Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-0 Swansea City - as it happened

Chico Flores and Theo Walcott battle for the ball during the FA Cup third round replay on January 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you coverage from the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal face Swansea City in their FA Cup third-round replay.

Arsenal hosted Swansea City in their FA Cup third round replay tonight with both side's hope to advance into the fourth round.

The two sides could not be separated at the Liberty Stadium earlier this month after Danny Graham snatched the Swans a 2-2 draw to force another battle for progression at the Emirates.

However, the Welsh outfit had already beaten the Gunners in North London this season, when they earned a 2-0 victory in the Premier League in December.

In what proved to be a very one-sided encounter, Arsenal earned a 1-0 victory through a late Jack Wilshere strike and will now travel to Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by minute live commentary below.


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6.47pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the FA Cup third-round replay between Arsenal and Swansea City from the Emirates Stadium.

6.49pmA dramatic final 10 minutes at the Liberty Stadium earlier this month has brought us to this fixture today, after Danny Graham snatched a draw for the Swans. This came after Arsenal come from behind to lead with goals from Lukas Podolski and Kieran Gibbs, following Michu's opener.

6.50pmBoth will do battle again at the Emirates tonight where Swansea managed to do this in December in the Premier League...


6.52pmArsenal, however, will be hoping for more of this against the Welsh sides tonight...


6.54pmIf you want to refresh your memory click here for Sports Mole's match report from the game, and below are the highlights...

6.55pmApologies for the video overload, we've got team news just in.

6.56pmWe'll start with the home side, where Arsene Wenger has drafted in Per Mertesacker, Francis Coquelin and Olivier Giroud from the defeat to Manchester City.

6.56pmAnd amazingly, Abou Diaby starts his second game in a row for the Gunners! Must be some kind of personal record, credit to the medical team.

6.57pmSo here is the starting XI...

6.58pmARSENAL XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Coquelin, Wilshere, Diaby, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud.

6.59pmWenger could possibly be going with two up top in the form of Giroud and Walcott, perhaps playing Coquelin in front of the back four.

7pmOr, it could be that Cazorla, who has played there before, is on the wing for the Gunners tonight, with Diaby, Coquelin and Wilshere making up the midfield trio.

7.01pmWhile we talk Arsenal, here are the substitutes for the Gunners tonight...

7.01pmARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Mannone, Jenkinson, Santos, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Podolski

7.03pmThe big news from the Swansea team is that Michu and Pablo Hernandez start on the bench for the visitors tonight. Danny Graham leads the line for the Swans while Kyle Bartley starts on his return to the Emirates.

7.04pmA pre-warning though, we did see what Michu did when brought off the bench the first time these teams faced off!

7.04pmSo without further ado, here is the Swansea starting lineup...

7.05pmSWANSEA CITY XI: Vorm, Richards, Chico, Bartley, Tiendalli, Britton, Agustien, de Guzman, Routledge, Dyer, Graham

7.06pmSo the Swans look as if they could match Arsenal's potential 4-3-3, with Michael Laudrup opting to place Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge on the flanks.

7.06pmSaying that I could be wrong, what do I know, I'm just a sports journalist!

7.07pmWe've given you the main big news from it, but here is the bench for the Swans tonight...

7.07pmSWANSEA CITY SUBSTITUTES: Tremmel, Monk, Davies, Ki, Shechter, Hernandez, Michu

7.09pmIf you are wondering where Swans captain Ashley Williams is tonight, he is in the hospital. But don't worry he isn't injured; rather his partner is due to give birth! Congratulations Baby Williams!

7.10pmSo what a remarkable story Swansea are having, as they again go in search of another famous victory, having already beaten Chelsea and Arsenal away from home this year.

7.11pmSTAT: Ten years ago yesterday Swansea City were sitting at the bottom of the football league, four points from safety. What a difference a decade makes eh?

7.15pmJust 15 minutes until kickoff at a bitterly cold Emirates Stadium, expect it to be gloves galore tonight.

7.18pmFor you Arsenal fans, Marouane Chamakh has not made the West Ham United team tonight. Just for your information.

7.20pmYou can get live coverage of Manchester United against West Ham in the cup here.

7.20pmBut why you would leave this page, I'll never know!

7.20pmTen minutes to go.

7.27pmUntil Swansea got promoted to the Premier League last season, the last time these two teams met was 30 years.

7.27pmThe teams are in the tunnel.

7.29pmKyle Bartley exchanging a lots of hugs and handshakes with his former teammates.

7.29pmAnd here they come onto the field!

7.31pmArsenal will kick off.

0 minAnd we're off, this has to be decided tonight.

1 minArsenal, wearing their red shirts with white sleeves, white shorts and white socks, are shooting from left to right.

1 minSwansea, wearing their white shirts, black shorts and black socks, are shooting from right to left.

