Premier League

January 15, 2012


Swansea City

3 - 2


Premier League

16:00 +00:00, January 15, 2012

Liberty Stadium, Wales

Referee: Michael Oliver


    Swansea enter the top half of the table and are in tenth place on 26 points. There's some way to go until they truly secure survival, but it's difficult to see them getting dragged into a real relegation battle.


    The result leaves Arsenal joint fifth in the league table, alongside Newcastle, with 36 points. Crucially, they trail fourth-placed Chelsea by four points and third-placed Tottenham by ten.


    The reality is that Arsenal aren't in bad shape but the returns of Jack Wilshere, Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Gervinho and Kieran Gibbs will give them a much needed boost.


    Arsenal will be frustrated at losing ground in the top four race but they weren't at their best here. They were unlucky at the penalty that was conceded for Swansea's equaliser but, though these things can add up at the season's end, they can't complain about the quality of Swansea's second and third.


    The Welsh side, and manager Brendan Rodgers, continue to enhance their reputations with players like Leon Britton and Joe Allen showing how capable they are of playing in the Premier League.


    A great result for Swansea and one it's difficult to argue they didn't deserve.


    Full-time! Swansea 3-2 Arsenal

  • 93'

    Song gives the ball away when he should have sent it in the penalty box and their chance is probably now gone. Little time remains...

  • 93'

    One minute remains...

  • 93'

    Graham off, Lita on...

  • 92'

    Swansea now keeping possession and clearly plan on running the clock down...

  • 90'

    Van Persie's free-kick comes to little. There'll be four minutes of stoppage time but perhaps it's not to be...

  • 89'

    Arsenal win a free-kick on the edge of the box, with time running out, after a foul on Walcott...

  • 88'

    Great goalkeeping from Vorm! Rosicky finishes a run with a testing shot and Koscielny fires the rebound on target too, but the Dutch 'keeper succeeds in collecting both. What a quality signing he has been for Rodgers.

  • 87'

    Rosicky volleys over! Chamberlain does well to pick him out with a well weighted cross but the chance is wasted. Little time left now for Arsenal.

  • 86'

    Possession: Swansea 55%, Arsenal 45%

  • 85'

    Swansea now keeping possession comfortably. Looking very much a classy Premier League side.

  • 83'

    Such pace up front, currently: Henry, Van Persie, Walcott and 'The Ox'

  • 83'

    Rosicky gives the ball away in a dangerous area but, to his credit, recovers. Arsenal now look to attack.

  • 83'

    Ramsey heads well but Vorm saves! Both sides currently looking like scoring..

  • 82'

    Stat: Arsenal have gone on to win six of their last nine Premier League matches in which the scores were level after the first 45 minutes

  • 81'

    Dyer, who has been superb, is off, with Routledge on

  • 79'

    Swansea waste a great chance! Graham breaks but attempts to pass instead of shooting when he was better placed to finish and the chance has gone after Arsenal intercept.

  • 78'

    An he's instantly involved! Sends in a low ball that almost reached Henry but, with the change of shape, Arsenal look vulnerable on the counter...

  • 77'

    Mertesacker off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on...

  • 77'

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is getting ready to come on...

  • 76'

    Arsenal now upping the pressure - even Mertesacker's heading forward to join in their attacks - but are yet to find a true breakthrough...

  • 75'

    15 minutes then for Arsenal to find an equaliser, or for Swansea to put the game beyond doubt.

  • 74'

    Swansea City goalscorers Danny Graham and Nathan Dyer celebrate against Arsenal...

  • 73'

    Swansea City goalscorers Danny Graham and Nathan Dyer celebrate against Arsenal

  • 72'

    But Mertesacker stabs the ball wide despite a great chance. Terrible effort from the German.

  • 71'

    Arsenal win the first corner (in comparison to Swansea's nine)...

  • 71'

    Arsenal must now start over again...

  • 70'

    A through ball forces the striker to race clear and despite the tight angle, he manages to squeeze it past Szczesny superbly.

