Arsenal go joint-top with excruciating win over Swansea!

Arsenal took all three points in a thoroughly entertaining match-up against Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium today.

We started the match brightly, dominating much of the match in the early exchanges, but the Swans starting to work their way into the game after 15 minutes.

Their confidence took a huge hit on MINUTE however, when Hector Bellerin knocked it on to Theo Walcott in front of the keeper to tuck away. The visitors should have done better in their attempts to clear the ball from danger, but who are we to complain of such a thing.

Less than 10 minutes later we doubled our lead, through the man of the moment Theo Walcott once again, and it was starting to look like damage limitation measures should be put in place by the Welsh side.

Oh how we were wrong…

Five minutes later, and Granit Xhaka gifts Gylfi Sigurdsson the ball, and the Iceland international manages to weave himself some space for a shot and buries it beyond Petr Cech and into the net. That was enough excitement for the first half, but there was still plenty more football to be played.

We began the second half much like the first, creating much of the best opportunities, but Nacho Monreal is not having the best time stopping Barrow from putting our defence under pressure, and the game remains open.

Just before the hour-mark, Mesut Ozil caps off some sublime build up play which started from the back, with Alexis finding the German inside the penalty box to fire into the roof of the net to reclaim our two-goal advantage.

In typical Arsenal fashion, we continue to push on and try to build on our lead, and pay the price for it. Once again the visitors attack us down our left flank, and Barrow gets to burst down the by-line and get the ball into the box for Borja Baston to put away.

There is still over 20 minutes for the Swans to get something from the match, and you can feel them growing in confidence, and two minutes after their goal, Xhaka once again piles the pressure on us by getting a red card for a deliberate tackle on the half-way line.

Great! Now we are really under it! I’m sure the remainder of the match was full of excitement and was a great watch for the neutrals, but not for me. I’m sat on the edge of my seat and I cannot sit still.

We keep getting caught out by the offside trap, just as we look to be through on goal to seal victory, while we continue to be peppered at the other end of the pitch.

Bob Bradley’s newly inherited side came at us with wave after wave of attack, but failed to really force Petr Cech into any major saves and we finally got out of the game with full points. Heart-ache over!

We may have got the three points, but we can hardly be happy with the defending at times, and Nacho Monreal will likely have nightmares over his performance.

The HUGE plus comes from our rivals Manchester City and Tottenham both failing to win their matches, and as predicted earlier in the day, these points could well prove pivotal in the title race, especially as we now sit joint-top of the table, behind City by only one goal.

As tough of a game as it was to much, we actually led the match for over an hour! Was any of you comfortable in that final 20 minutes? Just how important will these points be come the end of the season?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Swansea


  1. Bad game for xack man but he’ll learn from it..good to see his team mate had his bk and dog in for the loinrs

    1. LOL…I know what you mean. 🙂
      I still rate Monreal, but I think it’s high time Arsenal started looking for a replacement. He seemed to be the weak link in the match. The Ox was really good during that short spell. A couple of my buddies were saying Arsenal was lucky. I say we held on well. The previous Arsenal of a couple of years ago would probably have lost that match. So, I say we are an upgrade at the moment.
      Though this Arsenal is not the finished product yet, I believe we are getting there.

      1. The main reason for Monreals troubles in several matches is Iwobi. He is simply not doing the defensive protection and back-up to help out Monreal. As promising Iwobi looks going forward as much a liability is he defensively. He can be great if he learns, but if he doesn’t, we can’t afford to play him.

        1. I don’t see why you should blame Iwobi at all… Monreal literally escorted the Barrow guy with his Carragher-like shadow marking up until he got into the 18yard box leading to the 2nd goal.
          Iwobi did very well offensively and defensively… for crying out loud what if Monreal had Neymar, Hazard or even Ronaldo in front of him does it mean he ll be useless repeatedly.

  2. Those last few 15 mins were a roller coaster ride, alright Gooners lets be honest Xhaka is good be he hasn’t shown us anything close to his 35m price tag, is he a dm ? Is he a master passer ? Is he a ball rycler? I personally feel Cock is better, and compliments Santi waaay more, and Lucas Perez should have chosen a different jersey number because he won’t sniff a premier league game wearing the number 9 jersey, ask Podolski and friends, by the time Lucas plays Welbeck will be fit and Giroud will have worked his way back in2 our starting 11, Perez was a waste of cash, sorry but its true, he aint being used at all, and maaaaaaan Arsenal players stop trying to make the perfect pass and just shooootttt, be more direct, but yes I love this team some very great moments but we have to do better guys, COYG!!!!!!

