2 goals in three second half minutes saw Arsenal lose a lead for the second time in a week. After squandering a 3-0 advantage to Anderlecht in midweek, the boys from North London were at it again in South Wales. Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead just after the hour but a splendid free kick from Gylfi Siguurdsson levelled the game before Bafetimbi Gomis headed the winner 3 minutes later leaving Wenger’s side 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Swansea, off the back of a draw at Everton last week named ex Arsenal youth Kyle Bartley at center half. Tom Carroll debutised for Leon Britton who was on the bench while Marvin Emnes and Jefferson Montero started as Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer missed out through injury. Arsene Wenger continued with Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal at the heart of the defence while Calum Chambers was at right back. Alexis Sanchez partnered Danny Welbeck up front with Theo Walcott on the bench.
In a low key start both team struggled to create chances with the majority of the play in the middle third. Jefferson Montero caused Calum Chambers problems down the left from minute one; on another day Chambers could have given away a penalty after what looked like a push in the back of Wilfred Bony. Swansea began to grow in the game with Montero the main architect with Bony peeling on to Monreal who was playing away from his accustomed left back spot. Swansea 1st real chance came 10 minutes before the break when Bony found Emnes but the former Middlesbrough man’s shot was easily saved.
Arsenal failed to create a chance until the stroke of half time when Sanchez fed Welbeck on the edge of the area. The England striker played a one two with Chamberlain but his shot was well saved by former Gunners keeper Fabianski. Ramsey and Mertesacker went close for the visitors but neither was able to break the deadlock.
The visitors continued the second half in the same vein with Chamberlain and Cazorla both going close but they did break the deadlock on 63 minutes. Chamberlain played Welbeck in the right channel, he cut back to lay the ball on a plate for Sanchez who netted his 8th goal in the league, 12th in all competitions and his 5th goal in 3 games. Despite the goal they still looked vulnerable down the left with Montero continually reaching the byline with Chambers second best.
Swansea levelled 15 minutes before the end with a stunning free kick from Sigurdsson who curled a delicious effort past Szczesny for his 2nd goal of the season to add to his 7 assists. Gary Monk pushed on his side for a winner but took off their top scorer Wilfred Bony for Bafetimbi Gomis. The substitution paid off after 2 minutes when Gomis headed home a Montero cross after the winger beat Chambers for the upteenth time. Swansea’s 1st headed goal of the season while Burnley (8) are the only side to conceded more headed goals than Arsenal (6).
Wenger chucked on Walcott and Wilshere to try and rescue the game but to no avail. “it was very disappointing to throw another game away; we had to keep it tight defensively and look for our second chance”. He added ” we were beaten on our right side and in the air” but with Montero causing havoc all game, Wenger had plenty of time to avoid the problem. Swansea leapfrogged their opponents into 5th on 18 points while Arsenal are in 6th, 12 points from the top. After two failures to keep a lead in a week, the International break comes at a bad time for Wenger as his side face Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Southampton in the space of 11 days after the break.