Former Spurs man helps sentence Arsenal to defeat at Swansea
17:57 09 November 2014
Swansea City 2 Arsenal 1
Two goals in the space of three minutes completed a stunning turnaround as Swansea climbed above Arsenal to fifth place in the Premier League.
The Gunners seemed on course for their third straight league victory after Alexis Sanchez grabbed his seventh goal in six games to put them ahead in the 63rd minute.
But former Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson rifled in a 25-yard free-kick to equalise – and Swansea then brought on substitute Bafetimbi Gomis, who headed the winner just two minutes later.
Swansea enjoyed the better of the first-half possession and might well have been awarded a penalty when Calum Chambers shoved Wilfried Bony in the back.
Chambers frequently looked less than comfortable against the explosive Jefferson Montero, who forced Wojciech Szczesny into action with a near-post stop just after the penalty incident.
The home side’s only other clear-cut opportunity before half-time came when Bony set up Marvin Emnes for a pop at goal, but the save was a routine task for Szczesny.
Arsenal, meanwhile, created precisely nothing until the last five minutes of the first half, when Danny Welbeck was denied at close range by former Gunners goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Aaron Ramsey also went close with a volley that zipped fractionally the wrong side of the post, while Per Mertesacker’s header flew wide from a corner soon afterwards.
The Gunners did their best to harness that momentum when the teams re-emerged for the second period, with Fabianski foiling first Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then Santi Cazorla.
But both players were involved in the move that saw the deadlock broken as Welbeck scampered into space, wrong-footed his marker and slid the ball across for Sanchez to slot away an easy finish.
The Swans might have hit back almost immediately when Montero found space on the left and cut the ball back for Bony, who scuffed his attempt across goal.
However, it was the introduction of Modou Barrow that helped bring about their 75th-minute equaliser – galloping down the middle, he was felled by Kieran Gibbs for the free-kick that Sigurdsson curled past the helpless Szczesny.
And, just two minutes later, Montero evaded Chambers and whipped over a cross for Gomis, who outjumped Nacho Monreal to head home.
Arsenal threw on all three of their substitutes in response but, despite a few late scrambles in the Swans’ penalty area, they were unable to save themselves from a second league defeat of the campaign.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Chambers (Sanogo 89), Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Flamini (Wilshere 79); Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey (Walcott 79), Sanchez, Cazorla; Welbeck.