Arsenal 2-1 Swansea: Second-half fightback gives Gunners victory
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 29/10/17 7:54am
Arsenal came back from a goal behind at half-time to beat Swansea 2-1 in the Premier League at the Emirates on Saturday.
Despite having little possession in the first half, Swansea took the lead through Sam Clucas' neat finish (22) from Tammy Abraham's superb through ball.
Arsenal levelled through Sead Kolasinac after the break (51), before Aaron Ramsey completed the turnaround just seven minutes later with a guided left-footed effort from eight yards.
Arsenal: Cech (6), Bellerin (6), Koscielny (6), Mertesacker (5), Monreal (6), Kolasinac (8), Xhaka (7), Ramsey (7), Ozil (6), Sanchez (6), Lacazette (6)
Subs: Giroud (NA), Holding (NA)
Swansea: Fabianski (6), Naughton (5), Mawson (6), van der Hoorn (5), Fernandez (5), Clucas (7), Ki Sun-yeung (6), Fer (5), Carroll (5), Ayew (5), Abraham (6)
Subs: Narsingh (NA), Dyer (NA), McBurnie (NA)
Man of the match: Sead Kolasinac
The result means Arsenal have won all five of their Premier League matches at the Emirates and go up to fourth, while Swansea are down in 17th.
Swansea scored the opener against the run of play through midfielder Clucas, who had started the game at left wing-back, tucking the ball through Petr Cech's legs after Abraham had found him with a fine pass behind the Arsenal defence.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski kept the scores level as he tipped away Alexis Sanchez's fierce effort from inside the box, but Swansea should have been 2-0 up just before half-time.
Wenger made 11 changes in midweek for the Carabao Cup win over Norwich, but reverted back to the side that won 5-2 against Everton last weekend, with Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette all starting. For Swansea, Ki, Clucas and van der Hoorn come in for Sanches, Briton and Narsingh following the 2-1 defeat by Leicester last Saturday. Clucas played left wing-back in a 5-3-2.
After Per Mertesacker dwelled on the ball and lost out in the area to Jordan Ayew, the forward looked to dink it over Cech, who this time blocked well with his body.
Arsenal were level six minutes after the break through Kolasinac, who found the far corner with a driven left-footed finish after the ball had fortuitously arrived to him 12 yards out from Mesut Ozil's blocked shot.
Laurent Koscielny then glanced a free header just wide from Sanchez's free-kick, but Arsenal were ahead on 58 minutes as Ramsey neatly finished off a fine move from 10 yards from Kolasinac's cut back.
Hector Bellerin nearly made it 3-1, hitting the top of the bar on the stretch from an angle, and despite some late Swansea pressure, the Gunners held on for a vital three points on Arsene Wenger's 800th Premier League match in charge.
- Arsenal have now won their last 13 games at the Emirates in all competitions, their longest ever winning run at the stadium.
- This was Wenger's 400th home win with the Gunners in all competitions (213 Emirates, 185 Highbury, two Wembley).
- The Swans have mustered fewer shots (76) and shots on target (20) than any other Premier League side this season.
- Kolasinac has had a hand in more goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season than any other player (three goals, three assists).
Arsene Wenger: "I'm very happy with the three points. I think overall we had a good domination, maybe in the first half our pace was not quick and sharp enough, but in the second we upped the tempo and created many chances. Again we showed mental strength to come back from 1-0 down to win 2-1. Overall it was vital for us to win the game today."
Paul Clement: "I liked a lot of things about the performance today. We've played in games recently where our performances and results haven't been so good, and the results not so good either. Today the performance was better and I think we possibly deserved more than we got."
Matt Le Tissier on Soccer Saturday: "Arsenal huffed and puffed and had a lot of possession but not a lot of clear-cut chances in the first half. Arsenal came out firing in the second half and got an equaliser; you thought it would only be one way from here. From then on it was a bit of a struggle for Swansea."
Man of the match - Sead Kolasinac
One goal and one assist from the left-back tells only half of the story. Kolasinac has impressed since arriving at the Emirates on a free transfer in the summer with his strength, stamina going up and down the left flank, and his delivery.
Granit Xhaka constantly looked to Kolasinac as an outlet down the left with diagonal balls, and that's exactly how the second Arsenal goal came about, from a measured cut-back by the Bosnian into the path of Aaron Ramsey.
He went off injured late on, hobbling off and holding his groin, and would be a huge miss for upcoming games against Red Star Belgrade and Man City.
Arsenal now host Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday, before a trip to Manchester City on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 2.15pm. Swansea host Brighton on Saturday at 3pm in the Premier League.