  • 69'

    Arsenal barely catch their breath before Graham equalises with a superb finish - clinical play!

  • 69'

    GOAL 3-2 to Swansea!

  • 68'

    A superb through-ball from Djorou sets Walcott free and the winger, despite a poor performance so far, cooly chips past Vorm for the vital equaliser.

  • 68'

    GOAL 2-2! Walcott equalises!

  • 67'

    Ramsey's currently looking in some discomfort. It's not been his day so far...

  • 65'

    Arsenal now steadily building and looking to progress for the equaliser...

  • 64'

    Rosicky's first notable contribution is to fire wide.

  • 64'

    Rosicky on for Benayoun

  • 63'

    Seemed a straight forward decision to remove Arshavin for Henry. It's difficult to expect more magic from the Frenchman but he'll at least finish better than Arshavin does.

  • 62'

    Henry on, Arshavin off.

  • 62'

    And another... Graham's header hits Alex Song and goes straight out.

  • 61'

    Koscielny delightfully tackles Graham and Swansea have another corner.

  • 60'

    Corner comes to little but Swansea now look in control, with Allen looking particulary confident in his ball distribution.

  • 58'

    Arsenal suddenly look flustered at having fallen behind. Swansea win the corner.

  • 57'

    A delightful pass from Allen provides space for Dyer who, despite a terrible first touch, still has enough time to shoot and drills a powerful effort past Szczesny.

  • 57'

    GOAL Swansea score! 2-1!

  • 57'

    Henry's currently warming up. His introduction may not be far away...

  • 56'

    Arsenal's average possession vs Swansea so far is their lowest in a PL match since 2006/07

  • 55'

    Corner is again cleared but though Arsenal try to launch their own attack, Benayoun gives the ball away sloppily and the chance has gone.

  • 54'

    Koscielny intercepts well to stifle a Swansea attack but, in doing so, concedes a corner.

  • 53'

    The underrated Joe Allen fires wide! It has to be said he's one of their best players and has been a consistent performer for them this season.

  • 52'

    Arsenal now passing the ball around in defence but Swansea, as is normal for them, are pressing high.

  • 51'

    There's a visibly higher tempo in this half already. Goals may not be far.

  • 49'

    Nothing comes instantly of the corner though the ball is eventually played to Dyer who - performing with such confidence - attempts to shoot but it's both high and wide.

  • 49'

    It comes to nothing but now they've another...

  • 49'

    Swansea with a corner..

  • 48'

    Arshavin fires over! Poor effort, but that's what's expected of him nowadays.

  • 47'

    Miguel with a delightful low cross next, right across the face of Swansea's goal, but it trickles through their penalty box. Deserved a goal, but no-one gambled on it for Arsenal and the chance has gone.

  • 46'

    A lovely through-ball from Van Persie gives Walcott a shooting opportunity but the Englishman fires over. He now hasn't scored since Arsenal beat Chelsea in October.

  • 46'

    And the second-half is now underway...

  • 46'

    Agustien off, Sigurdsson on (for his debut)


    And here they come now...


    Arsenal are currently out on the pitch for the second-half, but Swansea have yet to emerge...


    Half-time replays currently showing how unlucky Arsenal and Ramsey were to concede the penalty. If anything, it was a dangerous challenge by Dyer on Ramsey, and the Welshman is lucky to have escaped without an injury.


    Arsenal will naturally feel, however, as though their front three of Arshavin-Van Persie-Walcott to have enough to create enough chances to score. And, of course, there's Henry on the bench.


    More risks need to be taken for that to happen, and it has to be said that both side's have been somewhat predictable in possession.


    Not a great half, it has to be said, particularly when there had been speculation to suggest their two styles would blend well for an entertaining game.


    And with that, it's half time.

  • 46'

    The same duo do so again as Song nicely chips the ball towards his path but Walcott fails to control.

  • 46'

    Another Arsenal attack stopped in its tracks. Walcott and Song look to push forward before Sng loses possession.

