Last Updated: 25/03/14 10:10pm
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Swansea all but extinguished Arsenal's hopes of claiming the Premier League title after picking up a precious point in a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger's side will now be looking over their shoulder with Tottenham and Everton breathing down their neck for fourth position.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger urges his side forward. We're well into FOUR added minutes of stoppage time.
SWANS SCORE AT THE DEATH! Mathieu Flamini hands Swansea an unlikely equaliser in stoppage time with a bizarre own goal. Leon Britton's run and shot hits Per Mertesacker and then goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before bouncing off the unfortunate Frenchman for an Og! That could be curtains to Arsenal's title hopes.
Angel Rangel fails to pick out a Swansea player in the box after having all the time in the world down the right.
Suddenly the confidence is flowing in the Arsenal side. Wilfried Bony was claiming a penalty after being bundled to the ground by Lukas Podolski. Seems like he had a good case!
Santi Cazorla shows great feet to get away from three Swansea players before laying the ball off nicely.
Swansea have only three away wins this season and have picked up just two points from their last five games. They will be gutted with the way they have capitulated.
There is no doubt that substitute Lukas Podolski has turned this game around. Scored one and made one!
Meanwhile, Sweden international Kim Kallstrom comes on in place of Tomas Rosicky for his Arsenal debut.
ARSENAL GO AHEAD! Just 66 seconds later and the Gunners take the lead thanks to Olivier Giroud's 19th goal of the season. Lukas Podolski's stunning left-foot delivery is turned into the back of the net by the Frenchman who couldn't miss from six yards out.
ARSENAL LEVEL IT UP! Lukas Podolski scores his first Premier League goal in 2014! Kieran Gibbs' wonderful run down the left is turned home by the German in the middle. He couldn't miss!
Taylor looks to be in trouble and will need to come off. He has some defending to do first though. Santi Cazorla claims he is pushed in the back but referee Lee Probert waves play on.
Dare I say it but Arsenal look to have run out of ideas at the Emirates! Neil Taylor has cramp and goes to ground.
Remember, Arsenal have lost none of their last 13 Premier League home games (W10 D3), conceding just four goals in that run. Their last home defeat came at the start of the season against Aston Villa.
@ChrisGriff2 Tweets: 'Giving Arsenal a really good game! These 3 points will make a huge difference to our season! Come on Swansea!'
Still Arsenal come forward in numbers. They've had all the ball, but Swansea are sitting deeper and deeper.
Arsenal have won just three of their last eight Premier League matches, losing three times and drawing twice. They're a team lacking confidence.
Jonathan de Guzman's fine cross is directed wide of goal by Michu. That was half a chance for the Spanish striker!
@WillsherDaniel has some harsh words for Olivier Giroud: 'Giroud can't hold the ball up, doesn't work for the team and at the moment doesn't score. At the moment he is a burden on Arsenal.'
Lukas Podolski has not scored in the top flight since Boxing Day! He did score against the Swans in the FA Cup though.
Chloe Russell isn't happy: 'It's funny how when Giroud doesn't score everyone is quick to jump on his back and yet seem to forget how much he does when he holds the ball up?'
Tomas Rosicky is doing his best to try and unlock the Swans backdoor, but they're defending in great depth.
Gareth May says: 'We are just in disarray at the moment. Big half time team talk from wenger needed! Need to get some pace on the pitch!!'
Jonjo Shelvey plays a great ball up to Wilfried Bony, but he is unable to make it stick and back come the hosts.
There have been no changes to either side at the break as Arsenal get the second half underway at the Emirates.
PatrickRodgers8 says: 'Wenger is useless at changing tactics he plays a team with no pace why not change things have wingers Ox on one wing and Gnabry.'
@JohnWMoor Tweets: 'Arsenal have become a feeder club: lack depth and options. Wenger too slow to adapt - other teams know how to defeat us.'
Sam Clements emails in to say: 'What the hell is going on. Arsenal need a new striker. What ever happened to good old 4-4-2. He looks lost upfront by himself and has all season. Top 4 teams all have 1 good striker.... We don't.'
@Bunceyyyy Tweets: 'Before Xmas we was battling for the title, now the battle for 4th could even be tricky. We need to sign a striker.'