2 minIt's a lively start at a very noisy Emirates Stadium. Wenger cannot complain about this atmosphere at the moment.

3 minBoth sides have a half chance, Walcott breaks for Arsenal but doesn't shoot at the end of a neat passing move and his through-ball was just too short for Giroud. Then Danny Graham fizzed an effort wide moments later at the other end.

4 minI've yet to see a player with shorts sleeves..

5 minArsenal work the ball into the box where Giroud attempts a backheel to Santi Cazorla, but it is too weak to reach the Spaniard.

5 minIt's a positive start from the home side though.

5 minOff the field, Arsene Wenger appears to be having a problem with his coat. He doesn't seem to be able to get the hang of these zippers.

6 minIt's more like a two-man tent to be honest.

6 minCHANCE! Giroud has a chance for Arsenal on his weaker foot inside the box, but he shoots wide of the near post from the right. Needed to do better.

7 minStill a few empty seats which are being filled at the Emirates, as Swansea enjoy a spell of possession.

8 minArsenal are well on top here, and are just trying to find that killer pass. Walcott is unmarked in the penalty area but Giroud down the left fails to get a cross in after being tightly marked by Flores. However, the Frenchman keeps hold of the ball and shows power and pace to shrug off any opponents before laying off Cazorla who just overhit his pass towards Walcott.

9 minVorm, understandably, just walking the ball out of his box trying to slow the game down at the moment.

10 minArsenal showing a lot of energy early on here. Every player is very agile and keen to be on the ball.

11 minAs far as the glove count goes, Arsenal have four outfield players sporting gloves, while Swansea have just two.

12 minThe Swans seem to finally be in the game now, and are just keeping hold of the ball for now.

13 minIn case you were wondering, yes, Wenger is still getting to grips with his jacket.

14 minCries of 'COME ON ARSENAL, COME ON ARSENAL' rain down from the stands, as the Welsh outfit play keep-ball.

15 minRoutledge is played in over the top, but is caught in Arsenal's offside trap.

15 minIts been a good few minutes since Arsenal have had the ball, neat play from Swansea.

16 minCHANCE! Swansea are really on top now, and a brilliant passing move works them into the penalty area where Dyer is played in, fortunately for the hosts, Vermaelen steps in to clear.

17 minCHANCE! Arsenal have a chance of their own, as Wilshere drives forward to the edge of the box before squaring the ball to Diaby. His shot is blocked by Bartley, and the Swans can clear for a corner....which ends up back with Szczesny.

19 minCHANCE! Sloppy from Abou Diaby who is caught dwelling on the ball by Graham, but the striker fails to really test Szczesny.

20 minArsenal are awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box, as Walcott ghosts part Flores before going down in the box. The contact was made outside the box though, and Walcott fell in the box as he tried to keep his footing.

21 minVermaelen curls the free kick towards goal, but it is deflected over and out for a corner.

22 minCHANCE! The corner is headed away by Flores but only as far as Coquelin on the edge of the box. He blasts a low effort from the left through a crowded penalty area, but Vorm just manages to hold on to it. God knows how much he saw of that.

24 minDyer bundles his way down the left for Swansea before crossing into the area but, despite having Routledge breathing down his neck, Sagna safely clears the danger.

25 minSwansea have a free kick from a long way out, a lot of bodies forward for the whites.

25 minOFF THE BAR! Arsenal fail to clear the free kick, and the ball is worked to the left where Routledge curls a brilliant cross to the far post where Kyle Bartley is lurking. He beats his marker and gets his head to the ball but, just like in the first meeting, he can only watch as his effort comes off the top of the bar. Let off for Arsenal.

26 minThe Gunners hit Swansea on the break and win a free kick near the corner flag after a Bartley handball.

27 minWalcott is the man who takes the kick, but curls it just too high, and the ball bounces out on the far side for a goal kick.

27 minPOSSESSION:
Arsenal: 41%
Swansea: 59%

28 minBare in mind that the vast majority of the Swans possession has been in their own half.

29 minCries of 'COME ON ARSENAL!' again cascade around the stadium, as the Swans hog the ball once more.

32 minSagna shields the ball down the right and wins a corner for the hosts.

33 minThe ball just doesn't quite work out for Arsenal, and the Swans manage to scramble it away.

33 minSCORE UPDATE: Chelsea 0-0 Southampton

35 minThe game has gone a bit quiet in terms of chances over the last few minutes.

35 minCHANCE! Kemy Agustien slides in Dyer, who prepares to pull the trigger, but Vermaelen can dive in front of the winger to deflect the ball over the top for a corner.

36 minThe corner fails to find a white shirt and goes behind for a goal kick.

38 minCHANCE! Wilshere, playing in his more advanced role, storms forward, gliding past several Swansea players, before making his way into the box where the ball falls at the feet of Walcott, whose shot his blocked and cleared for a throw. Textbook Wilshere.

