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Arsenal 3 Swansea 2

October 16, 2016

To begin with, like most Arsenal fans right now, I was quite satisfied with Arsene Wenger keeping the same starting eleven as our last match against Burnley. It was nice to see that Wenger recognised that the team did not need too be chopped and changed around an awful lot. Another positive from the team selection yesterday was seeing Lucas back on the bench after recovering from his knee injury just prior to the International break.

First half

When the game kicked off, I expected Arsenal to press Swansea high up the field from the get go, just like the recent home matches against Chelsea and Basel. I was also intrigued to see if Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott would keep up their recent impressive form, with them both seeing a lot of the ball early alongside Mesut Ozil, Alexis and Santi Cazorla.  Arsenal looked the most likely to break the deadlock in the first half. However, like most teams in the premier league today, Swansea had some quality on the field and had the first major attempt to shout about, when a rather impressive Barrow pulled the ball back to Fer who curled his shot just over the bar.

Arsenal then had plenty of possession, but began to look some what more decisive with the ball in the final third. Then, after 26 minutes, Alexis chipped a pass in behind the Swansea Defence towards Bellerin, who headed to ball into the penalty area, but straight at Swansea Defender Amat. A major lapse in concentration from Amat though, set the ball up nicely for Theo Walcott in the six yard box for him to open the scoring for Arsenal. This goal really emulating the hard work that Theo Walcott has added to his game this season.

Shortly after, a corner was taken by Arsenal just in front of the Swansea faithful, which travelled over everyone’s head and flicked up off Sigurdsson’s ankle and set up nicely for Theo Walcott to control, swivel and rifle straight down the middle past Fabianski into the net. With Arsenal now in full control and Swansea’s confidence low, Xhaka then presented them with a glimmer of hope just before half time, when his miss-control on the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area, left Sigurdsson only needing to side foot the ball round Petr Cech and into the Arsenal goal. Arsenal still, however, went in a half time 2-1 up and fully deserving to be in the lead.

Second half

Both teams came out for the second half, and the tempo of the game stayed relatively similar. Arsenal looked comfortable on the ball and Swansea looked slightly insecure at the back. Then, ten minutes into the second half, Alexis picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and put a pin point cross to Ozil who caught a first time volley beautifully which rocketed into the roof of the net, leaving Fabianski no chance in the Swansea goal.

Continuing his good performance, Barrow beat Monreal down the right hand side and held the ball up well whist also picking out a nice pass to find Baston in the middle of the Arsenal penalty area to slot home past Petr Cech while Arsenal defence stood rooted to the spot watching the ball, not the man.. With Swansea back in the game and gaining confidence, the momentum shifted completely to Swansea. Five minutes later, Granit Xhaka cynically fouled Barrow from behind on the half way line and received a red card for his troubles. Apparently new rules brought in this season ex[plains why Moss sent the Arsenal player off. Swansea then went on to make chances with their player advantage, yet failed to take any of them.  The best of Swansea’s chances falling to Sigurdsson who blazed the ball over the crossbar from about five yards out after another Barrow cross into the box.

Arsenal, and in particular Walcott, went on to have the best of the late chances as twice Walcott was set up by Chamberlain, in which both times the woodwork denied him getting his well deserved Hat-Trick on the day.

This win then took Arsenals winning streak to six games and joint top of the Premier League after Tottenham and Manchester City both dropped points In their games against West Brom and Everton respectively.

Thanks for reading




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