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West Ham United
1 December 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 60098
Michu 88', 90'+
So, Arsenal are left off the top-four pace and with Wenger possibly under pressure once more. Thanks for joining us and, until next time, good evening.
Josh Clarke's thoughts at the final whistle: "Full-time at the Emirates as boos ring out from all over the stadium. Michu's late double strike settled the affair, but the Gunners were lacklustre from start to finish. A terrible afternoon for Arsene Wenger's side, though Swansea have to be given credit for what was a professional and drilled performance."
Arsenal are booed off after falling to a 2-0 defeat against Swansea, who therefore jump above them in the Premier League table. The Gunners were poor in the first half, Szczesny and Vermaelen respectively keeping them in the game, before a slight rejuvenation after the break. However, after again failing to get going and following more Szczesny saves, that man Michu popped up with two composed but deadly finishes in the final stages to condemn Wenger's men to the home loss.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME!! Arsenal 0-2 Swansea
90' + 2'
Assist Nathan Dyer
90' + 2'
Michu adds a second after Jenkinson loses the ball on the half-way line - leaving the Spanish attacker to race free and, once more, slide it past Szczesny with minimal effort.
Josh Clarke on that goal: "Unbelievable scenes at the Emirates, with Swansea snatching what looks like a late winner. Michu gets lucky after a tussel with Mertesacker finishes with the ball at his feet. The Spaniard plays a neat one-two with Luke Moore and sends a cultured left-footed effort beyond Szczesny. Arsenal fans strewaming out of the ground."
Assist L. Moore
Boos ring around the Emirates as Michu beats Szczesny with a calm finish, after a lovely one-two with Moore on the edge of the Arsenal box. With two minutes left, can Wenger's men reply?
Oxlade-Chamberlain fires a cross in from the left, it's flicked on and Vermaelen arrives at the back post to connect with his head, but nods straight at Tremmel. He could have done better there.
Yellow Card Thomas Vermaelen
WHAT A SAVE! Swansea substitute Dwight Tiendalli plays a neat one-two and receives the ball in acres of space inside Arsenal's box. He shoots at goal but Szczesny makes himself massive and blocks the effort. Big stop, that.
Swansea's defence are still holding firm. They frustrate Arsenal on the edge of their box and force Tomas Rosicky to attempt an intricate chip - which he fails to execute, conceding a goal kick.
Gibbs fizzes the ball along the floor and into the Swansea penalty box but it's behind Cazorla and is comfortably cleared.
Giroud has failed to make much of an impact so far. He fails to find another red jersey when flicking on a long ball.
Jonathan De Guzmán
Oxlade-Chamberlain looks for Vermaelen as the Gunners look for a winner but the substitute's diagonal ball is poor and runs out for a Swansea goal kick.
Moore plays Michu in as Swansea break at speed, however the forward is forced wide and can't beat Szczesny from the tight angle.
Cazorla hits a volley at goal but Tremmel is well positioned and saves it with ease. The Spaniard caught it nicely, though.
Josh Clarke: "Twenty minutes left and the unease at the Emirates is palpable. The Gunners have still yet to craft a genuinely decent chance, though the game is becoming increasingly stretched and cracks are starting to appear in the Swansea rearguard."
Oxlade-Chamberlain plays in Giroud with a neat ball behind Flores but the Swans man slides in and brings the Frenchman down - it's outside the box but he is the last man and the Gunners forward is furious that the referee has not given anything. Replays suggest the defender got a slight touch on the ball.
Cazorla tries to pick out Walcott, but the two Gunners' attackers aren't on the same wavelength as the latter fails to latch on to it.
Josh Clarke, our man at the ground, reports: "Double change at the Emirates with Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain being sent on to liven up a Gunners attack desperately short of ideas. Gervinho and Podolski make way."
De Guzman fires off target with an ambitious effort.
A decent bit of football from Arsenal ends with Gibbs sending a cross straight into Tremmel's arms.
