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March 25, 2014
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 59937
L. Podolski 73'
O. Giroud 74'
W. Bony 11'
M. Flamini 90' (own goal)
FULL-TIME: Arsenal 2-2 Swansea City. It is an absolute hammer blow to the Gunners' slim chances of winning the Premier League title but, perhaps more pertinently, it now leaves their top four place in danger, with Everton's 3-0 win this evening providing some competition for Champions League football next term. Arsene Wenger's side were 1-0 down after 10 minutes as Wilfried Bony steered home a Neil Taylor cross but substitute Lukas Podolski looked to have inspired his side to a win after scoring the equaliser and then teeing up Olivier Giroud for the second. But they had not read the script. Leon Britton's scooped ball into the area in penalty time wreaked havoc in the Gunners backline and it eventually ricocheted in off Mathieu Flamini. The Swans were furious with referee Lee Probert at full-time with Pablo Hernandez clean through, but Arsenal will be left equally frustrated as they toiled once more.
90' + 2'
Arsenal are shellshocked and have thrown Mertesacker up front in search of a winner, can they find one here in the final throes of this contest?
Own Goal Mathieu Flamini
GOAL! Remarkable scenes at the Emirates as Swansea grab a 90th-minute equaliser in the most dramatic of circumstances. Britton's clipped through-ball falls awkwardly in front of Szczesny and leads to a panic at the heart of the defence. The Pole knocks the ball onto Flamini, however, and it rolled agonisingly beyond everyone into the back of the net.
Giroud comes off to a rapturous applause after his goalscoring cameo and Yaya Sanogo is on to replace his fellow countryman.
A sumptuous pass by Kallstrom frees Giroud on the right wing but the momentum of the attack breaks down when the Frenchman and Podolski get their wires slightly crossed before Gibbs runs into traffic.
PENALTY?! Swansea believe they may have a case for a penalty as Bony goes down under pressure from Podolski but again Probert is unmoved by the Swans' protestations.
Olivier Giroud has scored five times in his last three appearances at the Emirates now for Arsenal but this could be the most crucial of the lot if Arsenal secure the three points.
Gibbs has kept going in this second half and got his just rewards for Podolski's equaliser, but this time there is no-one in red and white to meet his cross into the area.
Another two substitutions as both sides make further alterations. There is a belated Arsenal debut for Kim Kallstrom, with the Swede coming on for Rosicky while Shelvey departs the scene for Pablo Hernandez.
Amongst the two goals, Swansea made a second change as Ben Davies entered the fray for Taylor, who had been visibly suffering from cramp.
Assist Lukas Podolski
Goal Olivier Giroud
GOAL! Amazing. Arsenal have turned the game on its head in a matter of a minute, as Giroud scores the second. Just 66 seconds after Podolski's leveller, the German does excellently to skip down the left and supply a stunning cross for Giroud to dispatch past Vorm into the roof of the net.
Assist Kieran Gibbs
Goal Lukas Podolski
GOAL! Arsenal are level, and it's the substitute Podolski who has it as the Gunners finally find a route behind Swansea's backline. Rosicky feeds Gibbs, who does superbly to beat Angel Rangel and cross for the German, who converts clinically to level the scores.
The Gunners have been startlingly languid in possession and now Sagna is caught on the ball after terrific work by Routledge, who nips in to win the ball and set up a counter upfield.
Rosicky is the architect to just about everything going forward for Arsenal, but his final ball is lacking and it goes out, disappointingly, for a goal kick.
Rosicky attempts an ambitious flick into the feet of Giroud, but his touch is sadly lacking once again and it rolls straight through to Vorm.
Monk makes a substitution as we close in on the final quarter of this game, as the speedy Nathan Dyer comes on for Michu.
CHANCE! Michu misses a great opportunity to mark his return to action with a goal when he miscues his header from Leon Britton's cross when he ought to have done better from around eight yards out.
Shelvey advances towards the Arsenal penalty area and unleashes a ferocious drive which Szczesny has to watch, but it eventually zips over the bar.
It is Podolski who arrives on the scene. Some Arsenal fans will be bemused to see Oxlade-Chamberlain going off given his pace in the final third but Wenger has shuffled his pack nonetheless.
De Guzman's cross is collected easily by Szczesny as he sought to pick out Bony at the far post. Swansea posing a constant threat on the counter.
Lukas Podolski is being readied by Arsenal, with Oxlade-Chamberlain believed to be the man set to make way for the Gunners.
Rosicky is doing his utmost to try and pick a lock in the Swansea defence, but they are sitting pretty comfortably on their lead here. Everton, who will be just five points behind the Gunners should they win and Arsenal lose, are now 2-0 up at Newcastle United thanks to Romelu Lukaku.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of the brightest sparks for Arsenal and it is he who tries once more to test Vorm, but his shot is blocked before Giroud needlessly catches a Swansea defender to concede a free kick.
Shelvey knocks a superb pass to Bony but he cannot bring the ball into his path and the attack breaks down for Swansea.
We are back underway at the Emirates as Arsenal kick us off again.
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 0-1 Swansea City. Arsenal fans turning up at the Emirates today hoping for a reaction to their humiliating defeat at Chelsea have failed to find one from their side, who trail at the interval thanks to Bony's superb header. The Gunners have failed to show any sort of attacking poise in the final third and look increasingly vulnerable at the back whenever the Swans pour forward. With Everton breathing down Arsenal necks, this second half could be pivotal for Wenger and his side.