40 minSCORE UPDATE Chelsea 1-0 Southampton (Demba Ba)

40 minWonder if any Arsenal fans wished that Wenger had gone and got Demba Ba?

41 minSwansea hanging on here, as a series of killer passes from Arsenal and cut out at the last second by the visitors.

42 minCHANCE! Gibbs lays the ball inside to Cazorla, who threads a beautiful pass into the box towards Walcott. However, the striker looks as if he thought Wilshere was being picked out, and watches the ball roll past him to Vorm.

44 minJust a couple of minutes until the break and, at the moment, you would have thought that Michael Laudrup will be the happier of the two teams at half time. They haven't played brilliantly but has ridden the Arsenal storm at times and are yet to concede.

45 minSCORE UPDATE Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United (Wayne Rooney)

45 minOne minute added on here.

45 minAnd we are still awaiting the first goal, but Arsenal have a corner.

45+1 minCHANCE! Vermaelen should score! Flores poorly heads away the corner as far as Mertesacker, who quickly lays off Vermaelen, but his bullet shot is saved and scrambled away by Swansea.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Swansea City

8.20pmSo just as in the first encounter, Arsenal and Swansea go into the break goalless. Arsenal have had the better chances, and have been the better side but have needed to be far more clinical in the final third.

8.22pmHowever, it is Swansea who have come closest to breaking the deadlock at the Emirates, as Bartley's header was denied by the crossbar. Despite the chance, the Swans have not created too many chances, but have managed to keep the Gunners at bay so far.

8.27pmIt will not shock you to hear that Jack Wilshere has been the star of the match so far. He looks very comfortable in this more advanced role, and has been driving forward at every chance for Arsenal. Real energy, grit and determination.

8.28pmGraeme Le Saux on Twitter: "The first goal will be so important here."

8.33pmThe players are on their way back out.

8.33pmSwansea ready to get us back underway here.

45 minAnd here we go in the second half.

46 minJust to remind you, the winner of this travels to Brighton & Hove Albion in the next round. All to play for here.

46 minSCORE UPDATE Chelsea 2-0 Southampton (Eden Hazard)

47 minApparently, 58,359 tickets have been sold for this game here tonight. There are still a lot of empty seats for what is a massive match for Arsenal.

48 minCHANCE! Theo Walcott is inches away from giving Arsenal the lead. Bartley gives the ball away in the middle of the pitch to Abou Diaby, who unleashes a long ball over the top for Walcott to race on to. He beats the last defender before attracting the onrushing Vorm but, while losing his footing, chips the balls over the keeper and painfully wide of the far post.

48 minWalcott's complaints that he was impeded during that move falls on deaf ears.

50 minCHANCE! Arsenal again go close, this time with Cazorla who puts a dipping effort just over from the edge of the box after a nice passing move.

51 minCHANCE! Arsenal are all over Swansea, and Giroud blasts a half-volley just wide across the face of goal from a long way out after running on to a bouncing loose ball outside the box.

52 minIt's been so one-sided so far in this second half, if Swansea keep this up, it's only a matter of time before Arsenal go in front.

53 minCHANCE! Ahhh Swansea have come out for the second half, although Danny Graham will probably wish he didn't. De Guzman is completely unmarked in the Arsenal box after bombing forward but Graham fails to deliver a good cross from the left, and knocks the ball poorly behind for a goal kick. He then has the cheek to appeal for a corner, not that he looked to have had his hopes up.

54 minThis will go to extra time and penalties should we need that here at the end of the 90 minutes.

57 minCHANCE! Awful from Swansea as Vorm's pass cannot be controlled by Richards. Arsenal take the throw quickly as Giroud knocks the ball towards the far post, but Leon Britton saves the day for the visitors and gets their first to knock it behind for a corner.

58 minArsenal are dictating the play, with Cazorla and Wilshere looking lively. The latter has just won a corner.

59 minCHANCE! Walcott swings in the corner towards the near post, but Giroud flicks on the ball just wide of the far post.

60 minSWANSEA CITY SUBSTITUTION Michael Laudrup makes the first change of the night as Kemy Agustien is replaced by Pablo Hernandez.

60 min30 minutes to go here of normal time.

61 minSWANSEA CITY SUBSTITUTION An immediate second change from Swansea, as Jonathan de Guzman is replaced by Ki.

62 minCHANCE! Swansea get caught on the ball as they try to play their way out of trouble. Wilshere storms forward again with the ball and has options to his left and right, but his shot is blocked and out for a corner.

62 minCHANCE! Graham chests Walcott's shot off the line after a bit of a scramble. Nice run from Arsenal who appealed for handball, but replays show that it clearly hit Graham's chest.

63 minCHANCE! It's off the line again! Not sure who stopped whose effort, but Swansea survive from the corner! Madness!

