By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal has made a couple of changes for this match.
Per Mertesacker comes back in the team but Koscielny has a slight calf injury and is out for this match. So Per partners Gabriel in the centre of defence.
Up front we see Giroud come in the place of Welbeck of whom Wenger has said that he had to wait for the doctors advise to start him or not. And also Joel Campbell comes in the team and Walcott drops to the bench.
Arsenal team: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, GAbriel, Monreal, Campbell, Coquelin, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud.
On the beach: Ospina, Chambers, Welbeck, Walcott, Flamini, Elneny, Gibbs.
Giroud with the first shot for Arsenal but a defender in the way after a good combination from Ramsey and Alexis. Another attempt from Giroud after a good combination on the right but again a defender in the way of his shot. Another good attack from Arsenal with a back header from Özil to Alexis who first misses the ball but gets another chance and hits the post with his shot and the ball bounces in the arms of Fabianski. And what was coming came. Arsenal with another good attack. Alexis gets the ball 6 meters outside the penalty area, looks up sees the run from Campbell and chips the ball over the defender and Campbell with a sliding effort shoots the ball past Fabianski. GOAL! 1-0 to the Arsenal after 15 minutes.
Swansea now going a bit more forward but not really coming close to Cech apart from a harmless cross. Özil with a blocked shot an then a shot from Bellerin but Fabianski can hold on the just enough to prevent Ramsey getting on the rebound. Fer with the first shot for Swansea but half a meter over. Mertesacker showing the importance of having long legs to stop Gomis from going forward. Campbell with some artistry when collecting the ball but his shot is diverted in to the hands of Fabianski. Still 1-0 for Arsenal after half an hour.
The referee then ignores a foul on Özil and Swanse capitalises by putting Routledge on his own and he puts the ball past Cech. 1-1 after 32 minutes. What is it with English referees who ignore fouls on Özil time and time again. A good attack on the right flank but a defender just in the way of the cross in front of an Arsenal player. Arsenal with some good attacks but it went wrong with the last pass or cross. Ajew gets a yellow card for bringing Monreal down. After a corner Ramsey gives a long ball to Mertesacker who heads it back to Giroud whose shot crashes the crossbar. Arsenal unlucky twice now. Arsenal has to go in the dressing room at the end of the first half with a 1-1 score thanks to the woodwork not helping Arsenal and the ref ignoring a blatant foul on Özil. Again….
Bellerin with a good run but nobody at the end of his low cross. Arsenal pressing but not getting in to real opening scoring positions. A corner to Arsenal, Alexis shoots but the shot goes just wide. Free kick from Özil but Alexis can’t put his foot against the ball and Fabianski can collect. Still 1-1 after one hour.
After 63 minutes Campbell comes off and Welbeck comes on. Arsenal lose their concentration and Sigurdson shoots wide from a difficult angle. Free kick for Arsenal. Alexis with the kick and again the crossbar saves Swansea. That is 3 times that Arsenal has hit the woodwork this match. Swansea gets a free kick and Williams bundles it over the line. 1-2 for Swansea after 74 minutes.
Walcott comes in for Alexis who had a unlucky match hitting the post twice and misplacing a lot of passes. Header from Giroud but Fabianksi with the save. Monreal shoots over. A cross from Özil but a defender at the end of it. Corner but Fabianski can catch the header from Walcott. Ramsey goes down in the penalty area but this is Arsenal so no penalty. A header from Welbeck goes wide. A final corner where the shirt from Giroud is almost pulled over his head but this is no penalty by English rules of course.
When nothing goes right, the ref forgets to blow when he should and the woodwork stops goal bound efforts it feels as if the world is conspiring against Arsenal. Another point lost because of the incompetence from the ref who gave Swansea a life line when they were in the ropes.