By Walter Broeckx
For the second time in a row Arsenal made no changes to the side that played against Hull last week.
Ramsey recovered from the kicking he got and started. Jack Wilshere remained on the bench. So the same team that started, something that doesn’t change that much at Arsenal because of all the usual injuries we get.
The team that started was: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. On the bench we had: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott.
Shelvey immediately clamped his leg around the legs of Alexis. A first dangerous tackle, Friend could have done a bit more than just give a foul. Arsenal with an attack on the right and the cross from Ramsey is headed just over by Giroud. Swansea defending with all players behind the ball and speculating on the counter. Ospina had to get down to a shot from distance. And had to be alert on a long ball over the top to head it away. A nice cushioned header by the way. Williams from Swansea overstrechthing his knee when he brought down Giroud just outside the Swansea penalty area. Özil with the free kick but it hit Mertesacker in the wall. Another kick on Alexis from behind was to be seen within the first 15 minutes. Friend keeping the cards in his pocket.
Arsenal finding it difficult to find an opening between the defensive line up from Swansea for the moment. Özil finding a bit of space on the left flank but Ramsey cannot direct the header in to a dangerous situation. Giroud being judged just offside by the assistant when he was level. Only an Arsenal goal could open up this match. Fernandez with another kick from behind, on Giroud this time and again no cards. Come on Mr. Friend you are supposed to be a home refereee? Sanchez being pulled back from the free kick but Friend lets it go. The tempo from Arsenal not high enough to create real chances in the first half hour. So still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Based on this first half hour Mr. Friend is not just a home referee. Özil picking out Alexis with a briljant pass but he can only force a corner. Swansea getting a foul from Friend and wasting some more time on each occasion. Shelvey then finally getting a yellow card for another foul on Alexis. But all in all too many wrong passes from Arsenal up to now. And to break down a team that parks the bus you need accurate passing. Giroud with a curling shot that went wide a few minutes before the end of the first half. Most attacks ended up with Arsenal players being outcrowded by a lot of Swansea defenders. In the last minute a long ball from Sanchez to Ramsey but Fabianski was just first on the ball. Did the Swasea manager at one time work under Mourinho? Well he sure knows how to put up a defensive team. 0-0 at half time after a dissapointing first half. You would think that a team that has nothing really to play for would be a bit more adventerous but no indication that they even think of trying to really attack. Just hope for the bloody lucky counter was what they did during the whole first half.
After some 5 minutes a first fast attack on the right flank but a defender could prevent the low cross reaching Giroud. Giroud then feeing Sanchez who worked himself past a defender but his shot ended up in the side net. Ramsey doing some good work but the final cross let him down completely. On the other end Ospina with a good interception on a low cross. A low shot from Giroud just before the hour but Fabianski could stop it. A bit later another attack but Arsenal again hitting the side net, this time it was Ramsey. Still 0-0 after one hour.
Cazorla with a shot from 10 meters out but Fabianski again stopping the shot and holding on to the ball. Friend giving the ball to Swansea when Monreal was clearly fouled. Jack Wilshere coming on in the place of Coquelin after 66 minutes. Wilshere on the right and Ramsey dropping back. His first cross ended up in the hands of Fabianski. Walcott then came on in the place of Giroud after 68 minutes. Friend giving a throw to Swansea when even Richards ran away from the ball. A low shot from Cazorla was blocked in to a corner. Walcott with a too but he couldn’t put enough force on the ball and Fabianski could collect.
Some real pressure now from Arsenal but Cazorla was blocked 3 times in the space of seconds. Monreal getting away on the left but his shot was stopped by Fabianski once again. Arsenal now really deserving a lead by now. A Ramsey shot but again Fabianski stopping the effort. Then Alexis hits Fabianski and Walcott his rebound is again stopped by Fabianski. And not a minute later he stops another effort from Cazorla this time.
Friend giving every 50/50 to Swansea still. And as a result suddenly Swanse got away and Gomis headed the ball over the line with 5 minutes to go. 0-1 to Swansea. Ospina could only stop it when it was over the line. Putting football on its head….
And Fabianski just kept collectin all that came his way and if not a body was in the way of a Ramsey shot.
Football is about putting your chances away. We didn’t take them and the team that came to defend ran away with the points.
We didn’t start well enough in the first half but the second half was all about Arsenal. But as said before if you don’t take the chances you don’t win. Swansea seems to be one of those teams against whom we struggle against in the last seasons. And they did the double over United this season as has been said before.
These things can happen. Time to make up for it next week.