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28 September 2013
• Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 20712
B. Davies 82'
S. Gnabry 58'
A. Ramsey 62'
Shots on Target
That's all from me Tim Poole, folks. We hope you enjoyed our coverage and, until next time, take care - especially you Arsenal fans, don't celebrate too hard!
The first half was another matter, with Swansea City in complete control. But the hosts failed to capitalise on their possession and goals from 18-year-old Serge Gnabry and the currently unstoppable Aaron Ramsey put the away side 2-0 up.
Arsene Wenger's men ran it close after Ben Davies' well-taken goal late on - but, for most of the second half, the Gunners looked good value to return to the top of the league, as they now do.
FULL-TIME! Arsenal just about hold on!
90' + 3'
Yellow CardMikel Arteta
90' + 3'
Szczesny is there once again!
90' + 3'
The home side have resorted to long-ball tactics! And now they have yet another free kick after a foul from Gibbs. All to play for in the closing minutes.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Swansea win a free kick and send as many as eight players into the Arsenal box, though the delivery is dealt with by the away goalkeeper.
90' + 1'
There will be FOUR minutes of added time!
A goal kick is given to the visitors as the home side waste a half-chance, while the fans voice further displeasure at Szczesny's inability to take the kick quickly.
If they weren't already, the hosts are now going for this with all guns blazing.
The clock is ticking - and the Gunners are trying to make it tick even slower by taking their time with a substitution. The home fans are not happy and are making their feelings known.
CONTROVERSY! Davies is at the heart of the action again as he whips a dangerous cross into the area - and the ball hits Koscielny on the hand! No penalty is given, though, as the incident was deemed accidental ball to hand.
Pozuelo plays a pass over the top for Tiendalli but he is unable to reach the ball in the Arsenal half.
Yellow CardJosé Cañas
The Swans found themselves behind twice against Liverpool a couple of weeks ago and still managed to come away with a point. Wenger may just be worried, although his side should have enough about them to keep hold of the lead.
GOAL! Davies! It's not over just yet! A wonderful move from Swansea is capped by a goal from their full-back, who was responsible for most of the good work. Can the home side complete a remarkable comeback?
Yellow CardJonathan De Guzmán
Arsenal's attentions will slowly be turning to Tuesday, when they face a certain Rafael Benitez-led Napoli side in the Champions League.
Mikel Arteta is coming on, which is a great sign for all Gunners fans. But who will be sacrificed for the Spaniard when he is fit enough to start every game again?
From a free kick, Ozil whips a good delivery into the box and a poorly-marked Mertesacker rises well but his header does not trouble Vorm.
GIVEN AWAY! Wilshere gives the ball away in his own half with a poor backpass but Wilfried Bony fails to capitalise, with Michu in space alongisde him in absolute agony over his team-mate's failure to make the pass!
The former AC Milan midfielder has been superb again today, as he has been ever since rejoining Arsenal.
Michu and Dyer try to combine to urge their side forward but Flamini, brilliantly, cuts off the move.
Swansea are back to their previous dominant state, although that is largely down to the away side's willingness to now soak up the pressure and hit the hosts on the break.
SAVE! The Swans are not done here, though. They want to salvage something and Dyer almost gives them the perfect boost with a great strike from distance! Szczesny is equal to it, though, making a great save.
For Swansea, however, this will be eight home games without a win. With their commanding performances on their travels and in Europe, that particular statistic makes for surprising reading.
Another trip seems to have brought yet another win on the road for Arsenal, who will enjoy returning to the Premier League. Just over twenty minutes left and the result now looks rather secure.
Wenger's half-time team talk certainly did the trick.
Michael Laudrup has responded by making some attacking changes but, at 2-0 down, the game might just be beyond his charges. Just like on the opening day against Manchester United, two quick-fire goals have done some serious damage.
GOAL! Ramsey! The Gunners have well and truly moved up a gear - and in seamless fashion. The Welshman is on fire at the moment and it is really showing as another great team move ends with a comfortable finish from Ramsey. As a former Cardiff City player, he may have enjoyed that one a little bit extra.
