Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal – Match Review
Brendan Rodgers’ side turned in a performance oozing with style as their slick passing philosophy brought back memories of the Gunners side that strolled to elegantly to an unbeaten season eight years ago. Things looked rosy for Arsene Wenger’s side after Robin Van Persie struck early on as they aimed to bounce back from their defeat at Fulham a fortnight ago. A penalty from Scott Sinclair levelled the game up just after the quarter hour mark before Nathan Dyer put the home ahead after the break. A frantic 60-second period then saw Theo Walcott equalise for the visitors only for Danny Graham to put the Swans back in front almost immediately. That goal proved to be the winner with the hosts having to weather a flurry of Arsenal pressure in the last 20 minutes as their debut season in the top flight continues to get better.
Both sides put on a breathtaking spectacle in South Wales with Van Persie’s fifth minute opener setting the tone for game that will have capitaved the neutral supporter. The Dutchman’s first goal of 2012 had all the hallmarks of the deadly marksmanship that saw him score 35-goals last year as he cooly slotted past Michael Vorm from six-yards after being found by Andrey Arshavin’s threaded pass. Swansea were always a threat though especially out wide with Dyer and Sinclair giving full backs Ignasi Miquel and Johan Djourou a torrid afternoon. It was Sinclair who grabbed the equaliser for the home side cooly slotting home from the spot after Dyer was clipped by Aaron Ramsey in the penalty area. The Welshman almost made instant amends beating Vorm only for Steven Caulker, on-loan from Tottenham, clear his effort off the line.
After the break, however, the Swans started to display their passing abilities as Joe Allen and Leon Britton cause the Arsenal midfield to start chasing shadows. The former showed he wasn’t afraid to get stuck in either stealing the ball from Ramsey in the 57th minute before slipping Dyer in who found the far corner of Wojciech Szczesny’s net. The scene seemed set for the introduction of Thierry Henry to save the Gunners for a second time in a week but it was Walcott who brought his side level 20 minutes from time racing clear of the home defence before cooly beating Vorm. though as within 60-seconds the Welshmen found themselves back front as Graham fired across Szczesny after being played in by substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson. Arsenal tried but failed to muster a second leveller in the time remaining with Ramsey heading over and Thomas Rosicky blazing his long range effort over the bar as they missed the chance to close the gap on fourth placed Chelsea to just a point.