Arsenal came back from a goal down for the third consecutive match as they overcame Swansea City in a hard-fought 2-1 win at the Emirates on Saturday
Arsenal dominated the proceedings from the word go, grabbing the bulk of the chances in the first quarter of the match. But, the visitors went ahead against the run of play, when Tammy Abraham found Sam Clucas with a fine pass through the opposition defence, before the latter scored through Petr Cech’s legs.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski frustrated the hosts by denying Alexis Sanchez, before his side came close to doubling their lead when Jordan Ayew was denied by Cech. The hosts finally grabbed a foothold in the match, six minutes into the second half.
Sead Kolasinac levelled things up with a driving effort after Mesut Ozil’s shot rebounded towards him. The Bosnian then turned provider seven minutes later as his cut back was finished off neatly by Aaron Ramsey.
1️⃣ important win
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 28, 2017
Both sides came close to scoring again thereafter, but Arsenal continued to hand on the slender lead to grab all three points, and make it five wins out of five at home in the Premier League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Arsene Wenger’s men.
Petr Cech: 6/10
Accused of being poor in terms of positioning and reactions at times, the familiar troubles were at hand once again as he was beaten too easy for Clucas’ goal. However, the veteran shot-stopper grew into the game as it progressed, and Per Mertesacker had him to thank when he denied Jordan Ayew just before half-time.
Laurent Koscielny: 5.5/10
One of the rare bad games for Koscielny, who looked uncharacteristically out of sorts on Saturday. The French defender was among the guilty party for Swansea’s goal as he made a hash a simple clearance. Other than that moment, he was also poor in possession, while also missing a free header. Needs to up his game ahead of the trip to Manchester City.
Per Mertesacker: 5.5/10
Another player who wasn’t at his best on Saturday. Mertesacker helplessly saw his side concede the first goal before nearly giving away a second when he was bullied off the ball by Jordan Anderson. However, the German neutralised the threat of Tammy Abraham for large parts of the match. A mixed bag, but he’ll need to be at his best next week.
Nacho Monreal: 7/10
Mr. Consistent was at it again on Saturday as he was barely troubled on the day by the opposition attack. Although he could have added pressure in attack, the solidity that Monreal provided at the back was like gold dust for the Gunners. Ended the game as the left wing-back, where he might have to play next week as well, if Kolasinac fails to regain fitness.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Inconsistent from the Spaniard on Saturday. Switched off for Swansea’s goal before Koscielny’s error saw things going from bad to worse, his impact in the final third was minimal as well, with his crossing being sub par. However, Bellerin did come into his own in the second half and even came close to scoring.
Aaron Ramsey: 7/10
Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal
50 CL games
218 PL games
8 goals pic.twitter.com/nfpYTXTEfY
— 🏆 FA Cup Winners 🏆 (@tomgunner14) October 28, 2017
A game of two halves for the Welshman. Ramsey did nothing of note in the first half, but came into life in the final 45 minutes as he made his trademark late runs into the box to add to the numbers. One such run ended with the winner as he finished coolly from Kolasinac’s cut back.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10
A much improved performance by Xhaka, who has been erratic so far this season. The Swiss midfielder’s passing was on point for the most part, and he started the move that ended with Arsenal’s second goal of the match. Needs to impose himself more on the ball, but this outing will go a long way in terms of building confidence.
Sead Kolasinac: 9/10
Sead Kolašinac has been directly involved in 4 goals in 5 Premier League home games this season.
3 assists 🅰️
1 goal ⚽️
Turned it around. pic.twitter.com/LVz1vZq67b
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 28, 2017
What a signing Kolasinac has been for Arsenal. The Bosnian turned the game around for his side, almost single handedly as he first scored the equaliser before assisting the winner, and his understanding with Alexis Sanchez was a treat to watch. Limped off with a little over ten minutes to go, and Arsene Wenger would be sweating over his fitness.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
Another solid, if slightly unspectacular outing by the German playmaker. While he wasn’t as flashy as the Everton game, Ozil was still in fine form on Saturday, creating five chances and working hard off the ball. Played his part in the second goal, and with him in such form, the Gunners have a glimmer of hope against the league leaders.
Alexis Sanchez: 7/10
Started the game brightly as he created three chances within the first ten minutes, without anyone converting them. Thereafter though, Sanchez was typically a workhorse, but his impact was on and off. His linkup with Kolasinac, though, is promising indeed for Wenger’s side.
Alexandre Lacazette: 6.5/10
Had little to no service on the day, for which he can’t really be faulted much. Lacazette’s movement, though, makes him a nippy customer, and he also showed remarkable strength in holdup play. But, he does need more support from his teammates, and a better service would make him an even bigger threat.
Rob Holding: N/A
Came on in the 78th minute and slotted into the back-three. But, with Arsenal well in control, he had very little to do.
Olivier Giroud: N/A
Came on for his usual cameo, and almost scored a goal from outside the box.