Yellow CardMathieu Flamini
So there you have it, easy does it for Arsenal as 18-year-old Gnabry, of all people, puts them 1-0 up. As it stands, they will now move top of the Premier League at full-time.
GOAL! Gnabry! It's there - the 18-year-old finishes a fine team move as worries of Swansea dominance are swept aside in one brilliant action. Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere were all involved and Gnabry was on hand to coolly finish, putting Arsenal 1-0 up. It is hardly a deserved lead, although that particular move did deserve to be finished.
Sagna pushes forward but his shot is easily blocked and the hosts sprint forward on the break. Their attack ends with Szczesny being forced off his line and, this time, the Poland keeper is spot on as he clears the ball away from Michu and out for a throw.
Could the pace of Theo Walcott actually have been useful on a day like this?
The home side are yet to punish the visitors for becoming so defensive, however.
Dyer and Shelvey now exchange passes in the Arsenal half as the visitors slowly draw further and further into a defensive shell.
SAVE! Gnabry unleashes a low left-footed shot but Michel Vorm is equal to the effort.
De Guzman goes past Flamini before distributing the ball to Tiendalli, though Gibbs then wins possession for the Gunners but their move peters out as the ball trickles out for a goal kick.
Nothing of note yet but you sense this is just the calm before the storm...
And we're underway for the second half!
Could Swansea, on the other hand, spoil the Gunners' party?
Still, affairs have remained even in the final third - as signalled by a lack of goals and shots on target for both sides. Can Arsenal make the requisite breakthrough and launch themselves towards top spot?
The chance of the half came right at the death - but Olivier Giroud could not capitalise. Like his compatriot Giroud, Arsene Wenger will not be too impressed by his side's first-half performance, with Swansea City in control for large parts of the opening 45 minutes.
HALF-TIME! And that signals the break.
45' + 3'
CHANCE! Well, we came very close to seeing our first just then as the man who was just down injured, Giroud, was played in by Gnabry. The Frenchman hit wide, however, and should have done much better.
45' + 2'
STAT ATTACK: There have been no shots on target so far this half.
45' + 1'
Nicklas Bendtner is warming up on the touchline but Giroud looks as though he will continue. A relief for Wenger and his charges.
INJURY! It looks like bad news for Arsenal as Giroud falls to the ground and looks to be in serious pain.
De Guzman takes the set-piece but it is disappointing to say the least, the ball sailing over the bar. There has been a dearth of chances so far, in truth.
Chico Flores breaks forward into the away half and cannot be stopped by legal means. In other words, Ramsey fouls him and the hosts win a free kick.
Swansea keep up their patient, passing approach, with no real signs of an Arsenal breakthrough forthcoming.
Dyer and Routledge now combine but the ball ends up with Shelvey, whose effort is blocked by Gnabry. The 18-year-old German has put in a disciplined display so far, with most of his time today spent tracking back.
In the away half, Dyer now cuts the ball back to Michu, whose header is easily cleared. During that attack, five Arsenal defenders outnumbered two Swansea players. A cautious approach.
The Gunners attempt to push forward once more but the Swansea back line is left untroubled. It is looking like it will be 0-0 at the break - but there are never any certainties in football.
Giroud, running forward, appeared to have caught Chico Flores' face but without any malice - or that much force.
Shelvey's pass is now cut out by Mathieu Flamini - but more through the Frenchman's brilliance - and Arsenal counter yet again. But the attack ends with Chico Flores down injured. What happened there?
Shelvey now advances towards the penalty area but dwindles on the ball before giving it away. That was more of what most viewers will be used to seeing from the midfielder.
The visitors got plenty of bodies back quickly, though, and were able to deal with Swansea's threat on the break.
Gnabry attempts to get the Gunners going, crossing the ball into the area, but it comes to nothing as the home side regain possession and launch a quick counterattack straight up the other end.
Half an hour gone and it is the home side who are on top, especially in the possession figures. Arsenal, meanwhile, are yet to threaten.
