Lazy, lackadaisical, unimpressive, toothless and uninspired – all describes last night’s performance by Arsenal as they missed the opportunity to move level on points with Manchester City in second place in the Premier League as Swansea snatched a dramatic late win thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis’s header. The Swans’ disciplined six-man midfield frustrated the hosts in a goalless first half. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made a flurry of saves to deny Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey among others as the Gunners attacked relentlessly after the break.
But with less than five minutes left, substitute Gomis nodded in – as goal-line technology showed Arsenal keeper David Ospina had failed to palm the ball away. That gave Swansea a first league double against Arsenal since the 1981-82 season, after Gomis had also scored the winner when Garry Monk’s side beat the Gunners 2-1 in November. The hosts remain three points behind Manchester City in the Premier League table, albeit with a game in hand. The hosts looked more dangerous after the break as Chile forward Alexis Sanchez skipped clear in the box and shot into the side-netting. However, Arsenal’s first shot on target did not come until the hour mark, though Giroud’s low effort was comfortably held by Fabianski. He made an excellent save moments later to deny Cazorla from 12 yards, before blocking an attempt from Ramsey as the Gunners put Swansea under intense pressure.
A brilliant double save thwarted Sanchez and Theo Walcott and the Poland international’s efforts were then rewarded with a dramatic winner, as Jefferson Montero crossed for Gomis to head in at the back post. At first glance, it seemed Ospina had saved from the France striker but, with the aid of goal-line technology, referee Kevin Friend awarded the goal to seal an improbable victory for Swansea. Arsenal next face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and host Sunderland on Wednesday.