Search

Swansea City 3-1 Arsenal: Swans deservedly beat lacklustre Gunners as Henrikh Mkhitaryan makes debut

PUBLISHED: 21:59 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 22:03 30 January 2018

Nacho Monreal scores for Arsenal against Swansea (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Nacho Monreal scores for Arsenal against Swansea (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Swansea City deservedly beat Arsenal 3-1 at a passionate Liberty Stadium.

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi has shot on goal against Swansea (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal's Alex Iwobi has shot on goal against Swansea (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Two goals from Sam Clucas and a close range effort from Jordan Ayew clinched the three points for Carlos Carvalhal’s men on a raucous night with only a Nacho Monreal effort for the visitors.

With all the talk of transfers Olivier Giroud travelled with the squad to make it onto the bench as one of the seven substitutes on a cold and wet evening at the Liberty.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (centre) is surrounded by Swansea City players at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (centre) is surrounded by Swansea City players at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)

With suitors Chelsea waiting to pounce - and still possibly Borussia Dortmund as you can never rule anything out in the maelstrom that is the last day of the transfer window – it could have been interpreted as a defiant signal from the powers-that-be at the club. Whatever happens on Wednesday you cannot fault the French player – even if you can fault his manager for leading his men to such a poor performance as they suffered a deserved defeat.

Another player who was on the bench was Henrikh Mkhitaryan. After being ineligible for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg and the 2-1 victory victory against Chelsea in the Gunners previous game, the prodigiously talented 29-year-old Armenian stood by to make his debut against Swansea.

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (left) and Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng battle for the ball (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (left) and Swansea City's Ki Sung-yueng battle for the ball (pic Nick Potts/PA)

And as the heavens opened on a filthy evening in South Wales a football match broke out.

On nine minutes Aaron Ramsey performed a last-ditch tackle to deny an onrushing Alfie Mawson yards from the line after a cross from Nathan Dyer.

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey react after Swansea City equalise at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey react after Swansea City equalise at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Seven minutes later Mohamed Elneny executed a perfectly timed sliding tackle on a greasy surface to deny Clucas in the box. There were howls of protest from the home fans but referee Lee Mason made the right decision without having to revert to VAR.

Swansea dominated in difficult conditions and on the half hour Elneny again blocked a shot from Mawson as the ball deflected wide.

Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan warms up before the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan warms up before the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Yet it was the visitors who broke the deadlock after first threatening through Alex Iwobi, whose left-footed shot was turned away by former Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski following a neat ball from Alexandre Lacazette.

Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal the lead on 33 minutes after tucking home a Mesut Ozil cross. The team celebrated heartily knowing it was against the run of play as they went 1-0 up.

Monreal again proved his worth as his goal meant he had a hand in four of the last five Premier League goals for the club, with two assists and two strikes.

Moments later Swansea were to level through Clucas after a driving run culminating in the former Hull City man slotting past Cech at the near post to make it 1-1.

The second half started in the same vein with lots of endeavour as the rain sheeted down. On the hour mark Mkhitaryan made his Arsenal debut as his new colleagues prepared to take a corner, which ultimately came to nothing.

Unfortunately, moments later Swansea broke and Ayew capitalised on a dreadful mis-kick in the box from Cech to fire home from a matter of yards out.

Yes, the conditions were challenging but a keeper of his calibre and experience should never have made that mistake as the home side went 2-1 up on 61 minutes.

Giroud came on to acclaim from the travelling fans who chorused his name, but only time would tell if it was to be the last time he would hear his song in Gunners colours.

As the clock ticked down the excellent Clucas then made it 3-1 to complete a miserable night for Arsenal.

If Wenger doesn’t decide to prioritise the Europa League after this damaging defeat then he needs to ask himself why – because fourth spot is out of reach if his team keeps playing like this.

Poor Mkhitaryan must be wondering what he has let himself in for.

Latest Hackney Stories

15:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh says he is very happy at the Brisbane Road club – despite being linked with the AFC Wimbledon managerial role.

13:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh admits it was a hard-fought game but praises his side for coming from behind to beat Bromley 3-1 and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches.

12:14

London Lions moved into the semi-finals of the BBL Cup with their second win over Worcester Wolves at the weekend.

12:04

Clapton boss Jonny Fowell says he always expected a tough challenge as his side fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat against in-form Saffron Walden Town.

10:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

In Michelle Fredua-Mensah’s Haggerston home sits a large silver trophy and a giant, sparkling tiara.

16:04

A young entrepreneur from Homerton has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his work improving opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.

10:33

A 20-year-old killed himself after his family had urged professionals to take action over his mental health, and neighbours had raised concerns with Hackney Council, an inquest heard on Friday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists