Saturday saw Arsene Wenger reach his 800th game in charge in the Premier League, just 10 behind Sir Alex Ferguson, but I’m sure he’s seen better performances in the 799 previous games.
Since returning from the international break of October, we’ve been quite slow to get out the blocks and the Swansea game was no different.
A very static first half in which we fashioned one notable chance, which was easily dealt with by Lucasz Fabianksi in goal, would end 1-0 to Swansea and with no one really looking impressive up until then it looked like Wenger’s half time experience might’ve given the players a push to get the win.
The first player that looked to put himself about a bit more was somebody who has constantly been accused of not doing that enough. Mesut Ozil.
He might not have been at his mesmerising best going forward but this allowed us to see other sides to his game that the majority hardly ever see. Reminiscent of the F.A. Cup final this year, upon losing the ball Ozil tracked back with his runner and managed to win the ball back for us high up the pitch a couple of times.
For his hard work Ozil was awarded an assist, which probably wasn’t, after his goalward shot was blocked into the path of an onrushing Sead Kolasinac who smashed the ball home.
The Arsenal midfield produced not just the one, but two seemingly tireless performances on Saturday. Joining Ozil on the shortlist for man of the match is Aaron Ramsey.
The all action Welshman was very much that as he made a presence doing the “dirty work” winning 11 recoveries in the engine room as well as chipping in going forward with two key passes and topping off the performance with a left footed goal which saw him reach 50 in the red of Arsenal. A meaningful goal against a meaningful opposition for the former Cardiff boy.
There wasn’t much debate with who would pick up the man of the match this week and that was Sead Kolasinac.
Continuing to be an instant hit at the club, the free transfer displayed just how good the eye of Arsene Wenger can be, even after all these years.
Everyone had a slow first half, but Kolasinac’s day looked to take off when he and Alexis unlocked the Swansea with an intricate one-two which saw Alexis’ resulting shot saved.
However, with more space down his channel in the second half Kolasinac came into his own. Firstly he was well positioned in order to run onto a loose ball and blast home from the wing back position before running beyond his opposite marker to receive a great Xhaka pass and then picking out Ramsey for the winner. Kolasinac now has five goals/assists in six home games for Arsenal.
So, it might not have been the best game for Arsenal fans it keeps us level on points with 4th placed Chelsea, behind them only on goal difference.