  • 45'

    ...both are very much cancelling it each other out. 2 mins added time to be played.

  • 44'

    Arshavin crosses but Walcott's header is collected by Vorm. The game feels as though it needs something like that to give one side the chance to score...

  • 44'

    Arsenal win a free-kick on the edge of Swansea's penalty box. A good chance to score..

  • 43'

    And it will stay that way if Walcott continues to be so indecisive in possession...

  • 42'

    Little drama so far following the early goals...

  • 42'

    Van Persie ruled offside again as he makes his way into Swansea's penalty area.

  • 41'

    Thierry Henry currently looks agitated on the bench. He'll surely appear at some point.

  • 40'

    Catch action from every Barclays Premier League match on your mobile for FREE on the enhanced ESPN Goals app (UK only).

  • 40'

    ...It's now Swansea's turn to do the same. Lots of movement throughout this fixture.

  • 39'

    Robin van Persie fired Arsenal into an early lead.

  • 38'

    Arsenal now exchanging possession in central midfield and probing for an opening.

  • 36'

    Josh McEachran will be watching (or reading) eagerly. He joins Swansea on loan from Chelsea tomorrow.

  • 35'

    Swansea overlap well down the right wing and Dyer manages to send in a low cross towards Graham but Mertesacker stretches to clear the danger. Well defended from the German international.

  • 34'

    Arshavin crowded off the ball. Good pressure from Swansea. The score could be going either way by half-time, though Arsenal's ability to be clinical could make the difference.

  • 32'

    Ball's headed across the face of goal following the inswinging cross but Mertesacker manages to clear. The potential was certainly there, however, with Szczesny out of position.

  • 31'

    Swansea go close!

  • 31'

    Corner comes to little but Benayoun then concedes a free-kick on the edgeof Arsenal's penalty area.

  • 30'

    Swansea win a corner after Dyer pressures Miquel...

  • 29'

    Van Persie goes close there! Arshavin plays the forward through and gives him plenty of space, but Vorm's better prepared this time and dives low to save his effort.

  • 28'

    Swansea's the place to be, nowadays: Two former Real Madrid managers - Fabio Capello and John Toshack - are in attendance today.

  • 28'

    Van Persie ruled offside with he and Arshavin looking to build an attack but the Dutchman is ruled offside.

  • 26'

    Agustien fouls Ramsey to give Arsenal the free-kick and the chance to rebuild. The Welshman currently seems a bit flustered, however. Perhaps his temperament could be questioned at some point today.

  • 26'

    He was perhaps surprised to be called onside but with such time and space, he should have produced something far greater.

  • 25'

    Sinclair wastes a great chance with a woeful cross/shot/shank.

  • 24'

    Swansea continue to pressure Arsenal. No real chances being produced but they've won a corner and Arsenal are currently struggling to keep possession or get out of their penalty box.

  • 23'

    Dyer's pace again threatens but Koscielny reads the intent and clears.

  • 22'

    Swansea again looking to build from the back...

  • 21'

    Arsenal now passing the ball wonderfully. Good composure and no hint of panic at the equaliser.

  • 20'

    Early stat: possession: Swansea 59%, Arsenal 41%...

  • 20'

    Which Arsenal comfortably clear. Danger has passed.

  • 19'

    Augustien's free-kick is deflected out for a corner.

  • 18'

    The game has suddenly picked up in terms of tempo and action. One Arsenal attack nearly results in Ramsey scoring but the young midfielder fails to make the contact he'd wish, from which Swansea launch an attack of their own until winning a free-kick after a foul.

  • 16'

    The winger cooly converts into the bottom right corner past Szczesny. A decent penalty though one suspects that won't be the last Wenger has to say on the matter...

  • 16'

    GOAL Sinclair equalises for the home side!

  • 15'

    Ramsey makes the slightest contact with Dyer who takes the opportunity to throw himself to the crowd and win his side the chance to equalise...

  • 15'

    Penalty to Swansea!