If you'd like to send me your thoughts on the game during the second half, email Raz...that's me! at email@example.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.
Arsenal are now 23/10 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet, who make Swansea 23/20 and the draw 2/1. Olivier Giroud is 15/4 to score next while Alex Oxlade‐Chamberlain is 8/1. I went for Arsenal to win this clash 3-0 at the start of the night. I'm now going for a 3-1 win, which is priced at 14/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.
Swansea lead Arsenal 1-0 at the break thanks to a goal from Wilfried Bony in the 11th minute. The Ivorian managed to sneak across Thomas Vermaelen to power home Neil Taylor's cross for his 19th goal of the season. It was the first time Arsenal conceded a first half goal in 12 Premier League matches at the Emirates. Santi Cazorla missed the hosts best opportunity late on in the half, but the Swans have looked comfortable at the back. Arsene Wenger will need a massive team talk in order to get their fading title hopes back on track in the next 45 minutes.
CHANCE! Santi Cazorla makes himself a yard before testing Michel Vorm with a low right-foot drive. Bit of late pressure here.
@Jacob1Cutts Tweets: 'Girouds just not right for running in behind, Podolski or Sanogo would clearly be the better option, Giroud has no confidence.'
Mikel Arteta's free-kick misses everybody in the box although Bacary Sagna claims he is pushed in the back by Jonjo Shelvey.
@matt_am00 Tweets: 'I expect a comeback from Arsenal.At the moment, Arsenal are confused what to do. But after the break I'd say they'll come back.'
It's comfortable defending for Swansea at the moment. Bacary Sagna's cross from the left is a good one but Michel Vorm is out like a flash to claim it.
Ben David is back in touch and he says: 'I think its easy for teams to sit in front of Arsenal's attacks because its all predictable walking it in all the time.'
Arsenal earn their sixth corner of the half and Olivier Giroud looks to score with a spectaular attempt but it was never going to trouble Michel Vorm. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then slices his right-foot effort wide.
Wilfried Bony picks up the first booking of the match from referee Lee Probert for a late challenge on Tomas Rosicky.
@o2m4n Tweets: 'Hi Raz, why is Arteta playing I don't know. We all know Flamini is a better DM. Where is Podolski, no confidence in Giroud.'
Olivier Giroud's touch lets him down and then Bacary Sagna takes aim with his swinger before lashing his attempt well wide of the mark.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot from the edge of the area hits Tomas Rosicky which sums up the way this match has gone for the hosts.
In four league visits to Arsenal, Swansea have won twice including last season's 2-0 victory when Michu scored twice in the final two minutes. They're threatening another victory this evening!
Olivier Giroud's header from a Arsenal corner is cleared away by Ashley Williams. Leon Britton is then awarded a free-kick after being pressed by Tomas Rosicky.
After a quiet start by the Swans, they're coming into their own and seem to be relishing the challenge.
@deanmurphy1983 Tweets: 'Hi Raz. The Arsenal are going to lose again tonight for the fact off playin Arteta and Flamini. Should have began with Poldolski.'
Swansea counter with four against two but Michu opts to pick out Jonjo Shelvey on the edge of the box rather than go alone and the former Liverpool man fires his shot straight at an Arsenal defender. Some of the Gunners' defenders left a lot to be desired there.
A win here for Swansea will ease them away from the drop zone and take them up to 13th position, but there is still a very long way to go and Arsenal have just won another corner.
Some Arsenal supporters think Per Mertesacker's header is in, but it actually flies into the side netting from the corner.
Tomas Rosicky's dangerous cross is urgently cleared away for a corner. Ashley Williams does well at the near post to make the clearance.
Suddenly it's Swansea who are keeping the ball and Jonjo Shelvey's diagonal pass looks to find Bony, but the flag goes up against him this time.
Swansea are winless in five straight Premier League matches (two draws and three defeats) and have won just twice since early December, a run of 16 top flight matches. They have kept just two clean sheets in those 16 contests, and both were in their only two wins in that time.
Arsenal have not lost back-to-back Premier League games for 14 months and after having all the early possession, Swansea struck.
