Following Leicester’s surprise draw we had a great chance to close the gap on them at the top with a game against a struggling Swansea side.
It was a game that we should win especially at home and we needed to bounce back from the defeat to Man United as well as getting some confidence ahead of the massive North London derby on Saturday.
Wenger made a few changes to the side that lost against United. Koscielny had picked up a late injury and was ruled out so vice captain Mertesacker was forced back into the team. The other changes were Campbell in place of an out of form Walcott and Giroud was back in the side replacing Welbeck who isn’t quite at full fitness yet.
So a setback with Koscielny but we still had more than enough to beat Swansea. We showed our dominance in the first half with the majority of possession and we created chances (the best coming from Sanchez who hit the post) and it didn’t take long until we got our reward.
It came in the 15th minute and it was a great dinked pass from an out of form Alexis Sanchez who picked out Campbell and he took it well on a half volley to make it 1-0.
It was at this point that I thought it was going to be an easy game for once but obviously not in the Premier league and especially this season.
We should have killed the game off before half time with more chances but we just couldn’t finish them off. Along with Sanchez being unlucky in hitting the post, Giroud should have scored when he hit the bar after Mertesacker laid it off for him.
You have to take your chances and this was shown when Swansea had their first real chance of the game. It came just after the half an hour mark and it was quite controversial.
Özil seemed like he had been fouled (it wasn’t) only for the referee to play on and Swansea took full advantage and went on to score. Mertesacker in particular basically stopped running (I know he doesn’t do much anyway) and Swansea’s Routledge used his pace to get in behind and slot it past Cech. This goal was unacceptable from Arsenal as you should always carry on playing and you can’t be too soft in football.
So it was 1-1 at half time and we really needed to take any chances in the second half.
The second half was however even worse as we didn’t even create as many chances as Swansea defended well and they got into the game as a result. It was just after the hour mark when they should have made it 2-1 when attacking substitute Sigurdsson got past our defence and rounded Cech only for him to miss basically an open goal but it was from a narrow angle.
We came close when Sanchez was again unlucky as he hit the bar from a deflected free kick with Swansea goalkeeper Fabianski well beaten.
With just over 15 minutes to go it got even worse for us when Swansea got a free kick in a dangerous position. I actually said it was going in and unfortunately I was right as Sigurdsson whipped in a great ball only for captain Williams to get on the end of it to put them ahead. To make things worse it was actually just offside.
It was shocking defending once again and Cech should have maybe done better for once.
Talking of Cech he came up for a last minute corner as we throw everything to get a draw and knowing Arsenal he got injured whilst running back!
This means that he is now injured for the game against Spurs as well as Koscielny and they are two of our best players who are so crucial for us.
So in the end we couldn’t find the equaliser and Swansea got three valuable points. We suffered another defeat and we are letting the title slip away from us.
Next up is possibly the biggest North London derby ever and a win will be massive for either side. I think we can do it but will we?