  • 15'

    Swansea waste a free-kick as the inswinging cross is overhit and out for a goal-kick. Szczesny to take.

  • 13'

    Koscielny defends well with Dyer looking to get in behind him following Agustien's through-ball. Positive from Swansea but shows just why Wenger rates the defender so highly.

  • 12'

    Swansea again exchanging possession in defence...

  • 11'

    This time Ramsey's pass doesn't quite reach Walcott but the young winger chases it to remind Swansea left-back Taylor of the pressure he can expect to be put under this afternoon.

  • 10'

    Arsenal now looking to build from the back. A stray pass from Benayoun almost lost possession but Arsenal's attack was ended following a lethargic cross from Theo Walcott. A wasted move.

  • 7'

    A through ball from Joe Allen finds Danny Graham but the striker is ruled ouffside. Perhaps unlucky but given Mertesacker's ponderous approach to defending it'll be worth repeating.

  • 6'

    Swansea now looking to start again but are clearly shocked by Arsenal's fast start.

  • 5'

    The goal was out of nowhere. Van Persie collected the through ball but didn't look to be in a position to shoot and, if anything, looked to have missed his best shooting chance. He delayed, however, and shot to beat Vorm at his near post, despite being under pressure from a Swansea defender. Only Van Persie seemed to know what he was doing there and it clearly surprised Vorm and his defence. A very classy, composed goal.

  • 4'

    GOAL Van Persie scores! (surprise)

  • 3'

    One of the interesting tests for them this afternoon is how they compete against another footballing side. Roberto Martinez's Wigan often look better against side's higher up the league because they are given the chance to play as they please, and that could also be the case here.

  • 2'

    Swansea showing a high intensity so far, crowding Arsenal whenever the Londoners are in possession and looking to be positive with the ball.

  • 1'

    Aaron Ramsey is being bored upon every touch of the ball, but that will come as no surprise to those aware of his Cardiff City history and Welsh tribalism...

  • 1'

    Swansea have the first strike of the game as Agustien advances before firing wide with his left foot.

  • 1'

    Game kick's off...


    Wenger, however, is reported to be unhappy at the state of Swansea's pitch.


    Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers exchange a warm handshake on their way to the pitch.


    Kick-off is now moments away...


    Recent signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, on loan from Hoffenheim, makes the bench.


    Swansea City's line-up, meanwhile, features no great surprises. The wonderfully entertaining Michel Vorm continues in goal, while ex-Arsenal midfielder Leon Britton appears against his former side.


    To add intrigue to the fixture, nine years ago today, Swansea were bottom of the fourth tier and Arsenal were top of the Premier League. If ever there was a drastic change of fortunes...


    Benayoun certainly doesn't have the tenacity to be a regular Premier League central midfielder, but given Swansea also like to play their own brand of 'tiki-taka', he need not worry about encountering Joey Barton or Lee Cattermole-esque confrontations.


    The balance of their midfield triumvirate is also questionable. Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey are understandably regulars, but Yossi Benayoun is anything but a natural central midfielder and only underlines the important Wilshere will have upon his return.


    This writer personally believes that Arsenal's brand of football hasn't declined as much as has been suggested - and will certainly receive a substantial boost upon the return of Jack Wilshere - but a key part of the way they play is their use of attacking full-backs, so with Djorou and Miguel not naturals in those positions, Arsene Wenger may see his side play without the width he prefers.


    As yet, it's a weekend that's been bereft of any major Premier League shocks or drama but some of the focus this week has debated whether Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City can 'out-Arsenal' Arsenal.


    Afternoon all. The team news is here and we're ready to bring you coverage of the weekend's final Premier League fixture.


    Arsene Wenger has been having his say on the transfer window today, suggesting it should be abolished.


    Thierry Henry may have scored the winner for the Gunners against Leeds on Monday, but he has to make do with a place on the bench today.


    Join us from 1600 GMT for live text commentary of Arsenal's trip to Swansea.