Arsenal v Swansea City preview

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Updated: September 9, 2011

Arsenal 1 Swansea City 0
94mins played

The full-time whistle goes! Arsenal hang on and win 1-0!

90+4 Frantic end to this game as Arsenal pour forward again…this should be the final play as the attack fizzles out…

90+3 Chance for Graham inside the area but he blazes over from close range! Poor miss! At the other end Gibbs attacks but his low shot is saved by Vorm!

90+2 End-to-end stuff at the moment as Ramsey can’t get a break going, as groans go up inside the Emirates. Another corner to Swansea.

90+1 Pressure on the Arsenal goal now as Sinclair drives into the box…but he dallies on the ball and it’s a corner.

90 Sagna deals with a high ball well – this has been an accomplished display from the Gunners, if a little underwhelming.

89 Arsenal give it away in the middle of the park and the Swans can break, they come forward and Dobbie has a crack from the edge of the area…wide.

88 Moore fouls Arteta and his assistant manager won’t like that – Swansea need to get hold of the ball.

87 Benayoun drifts forward and lays it off to Ramsey who strikes it…deflected, nearly into the path of Chamakh.

86 Sagna’s left-footed cross is headed clear by Williams – Arsenal are controlling the game and that’s exactly what they need in these closing stages.

85 Swansea sub: Dyer off, Moore on

84 Chamakh goes close! Lovely play from Gibbs who lifted a nice ball in, but the Moroccan’s header was saved well by Vorm.

83 Again Swansea get in behind the defence and a ball is driven in down the right, it hits Mertesacker and Coquelin clears up.

82 Arsenal sub: Van Persie off, Chamakh on.

81 Nice interplay from Arsenal and Arteta hits a shot which is deflected wide – but remarkably the decision is a goal-kick.

80 Gower wastes a free-kick which is easily headed clear. Swansea still press and Dobbie has a strike from 25 yards out…easily saved.

78 Swansea have just over 10 minutes left to grab an equaliser – they still haven’t scored in the Premier League.

77 Benayoun is caught in possession – he doesn’t look sharp. Arteta then clips Dobbie and is booked – how that was worse than his earlier infringement I’ll never know.

76 Szczesny comes and claims spectacularly well – right from the top of Caulker’s head – he has been supremely confident today.

75 Swansea sub: Dobbie on, Allen off

75 Arsenal sub: Frimpong off, Coquelin on

74 Benayoun wastes possession and Arteta then hacks down Dyer with a blatant foul – how was that not a yellow card?

73 Dyer latches onto a ball over the top but Szczesny is alert and he comes out to sweep up the danger – good goalkeeping.

72 Arsene Wenger is slumped in his chair on the bench – the intensity has not been there today and he isn’t exactly smiling – but then again, when does he?

71 It’s all Arsenal but they can’t penetrate the Swans defence – that has been the story of the game so far.

70 RVP is desperate for a goal this afternoon, you can see it in his eyes. Benayoun drives forward as he looks to make a telling impact.

69 Van Persie doesn’t read the play and misses out on an open-net chance, with neither Caulker or Vorm attacking a cross from Arsenal’s right wing.

68 Arteta drifts the ball in but there is way too much height and power on it, with Vorm able to claim with ease.

67 Yellow card to Rangel who trips Walcott after an error. Free-kick Arsenal down the left.

66 The Swans are using their wide men to try and attack the full-backs. Arsenal not giving them an inch at the moment

65 Swansea on the move now, they’re one down and have to start creating some chances. Gower picks it up deep on the right flank – he lifts it into the area and Mertesacker is out-jumped by Graham, but his header lacks power.

64 Swansea sub: Agustien off (injury), Gower on

63 Arsenal sub: Benayoun on, Arshavin off

62 Great covering from Frimpong after Arshavin gave the ball away. The defensive midfielder strode into the box and slammed it clear off Rangel.

61 Nice play down the left from Swansea and Taylor has the chance to deliver a decent cross…but it’s too high for the men in the area.

60 Another attack for Arsenal after Agustien gave the ball away…Ramsey picks it up and lays it inside to Van Persie, but he balloons it over.

59 Walcott surges forward with that raw pace of his but yet again the final product from the England man doesn’t live up to high standards.

58 Arshavin attempts a shot from way out but it flies miles wide of Vorm’s goal – he seems full of confidence though.

57 Swansea sitting deep once more – sooner or later you would think they need to push up and show a bit more ambition.

56 Van Persie hits the post with a wonderful effort! The Dutchman weaved his way inside with excellent control and his right-foot effort hit the woodwork and flew wide.

55 Arsenal dictating the tempo at the moment with Arteta pulling the strings. The Gunners subs are warming up – how long before a few changes?

