Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes were dealt a severe blow courtesy of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City.
Swansea started the match three points above the relegation zone, and had to do without manager Francisco Guidolin, who was missing with a chest infection. They also made six changes to the side as they looked to save resources for their weekend game at Norwich.
For Arsenal, it was a chance to cut the gap between themselves and Spurs and Leicester City, above them.
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All seemed to be going well when Joel Campbell hooked in a volley after a neatly-timed run, but Jordi Amat’s tackle on Mesut Ozil resulted in a Wayne Routledge equaliser as Arsenal appealed for a foul. In the second half, Alexis Sanchez hit the bar with a free kick - Arsenal hit the woodwork four times in the match. before Ashley Williams then bundled in the winner.

Ashley Williams celebrates scoring the second goal for Swansea City

Image credit: Reuters

Before then, Arsenal fans had jeered off their side at half time, and booed their manager for his decision to take off Joel Campbell; at full time, the boos got even louder.

Wayne Routledge celebrates scoring the first goal for Swansea City with Jack Cork and Leroy Fer

Image credit: Reuters

TALKING POINT

How much longer can Arsene Wenger hold on? It’s the same every year, and every year he promises something different. It should have been so easy – Arsenal took the lead against a relegation-threatened side who had weakened their team. Instead of calmly sealing victory, they collapsed, with yet another defensive error. Mesut Ozil disappeared, Alexis Sanchez has no viable replacement, and Olivier Giroud is not good enough. It’ll be the same next season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gestures

Image credit: Reuters

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ashley Williams (Swansea City): Arsenal might have been poor, but they kept up the pressure. Ozil, Monreal and Bellerin all tried to set up someone, anyone, with hopeful crosses into the box, but it was Williams in the centre of defence who captained by example, clearing and blocking anything within his reach.

Ashley Williams scores the second goal for Swansea City

Image credit: Reuters

PLAYER RATINGS

Arsenal: Cech 5, Bellerin 6, Monreal 6, Gabriel 6, Mertesacker 6, Ramsey 6, Coquelin 5, Campbell 6, Ozil 6, Sanchez 5, Giroud 5. Subs: Walcott 5, Welbeck 6.
Swansea: Fabianski 6, Naughton 6, Kingsley 6, Amat 6, Williams 7, Cork 6, Fer 6, Ki 6, Routledge 6, Ayew 5, Gomis 4. Subs: Rangel 6, Sigurdsson 6, Fulton 6.
MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

Wenger: It was a very unlucky defeat

KEY MOMENTS

15’ - GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Swansea. Campbell scores - Campbell latches onto a dink into the box, peeling off his marker, and hooks a volley on the inside of Fabianksi. An excellent finish.
31’ - GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Swansea. Routledge scores - Arsenal play the ball back to Cech, who sends it long into midfield. Amat wins it, Ozil falls over wanly, and they send the ball quickly. Cork releases it for Routledge, who sizes up Cech and gives the 'keeper the eyes.
41’ – GIROUD SHOT - Ozil swings in a corner, and Fabianski punches it clear. The ball is clipped back in by Arsenal for Mertesacker by Ramsey, who stretches to head it down for Giroud. He's yards out and he blasts it against the bar.
68’ – SANCHEZ FREE KICK - Sanchez takes the free kick, it's well struck, takes a deflection, but hits the crossbar and Swansea escape again.
74’ - GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Swansea City. Williams scores - Sigurdsson fires in a cross from the free kick. Cech comes out for it, flaps at it, it hits Williams and bounces over the line.
90+3’ – WELBECK HEADER - Welbeck gets a head to Walcott's cross from the left, but he glances it just wide of the far post.

Joel Campbell celebrates scoring the first goal for Arsenal

Image credit: Reuters

KEY STATS

Olivier Giroud has gone 10 games without a goal.
Swansea are now unbeaten in their last four PL visits to Emirates Stadium. Chelsea (5) and Manchester United (4) are the only other clubs to have had unbeaten streaks of more than three PL fixtures at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal lose consecutive PL matches for the first time since November 2014, when they were beaten 2-1 by both Swansea City (away) and Manchester United (home).

MATCH IN A TWEET

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