BONY STUNS ARSENAL! Neil Taylor's wonderful cross from the left is brilliantly headed into the back of the net by the towering Wilfried Bony ahead of Thomas Vermaelen. That's the £12million man's 10th goal in his last 16 starts and his 19th goal of the season. What a signing from Vitesse!
Swansea look to counter but instead of lumping the ball in the box they decide to go back and play it around.
There has never been a league draw between Arsenal and Swansea with the Gunners winning five and the Swans four of the nine meetings so expect goals tonight folks!
Santi Cazorla loses the ball to Leon Britton but Per Mertesacker steps up to win it back very quickly.
The Swans are going nowhere at the moment because Arsene Wenger's men look like they want to take out Saturday's humbling against the side from Wales. They've had all the early possession!
DECENT SAVE! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's excellent volley from the edge of the box is turned away for a corner by Michel Vorm.
Here we go then! The Emirates is packed to capacity for this one. Arsenal are in their traditional home kit while the visitors are in their changed strip of purple and yellow. The weather is mild in north London while the pitch looks like a carpet.
Wenger oversees his 1,001st game as Arsenal manager as Swansea arrive at the Emirates for head coach Monk's 10th match in charge. Arsenal will be looking to get their fading title hopes back on track. While Wenger is in the 18th year of his Arsenal reign, Monk is about to enter just an eighth week as Swans boss following Michael Laudrup's early-February exit. Monk was an unused substitute when Swansea won 2-0 thanks to a Michu double at The Emirates 15 months ago, and a repeat result would be heaven-sent for the Welsh club. Last Saturday's 3-2 defeat against Everton kept them just four points above the relegation zone, with the Arsenal game being followed by a home clash against Norwich and then a trip to Hull. The Gunners have the small matter of Manchester City at home on Saturday tea-time.
Daniel Don Bosco says: 'Arsenal are desperate for a win after the 6-0 defeat against Chelsea so I'm going for a 3-0 win to arsenal.'
Paul in Lincoln adds: 'High expectation from the Gunners fans tonight, an opportunity to bounce back after last weeks travesty and get three valued points to maintain any mathematical chance for a title run. Other than that it's potentially 4th place for Europe again next year.'
Meanwhile, Ben David expects to see an easy home win tonight. 'Arsenal got to win this nothing less but Wenger and Arsenal cannot say they are a top team again if they win tonight they cannot be considered a top team until they beat the big teams. Arsenal win 3-0.'
Kwez Appiah emails in to say: 'Genuinely tough one for me; I'm Arsenal but I really want Swansea to stay up as they play the right way. I think I'd be happy with a draw, but then we'd have to beat City at the weekend. Gonna say 1-1.'
Arsenal are 4/7 to claim victory with our friends @Skybet, who make Swansea 9/2 and the draw 3/1. Arsenal have not conceded a first half goal in any of their last 11 Premier League matches at the Emirates and it's 5/2 that the home side win both halves. Olivier Giroud again tops the market to score the opening goal at 3/1 and it's 5/6 that he scores in a home win. For Swansea, Michu came off the bench in the defeat at Everton at the weekend and is 7/2 to score anytime and 10/1 to strike the first goal of the game. I'm going for Arsenal to win this clash 3-0 and that scoreline is priced at 11/1. Head now to SKYBET to place your bets on this match.
@KonnarJM Tweets: 'Swansea Fan! Going for a 2-2 draw with michu getting the both goals! Could do with a win but a draw would still be a great result!'
@awaemy makes a valid point... 'but they lost all the important away games this season.' Amazing home form, poor away! Sums up Arsenal's season don't you think? And those darn early kick-offs of course!
@CarlyFletch Tweets: 'Arsenal will bounce back (again) after a heavy defeat with a 2-0 win. Ox and Giroud goals that will leave us only 4pts off the top.'
@axedude_007 Tweets: 'The Arsenal to overcome last week's humiliation to hammer the Swans 3-0. Podolski with a brace.'
Meanwhile, Jim Dunker says: 'Hi Raz. In empathy to my English compatriots, usually sunny San Diego, California has been overcast for three days, ever since the emotional humbling by Chelsea, not sure if this is in mourning. I've used multiple ideologies and native chants to hope Arsenal show up, and will take any version of a win no matter the scoreline.'
