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Swansea vs. Arsenal: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Alex LivieFeatured Columnist IVNovember 20, 2016

Arsenal powered back to the top of the Premier League summit with a 2-1 win over Swansea.

The Gunners’ North London rivals, Tottenham, briefly displaced them at the top, but goals from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey secured the three points.

It was a game of contrasting halves for Arsenal, who were frustrated and lacking in spark in the first, but incisive and clinical in the second.

Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes, with Ramsey' shot wide the best effort Arsenal could muster in the opening 20 minutes.

They had a golden opportunity on the stroke of half-time, as Gnabry played in Olivier Giroud, but he smashed his shot wide of target.

Swansea were comfortable in the opening 45, but they were ripped apart at the start of the second.

Gnabry’s Premier League debut came only last week. He became Arsenal’s second-youngest Premier League scorer when firing his side ahead after 58 minutes.

Serge Gnabry (18 years and 76 days old) is the 2nd youngest ever #EPL goalscorer for Arsenal, behind Cesc Fàbregas (17-113 on 25 Aug 2004).

Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) September 28, 2013

A slick move saw Ramsey play in Gnabry, who showed composure well in advance of his 18 years by slotting the ball beyond Michel Vorm.

Keeper Michel Vorm stopped Mesut Ozil doubling the lead a minute later, but he was powerless to prevent Ramsey giving the Gunners a cushion.

Again, it was delightful play as Giroud’s reverse pass found Ramsey, who took a touch to get the ball out of his feet before placing the ball into the top corner.

SWANSEA, WALES - SEPTEMBER 28:  Michu of Swansea chases down Woiciech Szczesny of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty I
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Ben Davies gave Swansea hope when cutting the gap with seven minutes remaining, but Arsenal held on for the three points.

 

Grades:

 

Wojciech Szczesny: B

Arsenal signed keeper Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan in the summer. If it was a move to challenge Szczesny, the Pole has stepped up to the mark superbly, as he was hugely impressive against Swansea. He had one dodgy moment when Michu almost pinched the ball from him at a back pass, but his handling was excellent, and he came for a string of crosses to take the heat off of his defenders.

 

Jack Wilshere: C

The midfielder had a mixed day and, in truth, looked a little lost out on the left flank. It was possible that Arsene Wenger sent him out on the left to offer cover to Kieran Gibbs. Wilshere did that job well, but he was unable to influence much play going forward.

 

Aaron Ramsey: B+

The Welshman’s rise shows no signs of stopping and, once again, he was a key figure for the Gunners. He fashioned the opener for Gnabry with a delicate pass into his team-mate's path. As well as creating, Ramsey has added goals to his game this term, showing superb composure to fire home the second.

 

Reaction:

Ramsey was interviewed by Sky Sports in the immediate aftermath of the game, and he has his sights trained on the title:

Swansea is a difficult place to come. They pass the ball well and we had to dig in. We have started to defend as a team and a unit, and the goals came in the second half.

I have felt like throughout my career I have been getting in these positions, but been a little rash. I’ve been a bit more composed and am more confident this year.

I have always dug in. I’ve had a bit of stick, but was playing all over the place. I am a centre midfielder.

I am the type who never gives up. I thought I was improving last season, and this season I am in my position now and my qualities are starting to show through.

We have quality in the team. We have had a lot of injuries and hopefully now we can get players back and stay fit and we will be in with a shout.

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