54 Sinclair steps up and hits it…a fine strike…clips the crossbar and goes over.

52 Sinclair is felled by Koscielny with a poor challenge and Swansea have a chance from the free-kick, right of the D. Yellow card for the defender.

51 Van Persie attempts an overhead kick following a nice ball into the area…but the Dutchman slices the effort. Unlucky.

50 Taylor receives lengthy treatment – he actually looks genuinely hurt, so perhaps he didn’t dive. He’s okay to continue.

49 Yellow card to Theo Walcott who left a foot in on Taylor – a bit unlucky as Taylor seemed to go down rather theatrically.

48 Every time the ball goes back to Vorm there are ironic cheers from the Arsenal fans – he needs to put his earlier mistake out of his mind.

47 Bright start to the second period by the Swans and Arsenal are forced to be alert as a number of balls are sent in to their penalty box. Leon Britton is down and receiving treatment.

46 Crucial header from Kocielny as Swansea broke down the right and Dyer swept the ball into the box.

The match restarts.

The teams are out for the second half.

Credit to Arshavin who finished well for the goal, but you’ve got to feel for Vorm. He’s been in excellent form this season but I haven’t seen a goalkeeping gaffe like that for a long time.

Well the scoreline is probably a fair reflection of proceedings here but at least Swansea came into the game more as it went on.

The corner is poor and the half-time whistle goes. 1-0 at the break.

45+3 Still in added time after a few injuries in this half – Dyer shoots and gets the corner after a block from Gibbs.

45+2 Good footwork from Szczesny under pressure from Graham – that was extremely calm given the circumstances.

45+1 Walcott is free down the right and he breaks into the area before pulling the trigger…but he drags it wide!

45 Britton looking to find the crucial pass, and Allen then tries to slip it through to Graham, but he can’t quite make it.

44 Walcott drives down the right wing but that’s a good challenge from Taylor. Not long until the break…

43 Van Persie whips the ball in but Caulker heads clear well. Swansea need to regroup and get into the dressing room.

42 That was a shocker from Vorm and Arsenal have the bit between their teeth now – corner.

Arsenal are one up but it’s a terrible error from Vorm! The Swans keeper rolled the ball out into the back of Rangel’s foot and it fell to Arshavin who lifted it into the empty net!

40 GOAL – ARSHAVIN!

40 Agustien sends in the corner but it bounces out and Sinclair can’t make anything of it. The game swings from one end to the other as Arsenal press.

39 Corner to Swansea, conceded by Koscielny under pressure from Graham. Their confidence is growing.

38 The away side are getting joy down the right, with Gibbs seemingly a target. Can he deal with the pace of Dyer?

37 Great block from Mertesacker from the corner, as the shot looked to be heading towards goal. Swansea cranking a bit of pressure up now.

36 Chance for Graham but he can’t get contact on it! Nice cross from Taylor down the left and it misses everyone before being knocked out for a corner!

35 Swansea defending well you’ve got to say. Williams is really imposing and intercepts a pass from Arteta.

34 Swansea have 10 men behind the ball and Arsenal are just knocking it around, tiki-taka style, but in front of the penalty area. The home fans are a bit frustrated.

33 Van Persie whips the corner in but it’s headed clear before the second ball is swept away by Agustien.

32 Arshavin attacks with real pace but knocks it in front of him and Vorm claims low, but he slides out of play and it’s a corner.

31 Frimpong gives it away and Sinclair has the chance to drive down the right, a few step-overs later and he delivers to the far post, but nowhere near another white shirt.

30 Chance for a classic Arsenal counter-attack as a Swans move broke down, Van Persie dribbles into the box down the left and aims a chip to the back post, onto the roof of the net.

29 The men from Wales are settling into the game a bit more, stringing a few passes together now.

28 Agustien steps up and strikes a curler…close but it was always going over the bar, with Szczesny in control.

27 Free-kick to Swansea just outside the area after Dyer was thrown down by Frimpong. Chance here.

26 Two good challenges from Mertesacker on Sinclair and the crowd applause that on his debut.

25 Yellow card for Agustien for a pull-back on Arteta. Swansea’s defence is beginning to drop deeper and deeper.

24 Frimpong has a shot from the edge of the area after nice interplay and a lay-off from Van Persie, but it flies wide.

23 One positive for Arsenal is that Ramsey and Arteta already seem to be on the same wavelength – bodes well for the future.

22 Allen gives the ball away with a woeful pass to nobody – Swansea will have to do a bit better than that. Perhaps they should try and utilise the pace of Dyer more.

21 It’s pretty much attack versus defence at the moment and I don’t need to tell you which team is doing which. Swansea coping fairly well though.

