Arsenal were forced to come from a goal down to maintain their 100% record at the Emirates Stadium this season, as they defeated Swansea City 2-1 for the Premier league.
Sam Clucas’ first-half goal for the visitors promised a difficult afternoon for the North London outfit to put up with before Sead Kolasinac could equalise early in the second period.
The ex-Schalke 04 man would double his contribution to assist Aaron Ramsey for the eventual winner in Arsenal’s bid to reclaim fourth place from Chelsea in the league table.
The Gunners named an unchanged XI from their last Premier League outing versus Everton at Goodison Park, with Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette again headlining at the pinnacle of the line-up.
Arsène Wenger’s men would go on to start as the brightest of the two sides, fashioning sightings of goal for Ramsey, Sanchez and Per Mertesacker prior to composed Swansea interventions within the first 10 minutes.
Despite the early dominance, however, it’d be at the other end that the game would find its first goal, as Laurent Koscielny lost out to Tammy Abraham before the English forward’s through ball to Sam Clucas on the left, who had enough about him to slide a finish beneath Petr Čech at his near post in the 22nd minute.
Before Arsenal could formulate a serious response, Clucas neared his second with a vicious strike from range skimming the post, meanwhile, with 40 minutes on the clock, the North Londoners would finally force a sweat out of Łukasz Fabiański through Sanchez’s strike from inside the box, requiring the former Gunners man to push the effort over the bar.
Matters could’ve worsened for Arsenal, as a passive Per Mertesacker saw Jordan Ayew hijack him inside his own area prior to a crucial save from Čech in the face of the Ghanaian striker’s attempted dink into goal.
Swansea would take their slender 1-0 lead into the interval, with frustrations brewing for the hosts.
Arsenal were able to discard much of those worries early into the second half, however, as Lacazette and Özil combined their way into the box before Kolasinac could thunder in a loose ball from the left and equalise in the 51st minute.
The Swans would have the goal in the back of the net no less than a minute later before Abraham could be ruled offside, whereas at the other end, Laurent Koscielny came close to taking advantage of Arsenal’s new-found momentum when scuffing a header wide from Sanchez’s free-kick.
A second goal wouldn’t be long in the offing at the Emirates Stadium, with Granit Xhaka spreading the play expertly to Kolasinac on the left flank and allowing the goalscorer the time and space to morph into creator and cut back a pass for Aaron Ramsey to tuck away in the 58th minute.
Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín came very close to adding a third to the hosts’ account when meeting Sanchez’s cross with an outstretched leg at the far-post, as the Spaniard’s effort grazed the top of the bar in the 66th minute.
Wenger’s side aimed to dictate the tempo into the final 20 minutes of the game, conjuring their next chance for goal as late as the 85th minute through good play down the left before Olivier Giroud’s volley wide.
The Frenchman continued to press for Arsenal’s third in the 88th minute, unwinding a shot from outside of the box that would skip just wide of Fabianski’s goal.
Two goals would do for the Gunners, as they moved back into fourth prior to Chelsea’s encounter away to AFC Bournemouth this evening.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Petr Čech (7) – Laurent Koscielny (6), Per Mertesacker (6), Nacho Monreal (6) – Héctor Bellerín (7), Aaron Ramsey (8), Granit Xhaka (7), Sead Kolasinac (8) – Mesut Özil (6), Alexis Sanchez (7) – Alexandre Lacazette (6)
Subs: Rob Holding (6), Olivier Giroud (5)