Now that’s a little more like it eh? 3 points away at Swansea on the face of it doesn’t sound like a big achievement, but so far this season, I think only two or three teams have managed to come away with anything of note. All the more impressive is that the win was off the back of chasing shadows against a very strong Bayern Munich side in the week.
The game wasn’t a classic and it certainly took a while for Arsenal to kick into gear, but we had chances in the first half. The team lined up with Monreal in at left back, which was a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure whether the Spaniard is first choice, or Wenger doesn’t want to risk Gibbs two games on the bounce. There were second first team starts for Fabianski and Koscielny… and Diaby made his way into the fold. Arteta remained the captain.
Chamberlain had the best chance of the first half when he cut in from the left and looped a ball over Michael Vorm, but sadly, just a touch too high as it clipped the cross bar. Swansea had a couple of decent chances of their own but a lack of finishing, I think Rangel was the first to get through on goal but scuffed his shot wide under pressure from Koscielny. The second chance came after a poor pass from Jenkinson was intercepted from De Guzman, he fed in Michu who dragged his shot wide.
The weather turned on it’s nasty face and the heavens opened. Normally, this improved good passing teams game, not for Swansea. They started making sloppy errors and their game failed to hit the slick heights we know it’s capable of. Chamberlain had our final chance of the half when he replicated the 30 yard strike and once again hit the cross bar. Fair play to him for having a pop!
Things looked like they were heading for deadlock until Arsene Wenger brought on Gervinho and Ramsey. A face palm moment for 99% of Arsenal fans… and please, don’t pretend anyone was excited about those two coming on to rescue the game. Still, credit where credit is due. They came on and sparked the side into life. Well, if anyone sparked into life it was Cazorla. He went on a mazy run into the box, he cut his cross back to Ramsey, Giroud got in the way with a dreadful touch but luckily Monreal was on hand to scuff his shot perfectly into the bottom corner. What a relief!
The boys weren’t done. Well, Gervinho and Ramsey weren’t done. The Welshman, in his homeland, fresh off the back of a 6 Nations win bombed out wide with the ball, he cut a pass into Gervinho, a little bit behind him if I’m being critical, the Ivorian picked it up, moved into the box and made sure the three points were ours in the 93rd minute.
Superb. Two clean sheets on the bounce. 4 goals. 2 away wins. Things are on the up people.
Results elsewhere weren’t really too positive. Liverpool lost 3-1 to Southampton which was good news. However, Everton took 3 points from Manchester City which means the race for the top four is becoming more and more clustered. There are 11 points between 2nd and 6th. I don’t think anyone is catching Manchester City, but I certainly think there’s a good chance Chelsea won’t take third. They play the Hammers today, Spurs play Fulham… both teams are capable of dropping points.
All Arsenal can do from now until the end of the season is win all there games. A massive ask from a team who has failed to show any sort of consistency all season. However, it we’re pretty strong finishers. The momentum now feels like it’s starting to swing our way. So let’s see what happens. Yesterday was a very good win. The performance in the first half wasn’t the best, even in the second half I don’t think you can really get too carried away… but a win, is a win, is a win.
Our next game is against Reading at home. It should be 3 points in the bag even though they did give United a run for their money. The games after are Norwich, WBA, Fulham… then it’s United at home. If ever there was a game we needed to win, it’s United at home. They have a 15 point lead at the moment. The thought of them winning the league at the Grove is unthinkable.
Anyway, have a great day, keep em’ crossed for the #SpiralOfNegativity.
- Arsenal had 16 attempts on goal with 6 finding the target
- Arsenal attempted 454 passes, Swansea 545
- Swansea had a pass completion rate of 88%, Arsenal 85% (20% up from midweek)
- De Guzman made the most passes of the game with 89
- Olivier Giroud won the most aerial battles winning 7 out of 11