Both Shechter and Dyer nearly find shooting opportunities in the Gunners' box but can't quite work the space. The last five minutes have sent a bit of a warning to Wenger's men, who had been looking dominant in this second 45 minutes.
Szczesny saves Arsenal! Rangel breaks forward and beats a couple of defenders with the fine run, he then unleashes a drive at goal but the Gunners keeper is equal to it.
Another Walcott corner, and it's better from the England international this time, however Tremmel punches clear.
As we approach the hour mark of this clash, which is not exactly a classic, let me just remind you that there has never been a league draw between these two sides.
Cazorla throws himself to the floor with Flores and Rangel closing in on him - he appeals for a penalty but on second viewing it looks like a dive from the Spaniard. Nothing given.
Walcott wastes an Arsenal corner by firing it in low and hard and not beating the first man. That is poor from the Gunners man.
De Guzman delivers but Mertesacker heads clear. In fact Arsenal have a free kick in their own box after some pushing anyway.
Shechter cuts in from the left and fires a shot at goal. It's deflected behind for a corner...
Wilshere again causes Swansea problems as he gets in an advanced position on the right, he crosses but it's deflected and then cleared.
Gervinho is flattened by Flores after attempting a one-two right on the edge of the Swans' box. The forward gives it and goes but is brought down off the ball by the defender - the referee waves the appeals away, though.
Wilshere wins Arsenal a corner as the Gunners start this second half with a bit more tempo. They waste the set piece, though.
Wilshere tees up Cazorla after drifting past a couple of men in the Swansea box. The Spaniard catches it well but shoots straight at Tremmel.
Gibbs crosses from the left but Tremmel claims it with ease.
We're back underway at the Emirates.
Wenger will have some stern words for his players during the interval, I'm sure, and may well throw Frenchman Olivier Giroud into the fray. Laudrup, however, will be pleased with his side's display with his defence in particular looking solid.
HALF-TIME!! Swansea will be the happier of the two sides at the break, with Arsenal lacking any cutting edge whatsoever. It took a while for the first chance on the game - Szczesny pulling off a very good double save from Rangel to keep the score at 0-0. The Swans had arguably the best chance of the game later, though, with only a last-ditch sliding tackle from Vermaelen denying Dyer. The Gunners hinted at replying with a few dangerous crosses and one half chance from Podolski, however they have certainly not looked like scoring.
Gervinho wastes a great chance for Arsenal after a cross from the left. Walcott tries to salvage the opportunity but his ball from the right is blocked.
Walcott can't quite control a fizzing ball from the left. Groans buzz around the Emirates and the frustration grows.
Gibbs tries to support on the left flank but Dyer puts a good tackle in. Swansea's defence is holding very firm.
De Guzman fires just over, though.
Arteta fouls Michu right on the edge of the Arsenal box. Free kick in a great position...
Walcott again breaks on the right but his cross is behind Podolski.
Walcott tries to surge forward from inside his own half but runs into trouble. The Gunners are looking a little better but nowhere near their best. Meanwhile, Micheal Laudrup will be happy with his side.
The ball bobbles around in the Arsenal box a little after the corner, but is eventually cleared.
Dyer should score! The Swansea attacker races free of Vermaelen however the former Southampton man hesitates slightly and the Gunners' defender gets back to make a fine intervention. Corner to the visitors.
Arsenal come forward again as Podolski nearly plays in Gervinho after a nice one-two. The Ivorian is beaten to the ball by Tremmel, though, as he rushes out of the Swans' goal.
Podolski tries to turn in the Swansea box with three defenders around him, after Jack Wilshere's direct ball in. The German manages to work a yard of space but the shot is blocked.
Jenkinson swings a dangerous ball across the box from the right but Gervinho can't quite get on the end of it. Better from the Gunners, though.
It looks as if Arsenal have changed their shape a little with Lukas Podolski and Gervinho both taking up advanced positions. They certainly need to do something here, no chances as of yet for the hosts.
