After a tough penalty win against West Brom midweek in the Capital One Cup, Arsenal faced a trip to Wales today to take on Swansea City.
The game today saw Arsenal have a very slow start. Swansea dominated the early game, swinging in crosses and taking long shots. However, with our tall defenders and determination, we managed to keep the Swans out.
Arsenal had an unchanged line up from last week’s Premier League game against StokeCity. I found it interesting that Gnabry kept his place, despite playing 120 minutes and a penalty shootout midweek.
The first half was very open and it was very much a back and forth affair. The one major scare of the first half came when Szczesny came way out of his box, on the goal line, only for Michu to keep the ball in and for the Swans to swing the ball into the box. However, I believe offside was called and no resulting goal would have counted.
The rest of the first half was a rather boring, albeit, open game. However, in the last minute of stoppage time in the first half, Serge Gnabry had a fantastic penetrating run from just beyond half field to the edge of the 18 yard box, laid it off to Giroud, who dragged it wide. It was not the best finish, but an excellent demonstration of Gnabry’s potential. Gnabry seems like the type of player who can play either wing or in a CAM type position, and I’m very interested to see how he develops.
Overall, the first half was tense, but at the same time, there was not much to talk about. Both sides went about their business and played their trademarked beautiful styles of football, with each side frustrating the other.
In the second half Arsenal came out much stronger. They seemed more determined and ready to win. Speaking of Gnabry, he would get Arsenal’s first goal of the day. Arsenal broke down the field and some smart passing got the ball to Rambo just outside the box. Aaron then slipped Gnabry through on the right of him, without looking. Gnabry took a calm collected touch, and then blasted a cool finish past Vorm in to the lower right corner of the net, in the 58th minute. Seeing Gnabry score his first senior goal for Arsenal was exciting and he really was a standout player today. His movement and passing was excellent and he’s starting to demand a place in the squad, maybe even a consistent place in the starting 11.
Not long after, in the 62nd minute, Arsenal would score again. The man of the match, Aaron Ramsey, would score his 8th goal in 8 games. Arsenal broke down the field again with some absolutely incredible passing, including a heel flick out to the sideline by Ramsey. In the end, Giroud reversed the ball to Rambo, who took a touch and slammed the ball into the roof of the net. I was really impressed with Rambo today, not just because of his goal, but also his physical strength, tempered with some smart tackles in defense.
After this goal, Arsenal seemed to settle down and become a little complacent. We tried to possess the ball and pass it around and it worked, until the 82nd minute when Arsenal’s complacency cost them. Ben Davies of Swansea made a run down the field, played the ball to Bony, and Bony put it back over the top of our defense for Davies to poke into the net. Mertesacker tried to get a tackle in, but he couldn’t reach it and Davies poked the ball past Szczesny. I blame our players for switching off, they really should’ve had more focus, but they were excellent the rest of the game so I will forgive them.
The rest of the game was a tense affair, with cards flying and tough tackles being put in by both sides. Jenkinson, Monreal, and Arteta came in to shore up our defense, and it worked. Arsenal was strong enough, physically and mentally, to hold on to the lead. Another winning goal for Rambo and another away win for the Arsenal. 8 away wins in a row, tied for the club record. This team really is something special.
An excellent 2-1 away win to the Arsenal and we are top of the league once more! Let’s hope we can keep this winning streak up and keep our number one spot. This team looks willing to do anything to win every game in every competition and that’s what any fan of any club loves to see. The team seems to be together and willing to fight for the badge and fight for each other.
For now I’ll leave you with some questions:
- What did you think of today’s game?
- Does Gnabry demand a spot? If yes, in the starting 11 or on the bench?
- Do you think Gnabry could play as a CAM?
- How do you think Rambo did today?
- Will we break our away win record?
Thanks for reading!
Written by: Dylan.