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Premier League

  • September 10, 2011
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: S. Attwell
  • • Attendance: 60087
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Arsenal 1-0 Swansea: Andrei Arshavin hits winner as Russian capitalises on Michel Vorm’s howler

Arsenal 1-0 Swansea: Andrei Arshavin hits winner as Russian capitalises on Michel Vorm’s howler

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Russian profits from some suicidal play by the Dutch keeper as Arsenal picks up its first Premier League win of the season while Swansea is still in search of its first goal.

A Michel Vorm howler that led to an Andrey Arshavin goal was enough for Arsenal to take its first Premier League win of the season as the club beat Swansea 1-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The goalkeeper effectively gifted Arshavin an open net with which to score after he rolled the ball at the ankles of defender Angel Rangel, only to see the ball rebound to the Arsenal winger, who did well to curl in an effort from a narrow angle.

Arsenal fielded two debutants signed on a busy transfer deadline day for the club, with former Everton man Mikel Arteta moving straight into the midfield, while German giant Per Mertesacker filled in for the injured Thomas Vermaelen in defense.

And it was Arteta who created the first chance of the match, skipping past a challenge before threading Aaron Ramsey through on goal, only for the Welshman to waste the chance in the opening minute.

The Swans weren’t content to sit back, though, with Nathan Dyer sending in a beautiful cross for record-signing Danny Graham, who got ahead of Mertesacker at the near-post to flick the ball on, only for Wojciech Szczesny to make a stunning save.

Ten minutes later, Arsenal almost took the lead again, as Theo Walcott raced away from Neil Taylor and placed a shot beyond Michel Vorm in the Swansea goal, and but for the goal-line clearance from Steven Caulker the England international would have been celebrating his second league goal of the season.

As the first half progressed, Swansea grew into the game, but both goalkeepers were scarcely involved, until Vorm committed one of the contenders for one of the howlers of the year, despite the season being in its infancy.

The ‘keeper collected a sliced Walcott shot along the side of the box, and wanting to get a counter attack started quickly, he attempted to roll it out to Angel Rangel, only to bounce it against the defender’s legs, who had no idea he was in possession of the ball.

To Vorm’s horror, it rebounded straight to Arshavin, who finished with aplomb from a tight angle right in front of the away fans. It was a cruel way for Swansea to concede, and though Arsenal had been on top, the Welsh side could be forgiven for being upset not to be level going into the second half.

And 10 minutes into the second half Swansea could have evened the score. Scott Sinclair was tripped just outside the box by Laurent Koscielny. The winger picked himself up to take the free kick, which he wrapped against the crossbar.

But Arsenal was not to be outdone, and barely a minute later Robin van Persie struck the outside of the post after surging across the boundary of the penalty area, shrugging off challenges from Rangel and Leon Britton along the way.

The second half was passing Swansea by, with neither ‘keeper really forced into a save, the Arsenal fans could be forgiven for being a little restless while the score remained at 1-0.

And though Arsenal wasn’t putting the game beyond Swansea, the London club looked comfortable and was the team doing the lion’s share of attacking with the Welsh side struggling to get on the ball.

As the game edged towards the finish, however, Brendan Rogers’ men were pushing for an equalizer though Arsene Wenger’s defense was holding strong. That was until the 92nd minute, when Graham had a gilt-edged chance to level the scores, but blazed over from a corner after Szczesny had come for the corner and missed.

However, Arsenal had just enough to hold onto their first three points of the season, while a first Premier League goal for Swansea remains elusive.

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