  3. Nice win. Good resilience also. Good foul by Xhaka. Though it caused him a red.
    Theo was supposed to score at least 4 goals that match.
    3 points regardless. Long may it continue.

  4. Last 20 mins….. scary
    Bt one positive from the season. We are changing baby we are changing. Too early to say bt that is champions stuff. Joint top, 6 straight wins, cant complaint much. Too much Newcastle United memories.
    Btw Happy Bday OZIL.. What a volley..
    Next Game plz

  5. We looked shaky in defense today but here’s hoping we sort out the problems and come roaring back tighter at the back in the next game! Coyg

  6. A little worrying how we absolutely battered them for the first 60-70 minutes but they were still in the game at 3-2. Having said that, we did play some brilliant football at times managed to hang on to the lead despite being down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes or so.

    A few points:

    1- Felt Cech could have done better for both of their goals.

    2- Koscielny and Mustafi both look great with the ball and defending individually, but again, could have done better for the 2nd goal.

    3 – Monreal wasn’t get much help once Barrow started tormenting him and looked like he would beat him every single time.

    4 – Bellerin is really developing into a top, top full-back.

    5 – Iwobi looked like the best player on the pitch at time – not for the first time this season.

    6 – All said and done, we deserved the 3 points, which we just about managed to hold on to. Played some great football and showed strength to hold on to the lead after Xhaka got sent off.

    7 – Alexis played his heart out as usual, but Chamberlain did exactly what was asked of him when he came on, setting up Walcott twice.

    8 – Two costly mistakes from Xhaka, even if the sending off was a little harsh. Had it been a yellow, we would have been praising him for taking one for the team. Beautiful passer of the ball, but one mistake too many today.

  7. I knew that this game wouldn’t be a walk in the park, like some on here thought that it would be.
    Walcott was unlucky, he should have scored four and Even though it was a bit wobbly In the last 20 minutes, the end result shows that this Arsenal team has improved a lot from previous years, where we would have more than likely lost points in this game.
    Also a big shout out to Everton and WBA ????

    1. Anti Theo moaners saying he should’ve scored 4. True. But why not say well done Theo for winning us the game. Theo is proving his doubters wrong….
      And well done Wenger!

  8. – I thought Bellerin had his best game of the season today
    – Walcott needs to be calmer in front of goal. You can’t afford that miss in the CL final for example. Fine performance though.
    – Sanchez and Ozil seemed to have switched roles! Sanchez now creator-in-chief for Arsenal
    – Even without Xhaka’s red, it appears we miss something without Coquelin on the pitch. Xhaka passes nicely, but his tackles…
    – Cazorla had a great game today. Lots of incisive through passes. Could have got a couple of assists
    – Cech isn’t really better than Ospina is he? Seems very easy to beat…

    1. Cazorla had an underrated game, also thought he was excellent. Besides for Xhaka everyone was pretty good, goals we gave up today we’re down to complacency. Once we put in the 3rd we should’ve just tried to close out the game, instead we lost control for no reason. Still happy with win of course, But things to work on still.

    2. This is just my opinion but Cech should’ve done better, at least with that second goal…

      Maybe I have to check it again but it looked like his foot should’ve caught it..

    3. 100% agree about cech crosses he is better due to height etc but no way in shot stopping, I think both goals a De Gea, Lloris n yes ospina would have saved.

      Think iwobi did leave monreal exposed a fair but gotta say monreal didn’t do himself justice he was awful today, I would go as far to say sanchez/xhaka /iwobi /monreal were off the boil today.
      Walcott wastefull
      Ozil n Santi played well

      Rotation for midweek is key for me
      Ox El neny gibbs perez have got to start.

      I would say rest Bellerin but who is his cover???

    4. Ospina playing for arsenal in 2014/15 season, best stats in PL by a long way. Outstanding performances for columbia in WC and copa america. Double saves against messi and aguerro. Rated by messi.

      We are very fortunate to have Ospina as our reserve goalie and perhaps he will soon take the number one spot off cech.

