Swansea vs. Arsenal: 6 Things We Learned
Swansea vs. Arsenal provided a lot of talking points about the Gunners moving forward.
The London picked up their second win on the trot after defeating Swansea away from home 2-0 on Saturday.
The win and the game itself had an impact on Arsenal's top four ambitions and provided another front-row view of a player Arsenal should set their eyes on in the summer
Here are six things we learned from Swansea vs. Arsenal
Arsenal Are Better When They Press
Swansea controlled the game early-on because Arsenal let them, and it's a habit the Gunners need to get rid off.
They've backed off opponents and let them dictate the game only for the result to be disastrous.
The first-leg against Bayern Munich was a good testament to that.
When Arsenal started to press high up the pitch about midway through the first half, they started taking some control of the match.
That continued in the second-half and eventually led to Arsenal's two goals and important win.
Ashley Williams Would Be a Good Buy for Arsenal
Wales captain Ashley Williams has been linked (per the Metro) with a move to Arsenal.
The Swansea central defender would be a good buy for the Gunners.
His performance against Arsenal was by no means perfect, but he showcased skills that would make him a valuable addition at the Emirates.
Williams had composure on the ball, good pace and good positioning, which was characterized by some important blocks in the game.
He also dealt with Olivier Giroud well enough in the air throughout the encounter.
Despite two solid performances from Arsenal's defense, there is still a question mark over the club's best central defensive partnership.
Williams could certainly stake a claim for a starting spot should he join and even more so if any three of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen leave.
Nacho Monreal Has Adapted Well to English Game
A game-winning goal capped off a great performance for Arsenal on the left-side of defense.
The former Malaga-man has made a good start to life in England with a average rating Whoscored.com rating of 7.5.
His two tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game showcase his defensive contribution and his 1.4 key passes per game, which includes one assist, signifies his offensive contribution.
The Tottenham game was a low point but Monreal's pace, ability in the air and reading of the game have really helped solidify Arsenal at the back.
Consistent Production from Primary Attackers Still an Issue
Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud may have combined for a goal against Bayern Munich but neither player posed much of a threat against Swansea.
Neither Walcott nor Giroud have been consistent scoring threats for Arsenal through the season.
Giroud commands attention due to his physical prowess and Walcott with his pace but that's not enough.
The Frenchman did end up with an assist, though it was a fortuitous pass that Nacho Monreal was able to latch on to.
Walcott was unable to use his pace and was nullified by Ben Davies.
As long as the goals come and the wins with them, the spotlight won't be on the Gunners primary attackers, but that needs to change moving forward.
Arsene Wenger Has Big Decisions to Make Defensively from Now on
For the second game running Arsenal's back five shut down an attack that was supposed to be a major threat.
Wojciech Szczesny and Thomas Vermaelen were rested against Munich and one would have expected them to return to their respective spots in the starting lineup. That wasn't the case.
Swansea's only real moment of danger came through a moment of creativity from Michu while Bayern Munich had Arjen Robben's chance on Wednesday.
So what will Arsene Wenger do when the international break is over?
Carl Jenkinson dealt with the world-class Robben and Swansea's talented wide-men while providing an attacking outlet. On the other hand, Bacary Sagna hasn't been in good form this season .
Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker were solid again, though the issue of Mertesacker's lack of pace remains. Vermaelen can help the pace issue but has been shocking in his positional at times.
Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal are equally good options at left-back and both have performed well when called upon.
Lukasz Fabianski was again assured in goal though he had little to deal with.
With every game being one of maximum importance Arsenal need's its best performers on the pitch.
The defensive players that played against Bayern Munich and Swansea are the Gunners best bet on current form.
Top Four Still a Tough Battle but There Is Hope
The win against Swansea is a good step forward but it won't get easier for Arsenal moving forward.
Chelsea has a game in hand and are already two points ahead of their rivals in the race for fourth place.
Fixtures at home against desperate Reading and Wigan sides should be wins but they will be tricky.
Norwich, Manchester United and Everton round out Arsenal's remaining home games.
On their travels the Gunners will face West Bromwich Albion, QPR, Fulham and Newcastle.
There are no easy fixtures left but the Gunners should be confident heading into the end of the season.
Reading should be a good opponent to start off with in this run but the squad should take nothing for granted.
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