Swansea took off Barrow for Angel Rangel, but it was the Ox that appeared the most lively as he charged down the right to set Walcott free, whose first time strike hit the inside of the right post, before the ball trickled a long the line, to prevent Walcott claiming the match ball, in the eighty fourth minute. Time looked up for the Swans as Fer’s header was caught by Cech from Naughton’s ball over. In stoppage time another header from Fernandez was clutched by Cech from Rangel’s cross. Arsenal then pressed as Bellerin’s right footed shot was saved by Fabianski from a Walcott assist before following a fast break by the Oz, a hat trick chance was spurned by Walcott as he thrashed the ball over with a clear sight of goal but in the end ten men Arsenal stayed on course for a 3-2 victory.