  9. all agreed a great result. all agreed that monreal was having a horrible afternoon against barrow. but how mr stubborn could not see it – I do not understand how we kept trying to score the perfect goal and always our players were outnumbered. – goner for ever

  10. In the last 20 mins it was uncomfortable at times,but we should have won with at least one more goal if the Hatrick village allowed Walcott to rent a flat,but that being said,it is a very big lesson that once you have a two goal lead,you should still keep your shape and remain focus and still go for it just like bournemouth did today. All the same am happy with the score,let’s give monreal another game,maybe he was affect by the international break. Good win today

  11. They still showboat with 2 goal leads. Chelsea, Basel and today. If that doesn’t change then rest assured some team will comeback from 2 goals down to beat us somewhere in the season.

    The litmus test is when we play Tottenham, PSG and Man u together in November. That will show us if we are challengers.

    1. Arsenal with no confidence is way worse though. Feel like this team goes into the game knowing they will score. Just so many lapses in concentration today. This should’ve been an easy win after 2-0…

      1. The positives are, that we are starting games quickly now. But because we invest heavy energy in the first half we sometimes lack that in 2nd half. We need to either improve fitness or manage energy better.

    2. To be honest, today we saw classic Arsenal but with unclassic result.

      We were leading comfortably 2-0, then one player does a stupid mistake and the game is on. Then we 2 goals ahead again, but concede in the matter of minutes. Then it’s a stupid red or similar and we end up drawing the match. Maybe even losing.

      HOWEVER, it all looked like it was going to end like we have used to see in the past. However we hold on, and won the 3 points. That’s the thing I liked. But we have to start controlling the nerves.

  12. Coquelin is back and will reclaim his position moving forward. Xhaka needs time to adapt to this league, he was almost absent as Swansea moved it about freely all game long. We need to find a replacement for Monreal bc last year montero destroyed him and now this borrow guy. Walcott needs to work on his finishing he could’ve had 4 or 5, too many wasted opportunities. Again, playing Sanchez today was VERY risky but i’m glad we pulled through it with the 3 points but i think Perez needs to start against Ludagorets. Our resilience is just unreal this year, same game last year and we would’ve found a way to tie or lose the game.

  13. Nail biting stuff, we won a game that could have been an easy victory, a disappointing draw or a disgusting loss. Arsenal most be workman like and stop indulging in fancy football which i think cost us those two goals, we must learn to kill off teams.

    Some point

    Monreal started having problems with a wide player, the on field players must recognise this and make adjustments, either iwobi drop off a little or one of the CM acts as cover.

    Xhaka ooo Xhaka extremely talented player, but must know the basics required for players in the DM position, nothing fancy in your defensive third, the simple pass is the best pass and mark the player properly, but Xhaka will learn.

    Coquelin as i said before is the most important DM we have and must been shown the respect by fans, although Xhaka should have manage easily and Coquelin was not needed.

    I strongly think arsenal still have a lot of improvements to come and will be looking out for better performances

  14. 3 hard earned points I can’t complain much the only negative is Xhaka’s red. My advice to him, he needs to be more disciplined and always stay in position ?

    1. No matter his track record of red cards, this one definitely wasn’t a red card. But we have rided our luck so far this season in games (Leicester should’ve had penalty, out 2nd goal vs Sot’n and last second goal vs Burnley) so I wasn’t complaining to much.

      In fact it was a test to see if we could hold on. Bayern Munich gave up a 2 nil lead today against 10 man away at Frankfurt(2-1 when sending off happened).

      Because Swansea are a possession team, it made it difficult when we were down to 10. If it were any other teams out there in the bottom we would’ve still killed the time even if we were down to 10.

  15. Also a warning, look back at our goals conceded this season, most of them come from the left side of our defence. Monreal should be getting tighter to his man. Anyone with pace and decent crosses will trouble him. So a player Antonio Valencia will trouble him when we visit Old Trafford next month. Iwobi doesn’t help him much either to be fair.

    Bellerin seems to be covering the whole of the right side by himself with Mustafi giving him cover when too far up.

    I would like to see this forwrd line in midweek,


    That could be potent, only if Perez doesn’t do one touch passes and first time shots. He is good on the ball so needs to use that strength.

  16. Arsenal is completely a different team without a target man. Teams used to take us for granted, because our game plan was based on a lone striker who was very slow in attack, very easy to out mark and worst still, he wasn’t clinical in front of goal. Thanks to our forwards for grinding out the results whenever we need them. COYG

  17. I didn’t know it was possible to get red carded for tripping someone up on the half way line. Yellow all day long. Like when people tug the shirt to stop a counter attack, you never get a red for that.

    I’m not sure who’s worse at missing open goals, Giroud or Theo?

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