Barry Thirkell is first to email in tonight and he says: 'Big game for the Gunners tonight, we really need to bounce back. I'm going for a 2-0 Arsenal win. Lets get put that Chelsea 'accident' behind us!!'
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS: Both midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Kieran Gibbs are in the side after successful disciplinary appeals. The Football Association overturned the mistaken-identity dismissal of Gibbs by referee Andre Marriner for Oxlade-Chamberlain's handball, which was then downgraded to a yellow on appeal. Captain Thomas Vermaelen starts at centre-back with Laurent Koscielny out because of a calf problem, while defensive midfielder Matheiu Flamini comes in to shore up the side, with Lukas Podolski back on the bench.
SWANSEA TEAM NEWS: Swansea are in danger of being sucked into the relegation dogfight after no wins in the last six league matches, but recall Spanish forward Michu, who scored both goals in last season's shock win at the Emirates Stadium.
ARSENAL TEAM (4-2-3-1): Szczesny, Sagna Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla, Giroud.
SWANSEA TEAM (4-2-3-1): Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Chico Flores, Taylor, Britton, Shelvey, de Guzman, Routledge, Michu, Bony.
Arsene Wenger admits he has no explanation for his side's hammering at firstly Liverpool and then Chelsea at the weekend other than they were both early kick-offs. The Gunners boss - who cancelled Monday morning's scheduled pre-match press conference - remains at a loss to explain just why his men imploded at Stamford Bridge in what turned out to be a nightmare 1,000th match in charge for the Frenchman. 'We are intelligent enough and care enough about the club to, of course, be disappointed with our performance (in the 6-0 defeat to Chelsea),' he said. 'I believe Man City was different, (but) Liverpool, yes. The common thing was that it was a 12.45 game and twice we were caught at the start of the game. We think about that and at the moment there is no rational explanation other than the quality of our opponents and that we were caught at the start of the game. Why? We don't really know. We have 62 points that we earned hard with quality games and that is what we want to focus on - to get back to that quality.' Will this evening kick-off help the Gunners to three much-needed points? Let me know your thoughts fans! Email Raz...that's me! at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.
Garry Monk has called on his Swansea side to be wide-eyed and alert as Arsenal aim for an instant response from their 6-0 weekend mauling at Stamford Bridge. 'We are expecting a reaction from them,' said Monk. 'That's the message to my boys. We will try to go up there with the right attitude and put on the right performance to come away with something. You can never see that sort of result coming, but obviously circumstances and stuff dictated the final scoreline. In terms of that game, I don't think you can really delve too far into it because of the circumstances that happened. The sending off changed that game, but Chelsea are a very good team. It was two powerhouses in this league, but Chelsea had the upper hand on the day. It is a horrible feeling whenever you lose a game, but to lose by such a wide margin is always hard to take. But the good thing in football is you get a chance very soon to try to put it right. That's what we have to be aware of and make sure we try to counter it.' Monk has only experienced one win - a 3-0 Welsh derby success against Cardiff - since he took on the Swansea job. Can they cause an upset tonight? Email Raz...that's me! at email@example.com or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish the best.
EARLY ARSENAL TEAM NEWS: Keiran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both available after the controversial red card shown to the former for the latter's handball during the 6-0 loss to Chelsea was overturned on appeal. They will be without defender Laurent Koscielny because of a calf problem. Captain Thomas Vermaelen is likely to play at centre-half alongside Per Mertesacker, while 19-year-old Spaniard Hector Bellerin, who was on loan at Watford, has been drafted into the squad as cover.
EARLY SWANSEA TEAM NEWS: Garry Monk has reported no fresh injury concerns following his side's 3-2 defeat at Everton. Given the quick turnaround in fixtures, Monk might opt to start fit-again Spanish striker Michu, who scored twice when Swansea won 2-0 in north London 15 months ago. Michu, who was sidelined for three months due to an ankle injury, has featured as a substitute in Swansea's last two games against West Brom and Everton.
If you'd like to send me your views before or during the match, email Raz...that's me! at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me: @RazMirza and I'll publish as many as I can.