By Walter Broeckx
Compared to the team that started against Everton we had a few changes.
Per Mertesacker took back his place in the cente of the defence. It was Joel Campbell to make his first PL start in this match in the absence of Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott.
The team that started: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.
On the beach: Macey, Chambers, Debuchy, Flamini, Gibbs Gabriel, Iwobi.
Neither goalkeeper being put to work in the opening minutes. Lots of midfield play from both teams trying to pass their way around the opposition. The first real attempt of a shot on target from Monreal but it went well wide. Just on the 15 minute mark a curling effort from Joel Campbell that went just wide of the goal of Fabianski. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Swansea with two fouls in succession and both time the ref has a word with the Swansea player. One time a big warning is enough ref. Then suddenly Gomis on his own, on side but Cech forced him out and Bellerin put the ball in to a corner. The offside trap didn’t work as Koscielny stepped up too late. Campbell with a good run but couldn’t find Bellerin with his pass and at the other end Gomis again almost away but this time Kos could block him. The match had opened up now. The ref again warning Swansea this time calling over the captain that the fouling should stop… how about pulling out a yellow card ref?
Alexis with a brilliant pass to Giroud but his first time shot went over the bar. Montero being brought down by a combined effort from Bellerin and Campbell but the ref seems to have forgotten his cards. The small wall keeps Sigurdson out and the follow up header from Shelvey goes over. Replays showed the ball went against the arm of Mertesacker but it seemed to be pulled up by his teammate in the wall and still in front of his chest. Still 0-0 after half an hour.
Montero the most dangerous man for Swansea but taking a touch too much. Arsenal not in the best period in the match in the last minutes. Campbell with a shot on the turn but direct at Fabianski so no real danger. Gomis then called back for offside if he had left it for Montero it wouldn’t have been offside. Giroud on the floor when he turned and seemed to be caught a bit late. Holding his knee… This sure sends a few shivers through my spine to be honest. Yes he was caught on the knee by the knee of a Swansea player when his foot was in the ground. Dangerous to get injured… But he seemed to able to carry on. 0-0 at half time.
Arsenal winning a few corners at the start of the second half. And third time, best time as the corner from Özil finds Giroud who heads it in towards the far post. GOAL!!!! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 48 minutes.
Cech immediately has to be on hand to stop a dangerous cross towards Ayew and then has to make another save on a Sigurdson shot. The corner again gets a dangerous situation in front of the Arsenal goal but Arsenal can clear. Alexis then trying to curl one to the far post but it goes wide. Alexis not having his best match so far this afternoon. Ayew offside but even then Arsenal could prevent them scoring ever after rounding Cech. Bellerin with the last ditch attempt that saw him hitting the post with his chest.
A yellow card against Ki for holding Giroud too long. Campbell suddenly on the left flank with a dangerous cross but Fabianski first to the ball in front of Giroud. Shelvey slipping over…. and the ref gives a foul and stops a possible Arsenal counter… WTF???? Still Arsenal 0-1 in front after 60 minutes.
Another chance for Arsenal but Alexis cannot direct his header on target after a corner for Arsenal. Ayew fouling Monreal and Arsenal have a free kick that is being blocked, the ball goes back to Arsenal a cross that loops high in the air, Fabianski comes for it under challenge of Giroud. Fabianski spills the ball and Koscielny puts it in the net much to his own surprise. And mine. Never the less GOAL!!!! 0-2 for Arsenal after 69 minutes.
My stream then going down only to see…. GOAL!!!!! Özil who else, with a low cross from the left that goes behind everyone but Campbell who scores in his PL debut match! 0-1 after 74 minutes!!! Who would have predicted this after a difficult first 45 minutes.
Arsenal midfielders then a bit too casual and Williams with a shot but Cech with the save. Montero going off for Swansea. He was most invisible in the second half. Campbell on the counter but his shot went over. Arsenal now controlling the ball and playing the ball around as in a practice match.
With 7 minutes to go Giroud comes off and Chambers comes on. Let’s keep him fit for Wednesday was on Wenger his mind I think and Campbell going off for Gibss I think. (stream problems) Alexis now up front on his own. Williams pulling Alexis down when on goal but only a yellow card for the ref. Bellerin with a low shot and a great save from Fabianski and then again on the rebound.
Özil again with two assists, going off in extra time and Iwobi making his PL debut. A difficult first half but then in the second half Arsenal mostly dominated the match an won it comfortably in the end. 0-3 after 90 minutes.