A challenge by Bacary Sagna now concedes a free kick for the visitors as they look to get over the shock of Szczesny's antics. Luckily for Wenger's men, it did not cost them a goal.
WHAT WAS HE DOING! Michu tackles Wojciech Szczesny outside the penalty area and almost scores as the Arsenal keeper just stands and watches!
Nathan Dyer surges towards the penalty area! But a great challenge from Gibbs dispossesses him before he can enter the 18-yard box. Honours very much even so far.
Giroud is now caught flatfooted and it is the home side who advance up the pitch. Their approach is slower by contrast, however, with their famously patient passing game acting as an antidote to the pace Arsenal have to offer.
Shelvey and Michu cause further problems for Koscielny but the away side are able to clear the ball calmly.
But Tiendalli returns the favour as he clashes with Kieran Gibbs, this time giving away a free kick.
Amat and Chico Flores exchange passes before Wilshere is penalised for a foul on Dwight Tiendalli.
The offside flag is raised against Michu! Shelvey it was who played the ball in to the Spaniard after yet more creativity in the middle of the park. The young England midfielder has really surprised a few since his move to the Liberty Stadium and he is showing no signs of slowing down.
CHANCE! Ramsey shoots from distance and the ball whistles past the post! Is that a sign of things to come from the in-form Welshman?
The Gunners slowly claw back more of the ball and Mesut Ozil makes his first telling contribution of the day by threading a clever pass through to Giroud. Chico Flores stands strong, though, and takes the ball off the Frenchman with a great challenge.
Arsenal have lost just one of their 21 games that Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have started together, a stat that no doubt bodes well for Wenger's men this evening.
Gnabry takes it but it is headed away at the near post, before the ball is sent back into the box by Ramsey, where Per Mertesacker is on hand to get his head to the ball. His effort is not on target, though.
The visitors start to build some pressure, however, and now win their first corner of the game.
After the dispossession, Shelvey surges forward and almost sets up a chance on the counter. Swansea, yet again, are displaying their exceptionally-skilled style of play with quick, sharp touches.
Arsenal are looking to settle into the affair now as Serge Gnabry latches onto the ball and keeps an attacking move going, until Jack Wilshere is dispossessed.
The home side are starting to make their possession count, however, as Ben Davies sends a beautiful cross into the box and Jonathan De Guzman drives a shot from distance only a yard or so over the bar.
The Swans are certainly seeing the most of the ball so far but, at this stage, it is hardly indicative of anything to come, while Manchester City's 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa earlier proved that possession is not everything.
Who will prove most instrumental today? Can Swansea outpass the Gunners, as they did at the Emirates last season, or will the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud continue their fine recent form?
Swansea enjoy the first corner of the game and, subsequently, the first shot, as Jose Canas sends the ball over from outside the box.
We're off at the Liberty Stadium!
Our referee for the day is Mark Clattenburg and kick-off is just minutes away. Stay with us!
Arsenal, meanwhile, are lining up as follows: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Ramsey, Gnabry, Ozil, Wilshere; Giroud. Subs: Vermaelen, Arteta, Monreal, Fabianski, Bendtner, Jenkinson, Miyaichi.
The Swansea team this evening looks like this: Vorm; Tiendalli, Chico, Amat, Ben Davies; Canas, Shelvey, Dyer, de Guzman, Routledge; Michu. Subs: Taylor, Britton, Bony, Pozuelo, Tremmel, Vazquez, Alfei.
But Arsene Wenger's men will have considerable motivation to overcome their Welsh opponents this evening as a win will take them back to the top of the Premier League - and not just on goal difference.
The last time Swansea welcomed a side to the Liberty Stadium, they fought out a brave 2-2 draw with Liverpool as Jonjo Shelvey assisted both of their goals - and those of the opposition.
Good evening and welcome to live play-by-play coverage of the day's final game between Swansea City and Arsenal. I'm your host Tim Poole and I'll be guiding you through the evening kick-off, if you're ready for a thrilling end to an already fantastic Saturday of football!
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