GUNPOWDER REVIEW: GUNNERS DESTROY SWANSEA AT THEIR BACKYARD AS TITLE RACE GETS INTRESTING
On paper it seemed like it was going to be 3 points for the taking, but with Arsenal nothing is ever a given so trepidation existed somewhere underneath. Swansea are one of the worst clubs in the division. They are conceding goals in torrents and scoring next to nothing. They are sure fire candidates to go down this season barring a miracle..15 Points from 21 games.. 45 goals shipped in is a wretched state of affairs for them and i’d have been miffed if we came out of this one with anything other than 3 points.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech Gabriel Mustafi , Koscielny , Monreal; Xhaka , Ramsey ; Iwobi , Ozil (Lucas Perez), Sanchez 8 (Welbeck 79,); Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 59, ).
Other fixtures pf our rivals this weekend added more anticipation to this game. With either of United and liverpool set to drop points and Mancity in a tricky fixture at Difficult Goodison Park..The boys im sure would’nt have needed much ginger to ensure there wouldn’t be any repeat of the Bournemouth debacle here in Wales. Ozil’s name was back in the starting 11 again, back from his mini winter break (judging from his Mancity & Everton performances one would say he badly needed it). Olivier Giroud was also penned down as a starter despite pundits and the Larger majority of Arsenal watchers claiming his presence as the arrow head in the team stifles the Gunners attacking verve (scorpion kick or not). I agree his pace & movement are not best suited for our game from a mobility point of view but 11 goals from his last 9 starts (scoring at least 1 goal in each) is not easy to ignore.
One of the puzzling things about Arsenal for some time now is how bad we start games. At Bournemouth and Preston it was the same thing. The whistle goes and we go into Zombie Mode. Allowing Poorer teams run us ragged like Geriatrics. It featured here also as Swansea began better than us. A snap shot from Naughton had peter Cech scrambling to prevent danger in the first 10mins..Then Nathan Dyer fresh from his title winning exploits at leicester was looking lively buzzing everywhere. But it was the visitors who snatched the lead in the 37th minute against the run of play..A quick counter saw the ball break to Ramsey who laid it off to Iwobi ..Iwobi to Ozil ..Mesut with a deft 1 time touch to ramsey who had continued his run squared the ball to Giroud who missed it completely but was still on hand to Tap in after Alexis crossed it back.
Swansea thought they had a lifeline back in the game when crafty Forward Ki took a tumble in the box after Koscielny attempted a tackle but the Referee Mike Jones showed great awareness to hand him a caution for Diving instead.
The 1st half ended with Arsenal ahead by a goal.. The last two times we were ahead away from home at half time by 1 goal we lost! So this one wasn’t over by a mile.
The second half was pretty much 1 way traffic..with The gunners eager to get the assurance goal to calm their nerves,Pressure upon pressure was poured on Swansea and eventually they cracked. Alex Iwobi who had had a superb game cannoned a shot over goal keeper Lukasz Fabianski after it took a heavy deflection of Swansea defender Cork. 2-0 at that point and you didn’t really see any way back for the Home side as they were looking exhausted. Conversely Arsenal felt energized and another counter attack again led by Iwobi left the Swansea defenders statue-esq as another Own goal crept in after Naugthon deflected a cross into the back of Fabianski’s net. 3-0 and surely that was game over..But Arsenal weren’t done yet. By this time Swansea players were dead on their feet..Fatigue had crept in and they just wanted to hear the final whistle. But not before Alexis sanchez had fired in the 4th after another counter attack.
Then came the controversial part that to me has been over-flogged. Sanchez having scored and also looking to be struggling with a thigh strain was substituted. The body language and reaction showed he was less than happy as he left the pitch but in my opinion it was just much ado about nothing. Sanchez is one of those freaks of nature that can play football under any condition. The man just loves to play football and even if his reaction appears dramatic..I don’t necessarily think it means he is unhappy. He probably knows he risks the manager’s wrath if he continues to show public petulance. So like Wenger said , nobody should pay to much mind to it. So new Swans manager began his home regime with a thumping..Clement, sure has his work cut out but we wish them luck.
We now have two winnable games( Burnley and Watford) in the premiership before we head to Stamford bridge.. best way to prepare for that titanic clash with the leaders is to win and keep winning.