Josh Clarke from the ground: "If you like your build-up slow and your passing sidewards, then the Emirates is the place for you today. So far Arsenal have offered nothing going forwards, though that may be in part to the two particularly sturdy banks of four deployed by the Swans. Santi Cazorla needs to advance up the pitch and try link an isolated-looking Gervinho up with the rest of his side."
Nathan Dyer nearly uses his blistering pace to great effect to get beyond the Arsenal back four, but Vermaelen sticks a boot on the ball in his own penalty box and cuts it out.
Wenger is up on his feet and pacing up and down the touchline with the Gunners on the back foot.
Kieran Gibbs win a corner for Arsenal. Walcott bends it in from the left but Michu heads clear.
Swansea are on top at the Emirates but the Gunners are back on the ball now as they look to build from deep.
Fine double save from Szczesny! Ki Sung-Yong starts the move with some very neat footwork as he brings the ball forward. It then finds Angel Rangel at the back post but the Gunners' keeper blocks the first shot and then gets up quickly to deny the defender again.
Swansea just enjoying a good spell of possession now. Arteta nearly wins it back in the middle of the park but Leon Britton retrieves the ball.
Gervinho wins a corner off Ben Davies on the right flank, but the set piece is claimed with ease by Gerhard Tremmel.
Walcott is nearly played in by Mikel Arteta however the defence-splitting ball is just about mopped up by Chico Flores.
Carl Jenkinson ventures forward on the right for the Gunners but his shot is well off the target.
There's a bit of a goalmouth scramble after the set piece, but Jonathan De Guzman and then Ashley Williams both slice their respective efforts as the ball breaks free.
Thomas Vermaelen flied in on Mich, moments after making another well-timed sliding challenge. This one is penalised though and Swansea have a free kick.
We've had a pretty lively start to the game, with Arsenal knocking the ball around on the edge on Swansea's box just waiting for a moment to penetrate.
We're underway at the Emirates.
Walcott has scored nine goals from his last 11 matches in all competitions.
Michu has netted a league high four headed goals so far this season, from only six efforts on target.
Wenger's men are the only Premier League side that have not yet conceded in the last 15 minutes of a fixture.
Out of the six league meetings between Arsenal and Swansea, both teams have won three each.
Here are some match stats as the clash approaches...
And here's Josh Clarke with some thoughts on that decision: "With Olivier Giroud dropped to the bench, question marks reside over who will lead the line for the Gunners today. Theo Walcott has been clamouring for a central role for months and has impressed recently with his goalscoring antics, though Arsene Wenger has also been known to dabble with both Lukas Podolski and Gervinho through the middle. As soon as I know, you'll know."
So, a big call from Arsene Wenger in dropping Giroud, but will it pay dividends? We'll have to wait and see. The Gunners boss of course also has another forward that could cause him a headache this afternoon - Swansea's Michu. The Spaniard has been in fine form this season and has the potential to cause the hosts some problems.
More from Josh Clarke: "Swans boss Michael Laudrup has to make do without wingers Wayne Routledge (ankle) and Pablo Hernandez (thigh), both of whom played starring roles in the midweek win over West Brom. Itay Shechter and Jonathan De Guzman are drafted in."
Our man at the Emirates this afternoon is Josh Clarke, and here's his take on that team news: "Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski start for the home side after passing late fitness tests, though Bacary Sagna (foot) and Laurent Koscielny miss out as expected. The main surprise, though, is Gervinho replacing Olivier Giroud up top, with Arsene Wenger clearly reshuffling to address his side's recent dearth of goals."
Swansea starting XI: Tremmel; Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies; Britton, de Guzman, Ki; Dyer, Michu, Shechter Subs: Cornell, Monk, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly
Arsenal starting XI: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski; Gervinho Subs: Mannone, Squillaci, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud
Here comes the team news...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play text commentary of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Swansea, I'm John Stammers and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings. With the Gunners sitting just one place, and one point, above the Welsh side it's likely to be a tense game with both teams looking for the win, let's hope it's a good one!
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