Arsenal crept closer to Chelsea and Tottenham with a solid 2-0 win at Swansea on Saturday and kept their second away clean sheet in a row. The game lacked drama though as the Gunners were more or less in control of the proceedings right from the opening kickoff and very rarely seemed to be in trouble in their own end of the pitch. Poland’s Lukasz Fabianski was between the goalposts again, but wasn’t really tested over the 90 minutes.
Arsenal didn’t create a ton of chances themselves though during a rather tame first half, but did pick up the pace in the second 45 minutes and thoroughly deserved the crucial three points. Everton beat Man City 2-0, so it was essential that Arsene Wenger’s men kept pace. Chelsea and Spurs play London derbies against West Ham and Fulham on Sunday and if the Gunners are lucky this St. Patrick’s Day they gain three points on their main rivals by the end of the weekend. Chelsea has a two point lead on them while Tottenham is four ahead.
The game was a little similar to the Champions League match against Bayern Munich in mid week as Arsenal was solid defensively, but less than spectacular offensively. However, this didn’t really matter as they cashed in on their chances. Left back Nacho Monreal scored his first goal for the club in the 74th minute as his left-footer was deflected in off of Ashley Williams. The game was sealed when Gervinho doubled the score with just a couple of minutes remaining in added time.
Arsenal Ratings on March 16 vs Swansea
Lukasz Fabianski 6.5
I’d hate to punish him due to the fact he didn’t have much at all to do. Staying alert was his toughest job as he had no shots and just one corner to deal with.
Carl Jenkinson 7.5
This was another impressive performance by Jenkinson. He was good in all areas of the pitch and used his speed well. He made one noticeable bad play, which was to present a gift ball to Swansea’s top scorer Michu.
Nacho Monreal 7.5
Scored the game-winning goal and played well in both ends of the pitch. Probably his best game for the club so far.
Per Mertesacker 7
Mertesacker was almost invisible, which is a good thing since it means he did his job well without any giveaways.
Laurent Koscielny 7
Two good games in a row from Koscielny. Was pretty steady all afternoon long, but far from spectacular.
Abou Diaby 6
Diaby wasn’t at his best or worst. He was taken off after 71 minutes and replaced by Aaron Ramsey.
Mikel Arteta 7
This was a typical steady showing from Arteta.
Santi Cazorla 8
Cazorla was the best player on the pitch. He controlled the tempo of the action, especially in the second half. Made some excellent passes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 7.5
This was one of Oxlade-Chamberlains better games in a long time. He was speedy and energetic, but had no luck as he nicked the crossbar twice. The best Gunner in the first 45 minutes. Came off after 71 minutes for Gervinho.
Theo Walcott 5.5
Walcott was generally a spectator for much f the match other than a couple of runs. Came off after 86 minutes for Kieran Gibbs.
Olivier Giroud 6
Put in an effort, but didn’t see much of the ball due to lack of service. Helped set up Monreal’s goal.
Came on for after 71 minutes for Oxlade-Chamberlain. Wrapped the game up with a good goal in the minute and also created a couple of other chances.
Aaron Ramsey 7
Came on for Diaby after 71 minutes and added a spark. Helped create the second goal and played with determination.
Kieran Gibbs NA
Came on for Walcott after 86 minutes.