For most parts of the game, it was scintillating, at times it was nervy but in the end, the three points is all that’ll matter for Arsenal as they overcame their bogey team Swansea when the two faced each other a few hours ago. Arsene Wenger’s side were always favourites for the clash, but Swansea had shown before that Wenger’s side can collapse with a gentle push.
Arsenal were in their usual pass and move groove early on but it wasn’t until the 26th minute did they trouble the scoreboard as Theo Walcott squeezed in Hector Bellerin cross. It was no less than what they deserved and the goal settled the nerves. Walcott made it two a few minutes later when some inept defending allowed the Englishman to slot the ball past a helpless keeper.
A two-goal lead, and some brilliant attacking moves threatening to make it a long afternoon for Swansea, what could have possibly gone wrong? No fan of clichés, but Arsenal flattered to deceive again and handed Swansea a route back into the game. The Swans, who pretty much had nothing to lose (except a heavily one-sided scoreline) went for it and pulled one back courtesy of a Sigurdsson strike.
The second half saw Arsenal retaking a two-goal lead thanks to a sumptuous volley by Birthday boy Mesut Ozil. Once again, though, Swansea simply didn’t back down and reduced the deficit thanks to a neatly taken goal by Borja Baston who somehow made it past the trauma of missing two stone-cold sitters against Liverpool prior to the international break.
Arsenal made it even harder for themselves when midfielder Granit Xhaka made a shocker of a tackle on Barrow. The Swiss international, known for his Andoni Goikoetxea esque tacking whilst at Monchengladbach, picked up the first of potentially many red cards and left the Gunners facing the prospect of trying to stop a ravening Swansea team for 20 minutes with a man light.
The Gunners held on though and credit to them for that. The win means they are right on the tails of Man City. With City and Spurs drawing, it was indeed an impressive result.
The social media was pretty active considering how close Arsenal were to a self-sabotage. We handpick some of the best tweets for your pleasure.
Red cards this season
And Xhaka only cost £35m.
— Mr. Beast (@CopyOfOne) October 15, 2016
Spurs still unbeaten, but we’ll still be first if we win.
— Freddy Dennis (@ArsenalBlogz) October 15, 2016
I feel like Arsene would be within his rights to be pretty irritated with some of the stuff the team’s done defensively today.
— Arse2Mouse (@arse2mouse) October 15, 2016
heh, Wenger on the red card: “It looked to me a dark yellow… but the referee gave a bright red”
— arseblog (@arseblog) October 15, 2016
Oh, did nobody tell Arsenal that Granit Xhaka has a tendency to get sent off? pic.twitter.com/QS1Zm7O4dn
— Stefan Bienkowski (@SBienkowski) October 15, 2016
The 4 stages of watching Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/hCu60kfKqL
— Not Match of the Day (@NOT_MOTD) October 15, 2016
Theory: Wenger isn’t appealing the red because he wants to put Coquelin back in the side now he’s fit & this is a softer way of dropping GX.
— Flan (@Flannyballs) October 15, 2016
I don’t need a Referee’s license or Coaching badge to know Xhaka should not have been sent off! Back tackle yes, but no red in my book!
— Perry (@docksarsenal) October 15, 2016
If Xhaka’s was a red, then so was the
hand- off in Walcott’s face… oh, silly me, that wasn’t even a foul according to the ref! ????#Arsenal
— Carl Bövis ⚽ (@CarlBovis_AFC) October 15, 2016