Arsenal win another free-kick which is whipped in towards Vermaelen, but the Belgian cannot beat Vorm with his header towards goal.
SAVE! Vorm is finally forced into some tangible action as he thwarts Cazorla's low drive to preserve his side's lead. The diminutive Spaniard weaves his way into the area and unleashes a strike towards goal, but it lacks the requisite power and Vorm dives to his right to turn it away.
Arteta sends in a cross towards the far post and Sagna is convinced he was shoved in the back in his efforts to meet the ball but Probert is not interested in his claims.
Oxlade-Chamberlain surges down the right past Taylor but his effort is poor in the end, as his drive flies over Vorm's crossbar, with the Dutchman happy to let it go.
Arsenal's latest corner - their sixth of the half - is towards Giroud, but the striker attempts an acrobatic effort which only succeeds in skimming away off his foot.
Bony enters Lee Probert's notebook for a reckless challenge on Rosicky but recovers well from his error to clear the resulting free-kick from Cazorla by heading it away for a corner.
Yellow Card Wilfried Bony
Cazorla feeds Oxlade-Chamberlain inside Taylor and his cross finds Giroud, who does well to fend off a challenge and lay the ball off to Bacary Sagna, but the full-back's radar is out and his shot flies wide of the target.
Another intricate Arsenal move breaks down when Gibbs' speculative cross into the area is easily headed away by Chico Flores. Arsenal cannot break through the stubborn Swansea rearguard thus far.
Rosicky feeds Chamberlain down the left-hand side of the penalty area but he is forced wide by Ashley Williams, with the Swans skipper putting in a great challenge on the Arsenal winger to concede a corner at the end of it all.
Arsenal are growing frustrated here and cannot string a succession of passes together without a Swansea body in their faces. It could be a long night for Wenger and his charges.
From that counter, Swansea midfielder Shelvey was screaming for a penalty when his drive towards goal was blocked by Vermaelen. It did seem to strike his arm, but it would have been harsh to award a penalty in that circumstance.
Just like at Chelsea the other day, Arsenal are found wanting in defence as Swansea sting their hosts on the counter, but Michu is unable to benefit as Mathieu Flamini does brilliantly to get back and put a block in on the Spaniard.
Olivier Giroud takes aim from range after some more neat passing but his strike is deflected away for a corner on the far side. Arsenal starting to get back in the ascendency here.
SIDE NETTING! Close for Arsenal, who have immediately cranked the pressure up. A neat passing move almost sees Tomas Rosicky smash past Vorm before the ball eventually goes behind for a corner. From it, Mertesacker is up at the near post to head towards goal, but can only find the side of Vorm's goal.
Swansea are looking for the crucial second goal and Bony is proving a menace again up against Mertesacker and Vermaelen but this time is caught offside after Shelvey's searching diagonal pass.
Arsenal looked stunned by the opening goal and are struggling to get to grips with Swansea's quick pass-and-move football. Bony's strike also represents his first back-to-back goals in the Premier League.
That goal was Bony's 10th goal in his last 16 starts for the club and his 19th goal of the season in total. He is finally beginning to pay back his £12m price tag.
Assist Neil Taylor
Goal Wilfried Bony
GOAL! Wilfried Bony hands Swansea a shock lead at the Emirates to compound Wenger and Arsenal's misery with a stunning header. The goal has come slightly against the run of play but the Swans have looked composed on the ball in the last five minutes and, when Neil Taylor runs down the left unchallenged, his subsequent cross is sumptuously placed for Bony to steer home past a statuesque Wojciech Szczesny.
Michu earns a free-kick for the Swans and they are now beginning to show signs of what they are truly made of, showing some neat passing and good movement.
The Swans cannot get out of their own half at the moment. Arsenal have made an impressive start in possession of the ball but Santi Cazorla almost gifts Leon Britton a route to get at the Gunners defence, but Per Mertesacker does well.
CLOSE: Oxlade-Chamberlain's dipping volley tests Michel Vorm, with the Dutchman at full stretch to turn the ball away for a corner.
Swansea City are sitting deep early on here, inviting Arsenal into their territory and the Gunners are content to stroke the ball around in the opening stages.
We are underway here at the Emirates.
Swansea make four changes from the 3-2 weekend defeat at Everton, with Michu making his first appearance of 2014. The Spaniard struck twice in the final three minutes here last season in a 2-0 win for the Swans and is joined by Neil Taylor, Jonathan de Guzman and Jonjo Shelvey in the starting lineup for this one.
For Arsenal, the psychological scars of Saturday's 6-0 humbling at Stamford Bridge remain but Wenger makes just two alterations to his side, one is enforced as Laurent Koscielny is out through a calf injruy but Mathieu Flamini is in for Lukas Podolski, while Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both start after a successful double appeal against suspension after Andre Marriner's bizarre mistaken identity gaffe.
Swansea substitutes: Tremmel, Amat, Hernandez, Dyer, Canas, Alvaro, Davies.
Arsenal substitutes: Fabianski, Podolski, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Bellerin, Gnabry.
Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor; Britton, De Guzman; Michu, Shelvey, Routledge; Bony.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla; Giroud.
Both sides make changes to their lineups after suffering weekend defeats. Arsene Wenger, whose 1000th game in charge was ruined by a 6-0 thrashing at Chelsea drafts in two new faces, while Swansea manager Garry Monk brings in four.
Hello and welcome to this LIVE commentary of Arsenal v Swansea City. My name is Tom Marshall-Bailey and I will be bringing you all the latest developments from the Emirates Stadium this evening.
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