20 Per Mertesacker rises like a salmon but can’t quite get his head on a cross! Ramsey then pulls the trigger from long range but Vorm lets it fly past the post.

19 Arsenal are really getting the ball out wide whenever possible and it’s causing Swansea problems. Arteta and Ramsey combine well and the Gunners win a corner.

18 Gibbs overlaps down the left and Arshavin pokes the ball through to him, but the flag goes up for offside. Close call that.

17 Arshavin beats his man down the left and delivers but there is the left-back Taylor to nod clear. Still Arsenal press.

16 That was a vital intervention from Caulker, but it is clear to see that Swansea are troubled by the pace of Walcott.

15 Caulker clears off the line from Walcott! Great defending as the England winger nicked it past the goalkeeper after breaking inside!

14 Break in play as the Swansea striker receives treatment – he’ll be okay to continue and Arsenal build from the back.

13 At the moment it seems just a matter of time before we see a goal in this game. Arsenal are dominating possession at the moment but Graham goes down under the challenge.

12 Clever dummy from Dyer which Gibbs doesn’t read and the ball runs out of play. Swansea under pressure now and Arsenal press down their left.

11 Arteta whips a ball in deep but there is big Williams to head clear – he’s a beast of a man in the heart of Swansea’s defence.

10 Very open this. Lots of space and Swansea’s defence is sitting pretty high. Van Persie is slipped in and he hits a shot…blocked for the corner.

9 Arsenal attack down the right as Walcott and Sagna combine well, the Frenchman whips a ball in, but a ricochet bounces up into the arms of Vorm.

8 Chances at either end then – and you’ve got to say the home defence was cut apart pretty easily there with a simple cross.

7 What a save from Szczesny! Unbelievable stop as the ball was whipped in from the right to Graham – he got a touch but that’s a superb save from the Pole!

6 The pace of the game has settled slightly and after a frantic period for the Swansea defence, they now can take a breather.

5 The Spaniard steps up and hits it from 25 yards out…but it hits the top of the ball. Arteta has made a fine start to this game, and he looks the spit of Cesc Fabregas out there!

4 Free-kick to Arsenal after Arteta was fouled by Williams – decent position this…

3 Arsenal knocking it around well in the centre of the park, and Frimpong is felled. Positive start from the home side.

2 Swansea under pressure early on here and Arteta is played in by Van Persie, but he just can’t keep it in.

1 Ramsey blazes over the bar! Great chance with the assist from Arteta, winning the ball in midfield – should have scored.

1 Swansea with some early possession, playing away from their supporters in this first half.

Referee Stuart Attwell blows his whistle and we get underway at the Emirates.

Arsenal v Swansea City,3pm, Saturday.

The international break is over at last and the Premier league action returns this Saturday. After an action packed transfer deadline day, the fans will get to see many of the new signings in action for the first time.

How many of us would have believed if someone has told us that, Swansea City will be placed higher in the table than Arsenal after three matches for the first time since 1981/82 when John Toshack led the Swans to their highest ever league finish and Arsenal were a mid- ranking team? The Gunners having secured just one point from the first three rounds of matches will finally look to get their season started, as they host Swansea City at the Emirates.

It has been the most difficult start to the season for the Gunners. Three matches have been played and they are still looking for the first win of the season. Having drawn their first match at Newcastle followed by a defeat to Liverpool at home, Arsenal were in need of a result against Manchester United last week. The events that followed was shocking to say the least, as they suffered their worst defeat with a humiliating score line of 8 – 2. Things went from bad to worse! Arsenal missed a lot of their first team players in that match due to suspension and injuries. Despite these reasons, it was a match that highlighted how far behind the pecking order the Gunners have fallen down. There was a sense of panic in the team, among the fans and in Wenger as well. The result forced Arsene Wenger to spend in the transfer market. He signed as many as five new players (Park Chu Young, Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta) before the window closed.

For Arsenal, this will be like a new beginning, the first 3 matches have been a nightmare, and they would like to forget all that. They will hope the new signings can have an immediate impact and that Arsenal’s season will be resurrected. For Arsenal the new season will start on 10th of September.
Swansea, the first Welsh side in the Premier League since its inception, will face Arsenal for the first time since 1983. Swansea City are still looking for their first win of the season. After a disappointing start against Manchester City away and a draw against Wigan at home, they missed a glorious opportunity to claim their first victory against Sunderland last week. The game ended in a 0 – 0 draw as Danny Graham missed couple of great chances for the host.
Swansea had their fair share of drama on the deadline day of the transfer window. Apart from Gerhard Tremmel, who actually signed a day before the deadline, Situ and Halliche’s signing was still subject to clearance from the Premier League and FIFA respectively. There have been mentions in the media that Fulham sent the paper for Halliche’s loan move 20 minutes too late, and Swans boss Brendan Rodgers is still waiting to see if he’ll have Situ and Halliche available in his squad. Swansea have confirmed they have received international clearance from FIFA over the transfer deadline day signing of Federico Bessone from Leeds.

