Arsenal 2-1 Swansea City - Premier League
We won, and I’m glad. But then in a way it was same old Arsenal.
We deserved to win, but then we made hard work of it. And our individual errors cost us in parts.
Our issues are, as always, mental and attitudinal.
Swansea held a clear game plan. To come, defend, score on the counter, and sneak a win. And to their credit, they achieved most of this, bar the win of course.
In the opening minutes, we passed the ball around well enough, without making too many chances. Alexis had a shot that was saved, whilst Ozil, Lacazette, and Ramsey were linking up well.
However, this is where the “same old Arsenal” emerged.
In a relatively comfortable position, Bellerin, Koscielny, and Cech all contributed to a catalogue of errors, and in my mind Cech was mostly to blame for this.
Clucus sneaked in to slot home, and against the run of play, Swansea were 1-0 up.
The first half then simmered down, with Swansea naturally content with their lead, and Arsenal looking jaded and without much impetus, drive, or pressure.
We stepped it up. Same old Arsenal? Yep. It was a game of two halves, to use an antique cliché, but we did play better in the second half.
Our passing was sharper, and we were crisper and more clinical in our passing.
The equaliser came from good work from Xhaka and Ozil, with the latter having a shot blocked. Kolasinac picked up on the loose ball, and managed to slid it home.
The second came shortly after, with Xhaka making a great pass to the left, and Sead squaring to Ramsey who slotted home outside the six yard box.
After this, we held numerous chances to score, with Alexis, Ozil, Lacazette, Bellerin, Ramsey, and Sead all missing good chances. Had we converted these, it could have been a rout, possibly six or seven.
Swansea didn’t offer much, though their game plan to be fair was working well until we turned it on.
However, our application and mentality, as always, was the key here. Had we played the same way as per the opening minutes of the second half, we would have won this game akin to Everton away.
Yes, three points is three points. Though I do agree with the sentiment that we don’t smash teams much anymore. It’s not just good to see, but players of our technicality need this in essence, since they need this to enhance themselves as players.
Cech was poor here. I like him, he’s been good for us overall, but we need to sell him in my view. He’s making too many errors, and it’s pretty much time for him to call it a day at Arsenal. He is our best keeper since Lehmann, possibly Seaman, and certainly one of the best PL-era keepers. Only Schmeichel and Seaman can rival him.
Per was poor, or made too many simplistic errors, as did Kos. Monreal was capable though, but then Bellerin’s final ball was not that good. Sead/Sherman/Churchill (, i.e. tank) played well despite the goal. Holding didn’t have much time to affect the game though.
Cech 4, Kos 5, Per 5, Holding 5, Monreal 7, Bellerin 6, Kolasinac 6
The midfield gave the ball away too much in my view, though Xhaka’s “pre-assist” for Kolasinac, and Ramsey’s goal, ameliorated their own muted performances.
Xhaka 6, Ramsey 6
The attack played well for the two goals, and played parts in all of them. Giroud had little chance to impact the game though, but had a reasonable chance to score at the end.
Alexis 5, Ozil 6, Lacazette 6, Giroud 5
Man of the match – Monreal
He looked solid throughout, and is our Mr. Consistent.