Arsenal kept their spot at the top of the Premier League table on Saturday with a 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. It was the Gunners fifth straight league win as well as their 12th consecutive on the road and ninth in a row overall this season. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey had a big hand in the victory as he scored his eighth goal in all competitions this season and his fourth in the league. He also set up Serge Gnarby for the Gunners other marker.
The only points Arsene Wenger’s men have dropped so far this season came on opening day when they dropped a 3-1 decision at the Emirates to Aston Villa. Today’s match didn’t produce too much in the way of chances in the first half even though there was some good football played by both sides. Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was the best man on the pitch during the opening 45 minutes and had a good effort on goal just go over the crossbar.
The Gunners best chance of the opening half came just before the whistle blew to end it when striker Olivier Giroud had a great chance to open the scoring. He was set up with a wonderful pass by Serge Gnabry, but slammed his shot wide of the net. The teams went into the change rooms for the halftime break deadlocked at 0-0.
Gnarby broke the stale mate in the 58th minute at the end of some fine passing play by the league leaders. Arsenal completed several excellent passes with Giroud finishing the play off by passing to Ramsey who in turn fed Gnarby. The young German then calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net with a low shot to the corner past Swansea keeper Michael Vorm.
Mesut Ozil almost doubled the lead about a minute later after he was set up by Ramsey, but Vorm was there to stop the shot. However, Ramsey made no mistake just three minutes later as he made it 2-0 after Wilshere passed to Giroud and the striker laid the ball off to Ramsey. He drove a shot at the net and Vorm managed to get his hand to it, but it still eluded him.
Nathan Dyer had a great opportunity to narrow the score but Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny made an acrobatic save on the shot. The keeper then made another save shortly after when Wilfried Bony got a hold of an errant Jack Wilshere back pass. Swansea finally beat Szczesny in the 81st minute when Ben Davies finished off a pretty passing play. Swansea supporters were looking for a penalty before the 90 minutes ran out when Bacary Sagna’s clearance struck Mathieu Flamini’s arm.
It wasn’t called though and the Gunners picked up a pair of points on Tottenham as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Chelsea. Arsenal’s next match will take place at home on Wednesday October 1 when they take on Italian side Napoli in a European Champions League contest.
Arsenal Player Ratings-Sat. Sept. 28
Swansea City 1-Arsenal 2–Premier League Match 6
Wojciech Szczesny – 7
Szczesny had a good game even though he was a bit unsure of himself on one occasion in the first half. He made the saves when the game was level and handled the crosses well.
Bacary Sagna – 6.5
Sagna’s first half was better than his second. He might have done better on Swansea’s goal.
Per Mertesacker – 7
The big German was solid in the back four and handled everything that came his way. He might have also been able to have done better on the goal against.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.5
He played well with Mertesacker and put in a steady effort.
Kieran Gibbs – 6.5
Gibbs focused on defending today rather than attacking and did a good job in his own end.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5
Ramsey came alive in the second half with the winning goal and he also helped set up the Gunners’ first tally. His excellent season continues.
Mathieu Flamini –6.5
The Frenchman did his best work in the first half when Swansea was slightly the better team.
Mesut Ozil – 6
This wasn’t Ozil’s best outing as a Gunner, but it still wasn’t bad. Swansea marked him closely throughout the match. Was replaced by Nacho Monreal after 88 minutes.
Jack Wilshere – 7
Wilshere also came to life in the second half with another good effort in both ends of the pitch. Was replaced by Carl Jenkinson after 92 minutes.
Serge Gnabry – 7
The young German striker took his goal well, especially for an 18-year-old and didn’t look out of place at all in England’s top tier of football. Was replaced by Mikel Arteta after 78 minutes.
Olivier Giroud – 6.5
Giroud hasn’t hit the back of the net for awhile and he missed a glorious chance at the end of the first half. He made some nice passes though and helped set up Ramsey.
Mikel Arteta – 6
Came on for after minutes 78 minutes for Gnarby and was steady.
Came on for Ozil after 88 minutes.
Carl Jenkinson –NA
Came on for Wilshere after minutes 92 minutes. I don’t like substitutions in injury time when you have a one-goal lead as it extends the game and gives the opposition more of a chance to level the score. Wenger needs to rethink this time wasting tactic as it often backfires.