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Arsenal Defeated In Wales

by on January 15, 2012

A close in counter at the Liberty Stadium today saw Arsenal defeated 3-2 by Swansea. Throughout the match Arsenal were outplayed by Brendan Rogers’s side. Arsenal Captain Robin Van Persie opened the scoring for the Gunners early on but a controversial penalty decision gave Swansea chance to get back in to the match. Scott Sinclair stepped up to take the penalty and converted it past Wojciech Szczęsny. Then in the second-half Nathan Dyer put the Welsh side in to the lead, Arsenal equalised through Theo Walcott but moments later Danny Graham scored the winner for Swansea.

Spanish U-19 defender Ignasi Miquel made his first Premiership start for the Gunners, Per Mertesacker started after returning from illness. Former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta missed the match through injury which was a big loss for the North London side. In the Spaniards absent it meant Yossi Benayoun started in the midfield trio alongside Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal’s record top goal scorer Thierry Henry started on the bench for Arsène Wenger’s side.

Robin Van Persie’s goal came from a good Arsenal move which was started off by Aaron Ramsey in Arsenal’s own half. The Wales captain found Alex Song and the midfielder quickly passed it to Andrei Arshavin who ran before playing in the Dutchman. It was a great move which was finished very well by Van Persie.

The referee pointed to the spot when Nathan Dyer went down because he thought Ramsey had fouled the Swansea winger. But if you watch the replay you can see clearly it wasn’t a penalty, if anything it was a foul on Ramsey from Dyer. Scott Sinclair converted the spot kick past Szczęsny in the Arsenal goal. Moments later Arsenal could have scored a second after Yossi Benayoun found Van Persie who was free in lot’s of space. But the Dutchman was denied by his international team-mate Michel Vorm.

Both sides went in at half-time level, elven minutes in to the second-half Arshavin played a lazy pass to Ramsey who lost out to Joe Allen and the Wales midfielder played in Nathan Dyer on the edge of the Arsenal box. Dyer had time and space, and finished very well to put the Welsh side in to the lead.

Six minutes later after Dyer’s goal Wenger decided to take off Benayoun and Arshavin for Thomas Rosicky and Thierry Henry.  Johan Djourou’s through ball found Theo Walcott’s run and the England international finished well to put Arsenal back level. Moments later after Walcott’s goal Swansea were back in the lead after Danny Graham finished from a tight angle, you can argue Szczęsny should have done better.

Four minutes after Graham’s goal Wenger took off Per Mertesacker for the highly rated Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which meant Alex Song moved to back to center-back. The England U-21 forward showed glimpses of his talent and potential in the final fourteen minutes after coming on. But Arsenal couldn’t respond and were defeated by the Welsh side who deserve the victory. Arsenal’s performance wasn’t good enough and they next play Manchester United at the Emirates next weekend.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.

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