Swansea 1 Arsenal 2: The Ramsey Juggernaut Remains Unstoppable
Liberty Stadium (Premier League)
Swansea – Davies 82′; Arsenal – Gnabry 58′, Ramsey 62′
In a rather surprising weekend of Premier League football that started with Tottenham and Chelsea sharing the spoils of an intense London derby, the Manchester clubs rolled over against opposition you would expect them to steamroll past, which meant that Arsenal had the chance to go back to the summit of the table with a win against an in-form Swansea side in Wales.
Canas and Jonjo Shelvey tried to draw first blood with tame efforts and Arsenal had efforts from Per Mertesacker and Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey almost put his team in a rather precarious situation when his heavy back pass which wasn’t controlled adequately by Wojciech Szczesny and with Miguel Michu charging down at the goalie like a raging bull, the Pole tried to attempt a dribble but the ball was blocked and went beyond the goal line for a goal kick.
There was an injury concern for Giroud but a late surge from Serge Gnabry saw the youngster take on all comers before sending Olivier Giroud through but the striker’s shot was wide off the mark.
The second half began with a weak Gnabry shot from a Mesut Ozil pass but Gnabry wasn’t going to be denied a second time after some intricate passing play between Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey saw the young German through on goal and he drilled his effort past Michel Vorm to score his first goal for the Gunners.
Arsenal launched a counter attack and Ramsey covered a lot of ground with the ball before threading a perfect through ball to Ozil. The German schemer had all the time in the world to pick his spot but his shot was straight at Vorm which was parried away for a corner kick.
Arsenal doubled their money shortly afterwards, when Ramsey teed up Wilshere that did well to win a challenge before feeding Giroud. The Frenchman wasted no time in executing a neat one-two with Wilshere, then he fashioned a chance for Ramsey that had a touch before slamming the roof of the net with a piledriver.
In the space of four minutes, the Gunners were two up and the fans in the away stand of the Liberty Stadium made their voices heard, as the “Aaron Ramsey, he scores when he wants” chants reverberated around the stadium.
Nathan Dyer was afforded a chance at goal and fired a rasping shot to Szczesny’s far post but the Pole made a great save. Wilshere almost gifted Swansea a chance back into the game when he shockingly fed Wilfried Bony with a chance but the Ivorian’s shot was blocked by Szczesny on his near post. The keeper voiced his frustrations on Wilshere after making the save.
Wenger removed a clearly jaded Gnabry for Mikel Arteta to add some steel into the midfield. The Gunners had another chance to go three up but Mertesacker nodded Ozil’s free kick wide. Late on, Ben Davies gave a pass to Bony and continued his run but the Ivorian forward stunned Arsenal’s defense with a brilliant over the top pass that was finished aplomb by Davies, to give a nervy end to the game.
The Swansea players and fans went berserk when Bacary Sagna fired his clearance into Mathieu Flamini’s hands but the ref was having none of it, as he didn’t deem it enough to warrant a penalty for the home side. The manager made two more defensive substitutions as Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson came on for Ozil and Wilshere.
The Gunners held on to another famous win to continue their impressive away run of consecutive victories to 12 games. The victory also sent them to the summit of the log table.
Szczesny (8) had a solid game and dominated his area by plucking out a lot of lofted balls into his box.
Sagna (7) balanced his attacking and defensive play superbly.
Gibbs (7) didn’t threaten much offensively but he was solid at the back.
Koscielny (9) was a colossus at the back, making interception after interception, ensuring that Michu had a bad day in the office.
Mertesacker (7) had a good game but his lack of athleticism was exposed as it took him an age to turn when Bony’s ball went over his head.
Flamini (8) continued his dirty work in midfield and got a booking for his troubles. He’s taking his “unfinished business” rather seriously.
Ramsey (10) was on fire yet again, battling extremely hard for his team, supplying an assist and scoring what proved to be the match winner. MOTM
Ozil (6) was a bit overwhelmed by the game and would be utterly disappointed for the clear-cut chance he missed.
Gnabry (8) put up a wonderful shift after playing 120 minutes of football in midweek. That goal must have done wonders to his confidence.
Wilshere (7) was industrious in midfield and battled hard for his team.
Giroud (6) bar his assist to Ramsey, he struggled a lot in the game and looked a bit off the pace. Maybe he’s fatigued.
Arteta (7) added solidity to the midfield after replacing Gnabry.
Monreal and Jenkinson (N/A)
Arsene Wenger celebrated his 17th anniversary with the club win three massive points that has sent him clear of Tottenham. He was pleased with the performances of his lads and with some inured players returning, all focus will be fixed on the Champions League encounter against high-flying Napoli on Independence Day.
It’s quite lonely at the top, I must say. But I’m loving it. :D
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