Arsenal have put a living daylight between them and the rest of the chasing pack. Courtesy of two 2nd half strikes from youngsters Serge Gnabry and blazing hot Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal completed their 5ft win in 6 EPL games. The 1st half wasn’t so eventful as it offered Arsenal only a chance which Giroud shot wide and an injury scare to the Frenchman which shot Arsenal fans’ heart to their mouth. Guess it’s nothing serious as he played the entire game.
Arsenal started the 2nd half in more purposeful fashion and took the lead took Gnabry who finished off Ramsey’s short pass. The Gunners were out of sight when a breath-taking counter attack saw Ramsey round off the move with a cool finish. Swansea ensured a frenetic finish when their left back finished off from close range. Hence, robbing Szczesny of a clean sheet.
Let me share the things I noticed from the game.
The German was one of the few shining lights in a lethargic 1st half performance. He nearly made a goal for Giroud in the final minutes of the 1st half when he engaged in a solo run. The Frenchman fluffed his lines but when Ramsey presented him a replica chance, Gnabry held his nerve to shoot past Vorm, his first ever league goal. Against Sunderland, he had his 1st start and against Swansea he bagged his 1st goal. He is certainly reveling in Walcott’s absence.
Ramsey seems Arsenal’s shot outlet
For long, Arsenal players have been accused of been reluctant to shoot but it seems Ramsey isn’t in that number. He seems the only player always ready to test the palms of the goalkeeper. He was teed up for a great shot in the 1st half that fizzled just wide. The Welshman carried on his stunning form of the season with a man of the match performance. Scoring one and assisting another. He can’t just stop scoring. He now has 8 goals in 9 appearances this season alone. He is in a pole position to win the Barclays player of the month award for September.
Gnabry seems better in the middle
The German is standing in for Walcott on the right hand side of attack but he has found it difficult to impress there. Today, he drifted into the center and became very dangerous. The chance he made for Giroud was from a run through the middle while the goal he scored was also from a run through the center. He looks more like
another Chamberlain than a Walcott.
Time wasting tactics
Arsenal players seem intelligent and smart with their time wasting tactics. With Swansea’s goal coming with 10 mins to the end of the game, Arsenal knew they were in for a grand stand finish. Hence, they needed to find a decent way of running down the clock. Lehmann was the best at doing that and Szczesny looks a good student. There was a point when Chico placed the ball for him so he could take the goal kick quickly but instead, he took the ball to the other side saying I am the goalie and I choose the spot not you. A fine one from him.
Wilshere also impressed me when he was subbed and before leaving, he decided to have a word with the referee over his treatment. Smart one from Wilshere. For both time wasting actions, they didn’t get booked. Can we really call it time-wasting? It was literarily but not literally.
No show for Bendtner
After his midweek return, been the only striker and with Napoli’s clash breathing down our neck, it was expected that should Arsenal take an unassailable lead, Wenger might take off Giroud to allow him rest for the midweek battle. Should that happen, Bendtner might just get his first Premier league run out of the season. Wenger didn’t only keep Giroud on for the whole game, he made 3 substitutions and didn’t look the Dane’s way.
Wenger has learnt how to close games
Arsenal are an attacking side but it seems the desire to attack has been costing us in times past. Wenger seems to have learnt his lesson on closing out games. Today, once Arsenal went 2 goals up, he brought in Arteta for Gnabry to shore up the midfield and when Swansea got a goal, he introduced Monreal for Ozil to start defending and brought on Jenkinson late on for Wilshere. Gradually reducing Arsenal’s attack for defensive solidity. Thumbs up Wenger. Football isn’t all about beauty, grit is also needed.