Arsenal 2 Swansea City 1

Arsenal ended a tricky week off the pitch with a fourth successive win on it as Aaron Ramsey scored the decisive goal in manager Arsene Wenger’s 800th Premier League game. Shareholders attempted unsuccessfully to vote out chairman Sir Chips Keswick at the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday, in protest at the way the club is being run. And the gloom looked set to deepen when Sam Clucas slotted in a goal very much against the run of play from Tammy Abraham’s pass to give Swansea a half-time lead. It was the first touch Swansea had managed inside Arsenal’s penalty area, and came in the 22nd minute.

But two quick goals after the interval turned the game around, with Sead Kolasinac firing in an equaliser before cutting back from the left for Ramsey to steer in his 50th goal for the club via the foot of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. Despite the turbulence off the pitch, Arsenal have discovered some character on it – this was the third game in a row in which they have won after conceding the first goal. That ensured a cheerful end to the week for Wenger, who revealed during Thursday’s stormy AGM that his position would be reviewed at the end of the season, even though he signed a two-year contract in May. Those comments add an extra degree of uncertainty to Arsenal’s long-term future, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both widely expected to leave when their contracts expire at the end of the season.

Ozil, Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette played together as an attacking trio for only the second time – but their chief threat came from elsewhere. Kolasinac, playing in the left wing-back role, provided their attacking impetus, taking every chance to get forward as Arsenal laboured in the first half, before playing a central role in the turnaround. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international finished a terrific move for the equaliser, as Arsenal finally managed to pass their way around and through a well-organised Swansea side. Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Lacazette and Ozil were all involved, with the German’s shot bouncing off a defender and running loose for Kolasinac to thump in via a deflection. The wing-back’s positive run to the byeline then set up Ramsey for the second, and there were other inspired moments, notably a beautiful, dragged backheel that sent Sanchez away down the left for a cross-shot that was saved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*