65 minCHANCE!Arsenal come so close again, as Walcott squares to Giroud in the final third. The Gunners have the numbers advantage but Bartley makes a brilliant challenge of Giroud before what I believe is called 'getting rid'.

67 minArsenal are absolutely dominating, Swansea are doing well to defend in the dying moments but are living too dangerously for their managers liking.

67 minTRANSFER NEWS Some news doing the rounds on Twitter is that Swansea have apparently had a £3m bid for Kenwyne Jones turned down, according to Stoke City.

68 minIt looks as if Michu is readying to come on.

69 minCHANCE! Cazorla passes to Giroud, who has his back to goal on the edge of the box. Despite being tightly marked by Flores, he moves the ball to his right and fires an effort at goal, but Vorm is equal to it.

70 minArsenal have to score soon surely?! 20 to go.

70 minCHANCE! Oh Theo that should have been 1-0. Walcott is played in on the right side of the box, he skips past Flores to his right, and opens up his body before curling a low effort wide of the far post. His Henry-esque effort wasn't quite....well...Henry-esque.

71 minSWANSEA CITY SUBSTITUTION Laudrup makes his third and final change of the match as he brings on Michu in hope that he will be the man who again unlocks the Arsenal defence. Danny Graham is the man taken off.

72 minIn case you needed reminding, Michu already has three goals against Arsenal this season; two at the Emirates and one when coming off the bench.

73 minI don't actually think that Swansea have had a chance in this second half, but somehow it is still 0-0.

74 minSCORE UPDATE Chelsea 2-1 Southampton (Rickie Lambert)

75 min15 to go.

79 minCHANCE! Double frustration for Arsenal who have two great chances in the same move. First Giroud puts a poor effort straight at Vorm, before Wilshere's pass inside the box rolls through to the keeper.

80 minCHANCE! My word, Swansea have had not one but two chances! First Ki forces Szczesny, who I forgot was even here, into stretching to his left to tip the ball wide for a corner. Then Flores gets his head to the ball from the resulting set-piece at the near post but can only guide it into the side netting.

81 minOFF THE POST Arsenal are inches away from going in front, as Bacary Sagna's cross just misses Theo Walcott, but it goes past everyone and hits the inside of the post before Vorm smothers the ball. So close.

82 minARSENAL SUBSTITUTION Arsene Wenger makes his first change of the night as he takes off Abou Diaby, who is playing only his second match since September, and replaces him with Aaron Ramsey.

83 minSeven minutes, and at this rate we're going to extra time.

84 minCHANCE! Two bites of the cherry from Arsenal, first Walcott finds space on the right before blasting the ball at the feet of Vorm, before the keeper is forced to push another effort pass the post.

85 minCHANCE! It just won't go in for Arsenal, as the corner drops to Giroud on the edge of the box, but his rocket of an effort is blocked on the line by...Jack Wilshere. D'oh!

86 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Swansea City (Jack Wilshere)

86 minAt long long last, Arsenal take the lead and it is the best player on the pitch who has done it. Arsenal move from the halfway line, as Cazorla plays it into Giroud, who lays off Wilshere on the edge of the box. The England international meets the ball with a stunning left-footed drive and slams the ball into the bottom corner. Relief at the Emirates.

87 minJust to emphasise, Jack Wilshere has been simply awesome tonight.

89 minSCORE UPDATE Chelsea 2-2 Southampton (Jason Puncheon)

90 minHaving dominated this game, Arsenal just need to keep hold of the ball now.

90 minThree added minutes to play at the Emirates.

90 minThe crowd grows excited as Walcott races through, but he is flagged for offside.

90+1 minMichu has an effort at goal but it is comfortably wide.

90+2 minCHANCE! Cazorla has a chance to make it two here, but his effort is off target.

90+3 minWalcott takes the ball to the corner flag to try to waste time, he knocks it off the defender to win a corner. Clever play.

90+3 minArsenal trying to keep the ball nearly led to another chance as Wilshere tries to skin his marker, it's out for another corner.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Swansea City

9.24pmYou can feel the relief at the Emirates Stadium as the final whistle sounds, and it is Arsenal who progress to the next round. They absolutely dominated the match from start to finish, but waited 87 minutes before taking the lead from a brilliant Jack Wilshere strike.

9.25pmSwansea had a couple of weak attempts in the second half, but Wojciech Szczesny could have probably walked off and nobody would have noticed tonight. It was that one sided.

9.25pmThey deserve it, and Arsenal go through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they will face Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.

9.26pmSwansea won't be too gutted to have gone out, as they still have a chance to get to Wembley in the Capital One Cup, where they currently lead Chelsea 2-0 on aggregate after the first leg of the semi-finals.

9.27pmThat's it from me tonight, I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to keep an eye out for my analysis piece on the game as well as the match report. See you soon.

Francis Coquelin
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