Swansea, in all regards, will be happy to get a draw at the Emirates. They will believe that they have great opportunity against this Arsenal team which lacks confidence at the moment.

Sportsnews Ireland Team News and Tactical Brief
Arsenal
More bad news awaited Gooners this week as Thomas Vermaelen was sidelined for nearly two months following his surgery on his left ankle. The injury list keeps on growing for them as the Belgium International joins Wilshere, Diaby, Squillaci and Gibbs on the treatment table. Sagna, who missed out Arsenal’s last game at Old Trafford due to illness, is set to return to first team action this week. Meanwhile new recruit Gervinho, Jenkinson and Alex Song will serve their suspensions from the sidelines. Frimpong, who recently chose to play for Ghana over England, is set to return this week after serving his suspension. This Saturday, it might be a new look Arsenal team that takes on the pitch. Andre Santos, the new arrival from Fenerbahce, is set to start his first game at Left Back. Per Mertesacker will get a start alongside Koscielny following Vermaelen’s injury.
It will be interesting to see how Wenger sets up his midfield in this match. Theo Walcott, who missed out England’s game due to illness, is set to return against Swansea. Arteta might get a start ahead of Rosicky, alongside Ramsey and Frimpong. While, it will be a close call between Arshavin and Benayoun for a place in the starting eleven. Van Persie, who returns after an impressive outing for Holland, looks in ominous touch at the moment. Park Chu Young, the South Korean international, is likely to start from the Bench after an impressive display for his national team. The international break came at a good time for Arsenal, as they look to bounce back from their horrendous display at Manchester.
Probable Starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Santos, Frimpong, Arshavin, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Van Persie

Swansea City

Swansea City are yet to score a goal in their 3 matches so far. They will be boosted by the arrival of Tremmel and Bessone. Bessone, the former Leeds united Left back will add depth to the squad. Situ and Halliche’s signing are still pending confirmation and are unlikely to play any part in this weekend’s match. Michel Vorm, the Dutch custodian, has been the star performer for Swansea this season so far and will look to keep the Arsenal attack at bay. Danny Graham, who has been arguably Swansea’ biggest signing this season, looks a threat on the pitch but will have to work on his finishing. Ashley Williams has been a solid performer for Swansea as well, and will start this match with lots of expectations on his shoulders. Scott Sinclair, Swansea’s star man last season, has had a disappointing start to the season so far and will be looking to get his form back. Brendon Rodgers is most likely to pack the midfield with five players, leaving Graham on his own at the top, with Dyer and Sinclair looking to support the front man when possible. Leroy Lita will provide another attacking option for Rodgers from the bench. Alan Tate and Ferrie Bodde are still injured for Swansea.
Possible Starting XI: Vorm, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Rangel, Britton, Agustien, Sinclair, Dyer, Routledge, Graham

MATCH FACTS
1.During Arsene Wenger’s reign, Arsenal have averaged more points per game (2.10) than any other Premier League team in the month of September.
2.Ashley Williams for Swansea has attempted more passes than any other top flight player this season (235).
3.Arsenal have used more players than any other side in the league this season (23).
4.Arsenal have taken just 13 points from their last 14 Premier League games.
5.Arsenal have never lost three consecutive home games in the Premier League. (They have lost the last two home matches against Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively)
6. Just seven years ago the Swans were battling for their football league lives in Division Three. Midfielder Britton remains from that era and is one of the few players to have played in all four divisons.
PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
The Spaniard will be under the spot light as he looks to make his debut after his much talked about transfer from Everton on the deadline day. Arsenal seemed to have lost its creative edge following the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri along with injury to Wilshere. Arteta will look to revitalize the Arsenal attack. He is known for his ability to pick up a pass and is deadly from set pieces as well. The Gooners will hope he can weave his magic, as they prepare for a new era at the club.
PREDICTION
Arsenal 3 – 0 Swansea

Wenger will look for a quick response from his side following the debacle at Old Trafford. The international break has given the team, time to galvanize once again. Most of the Arsenal players who were away for their national duty have looked in great form. The new signings will lift the spirit in the dressing room. Expect Swansea to face a tough outing at the Emirates. Swansea haven’t scored yet in the league, don’t expect that to change in this match. Arsenal should be able to turn on the style and cruise to victory on Saturday.

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