Down the Swanny: Arsenal 2 – 2 Swansea – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 2 – 2 Swansea

Things hadn’t been going Arsenal’s way recently, especially after a thrashing at Stamford Bridge. It was vital then, that The Gunners picked up all three points when The Swans paid a visit to North London.

The first half consisted of yet another woeful performance from Arsenal.

 Bony was bullying our defence, Chamberlain was giving away possession again, and Cazorla was creating nothing – again.

For the first ten minutes Arsenal looked lifeless. The midfield was flat, Giroud was holding nothing up, and our full-backs refused to overlap.

It was no surprise then, when Swansea took the lead in the eleventh minute. An early cross from Taylor found Bony in the box, who beat Vermaelen to the ball and directed a powerful header past Szczesney. Much like against Schurrle’s goal at Chelsea, the Pole was once again rooted to the spot.

Conceding didn’t spur Arsenal on.

Swansea were in complete comfort as Arsenal passed the ball from side to side, threatening nobody. Bony was bullying our defence, Chamberlain was giving away possession again, and Cazorla was creating nothing – again.

The clock ticked on, and Arsenal just did not look bothered. It wasn’t looking good.

The Gunners held on firmly until ninetieth minute, but it all went south from there.

Much of the second half was exactly the same. The Gunners had no chances, and Swansea were quite happy to sit back and frustrate.

Podolski soon came on for Chamberlain, and eventually changed the game. In the seventy-third minute, Kieran Gibbs broke through Swansea’s defences to get to the byline before crossing for Podolski. The German finished well from close range.

Just one minute later, Podolski crossed brilliantly from the left-hand side, finding Giroud in front of goal. The Frenchman only had to tap it home to put Arsenal ahead, and that’s exactly what he did.

The Gunners held on firmly until ninetieth minute, but it all went south from there.

Leon Britton wiggled through the Arsenal defence, but had his shot blocked by Szczesney. Unfortunately, the block ricocheted off a nearby Flamini, and into the net. It was a disaster, and Arsenal only had their poor first half performance to blame.

Two points had been dropped, and now Arsenal were looking over their shoulders instead of down their sights.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Szczesney: [6.5/10]

Had very little to do, but I’m not a fan of this whole “not diving” lark. Schrulle’s goal on the weekend, and now Bony’s goal tonight both had Szczesney rooted to the spot. Show some effort at least.

Sagna: [7/10]

Worked hard today, especially in the second half. Didn’t get forward as often as he should have though.

Mertesacker: [6.5/10] 

The organisation of the defence was once again poor today, which is usually down to Per. Not imposing himself on games like he usually does. No major errors though.

Vermaelen: [6.5/10] 

Should have done much better for Bony’s goal. He was slow to respond and second to the ball, allowing Bony a relatively easy header. improved as the game went on though.

Gibbs: [7.5/10]

Another player who grew into the game. Gibbs was lunging into to tackles with accuracy, passing well and looking energetic in the second half. His assist for Podolski was excellent.

Arteta: [5/10]

Did nothing to stop Swansea playing when they wanted to, pushed very high up the pitch at times with little impact on the game.

The Ox: [5.5/10] 

Had one good snapshot early in the game before fading away after Bony’s goal. Gave the ball away a few times and just didn’t look focused. His head drops far too easily. Subbed.

Cazorla: [5/10]

Getting quite impatient with Santi’s anonymous performances now. He played a full ninety today, but did almost nothing to help Arsenal get forward and create chances.

Flamini: [5/10] 

Held his position well, but broke up nothing of Swansea’s play. The own goal wasn’t his fault, but he really didn’t do much else.

Rosicky: [6.5/10] 

Tried to make things happen, but there wasn’t much going on ahead of him, whilst Cazorla and Ox were making no runs. Subbed.

Giroud: [6/10] 

Had a very poor first half, but once again, there were no runners giving him options, nor was there any decent delivery. Still, in such games, he need to hold the ball up better. Took his goal well though.

Subs:

Podolski: [8/10] – MOTM
Changed the game. He scored a goal which was more difficult to finish than you would think, and then produced a sublime cross for Giroud’s goal. Far more of a threat off the bench than he is starting.

Kallstrom [7/10]
Kim was actually pretty damn good. He won tackles, passed very well and looked comfortable. Didn’t look like a debut for him at all.

Sanogo [N/A]

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Down the Swanny

Arsenal’s season now hangs in the balance.

The title challenge is officially over, and we now have to worry about the likes of Everton, who are breathing down our neck’s for fourth spot.

Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla need to be dropped, but the squad just isn’t healthy enough at the moment. We have the players – they’re just all in the physio room.

It’s painful to watch us right now. Our players are drained physically and mentally, Wenger is under pressure, and our best players are nursing injuries. On top of that, we’re now leaking goals.

Next up, Manchester City at home. I’ll get the bandages.

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