Mar 25, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-2
SwanseaSwansea City
Podolski (73'), Giroud (74')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bony (11'), Flamini (90' og.)
Bony (34')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-2 Swansea City - as it happened

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud shoots to score their second goal past Swansea City's Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 25, 201
© Getty Images
Read how Mathieu Flamini's late own goal cost Arsenal all three points against Swansea at the Emirates Stadium, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Arsenal hosted Swansea City tonight with their title challenge already in a precarious state.

Their 6-0 thrashing by Premier League leaders Chelsea left the Gunners six points adrift of the Blues and cast huge doubts over their ability to win the championship.

Arsene Wenger was looking for a response from his players tonight, but it was relegation-threatened Swansea who took the lead when Wilfried Bony headed Neil Taylor's cross inside the post on 11 minutes.

The Arsenal comeback took a while in coming, but it was rapid when it did as two goals in the space of as many minutes turned the game around. Lukas Podolski got the first before assisting Olivier Giroud.

However, there was to be a late twist as home goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny knocked the ball against Mathieu Flamini and into the net in the 90th-minute to gift Swansea a valuable point.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded at the Emirates Stadium, courtesy of SM's live updates.


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6.52pmHello, all. The Manchester derby takes centre stage in the Premier League tonight, but there are two other games as Newcastle face Everton and Arsenal host Swansea. Or is it Swindon? Or Cardiff?

6.54pmNo seriously, I will drop the mistaken identity jokes before long. It is definitely Swansea that visit the Emirates Stadium this evening, and they are in need of the points as much as Arsenal.

6.56pmThe Gunners' hopes of winning the Premier League title were dealt what many deem to be a fatal blow when they were thrashed 6-0 by leaders Chelsea. They are now seven points behind the Blues.

6.59pmAt the other end of the table, a run of five winless games has left Swansea only four points above the drop zone. Let's see who the respective managers have put their faith in for this big game.

7.01pmARSENAL: Szczesny; Sagna Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla; Giroud

7.02pmSUBS: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Kallstrom, Sanogo, Gnabry, Podolski

7.04pmSWANSEA: Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Chico Flores, Taylor; Britton, Shelvey; de Guzman, Routledge, Michu; Bony

7.05pmSUBS: Tremmel, Amat, Davies, Canas, Dyer, Hernandez, Vazquez

7.07pmThere were suggestions that Arsene Wenger would make wholesale changes following their thrashing to Chelsea, but the Frenchman makes only two changes for his 1001st match in charge.

7.09pmLukas Podolski drops to the bench, with Mathieu Flamini coming back into the side to perform a holding role. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is pushed further forward to play on the wing.

7.11pmEngland international Oxlade-Chamberlain is available after the Football Association revealed that neither he or Kieran Gibbs would face a ban following that bizarre incident on Saturday.

7.13pmAn FA statement read: "An Independent Regulatory Commission today heard two claims from Arsenal, one of mistaken identity and the other of wrongful dismissal, both in relation to Saturday's game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"The Commission ruled that the dismissal of Kieran Gibbs was a case of mistaken identity and transferred this to his teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"Subsequent to deciding this matter, the Commission then considered Arsenal's claim for wrongful dismissal in relation to Oxlade-Chamberlain. This claim was upheld meaning Oxlade-Chamberlain will not serve any suspension with the standard punishment withdrawn with immediate effect.


7.15pmOlivier Giroud and Wojciech Szczesny have survived calls for them to be axed from the team to take their usual places at either end of the pitch, but Laurent Koscielny misses out through injury.

7.17pmThe French centre-back has been a star performer for Arsenal this season, but has suffered a hamstring injury which will sideline him for a fortnight. Club captain Thomas Vermaelen deputises.

7.19pmJanuary signing Kim Kallstrom, who has admitted that his deadline day move to the Gunners was "bewildering" to him, is still awaiting his Arsenal bow, but is named on the bench this evening. Teenage defender Hector Bellerin is also among the home substitutes and another who could make his debut.

7.22pmThere is a huge boost for the travelling Swansea fans, with 18-goal top goalscorer from last season Michu returning to make his first start since December following ankle surgery.

7.24pmThe Spaniard will play just in behind lone striker Wilfried Bony, and then fill in as an extra midfielder alongside two more players restored to the starting XI, Jonjo Shelvey and Jonathan de Guzman.

7.26pmIn perhaps the most surprising of Swansea's four changes, Ben Davies is benched to make way for Neil Taylor at left-back. Davies has been first choice since usurping Taylor last season.

7.28pmJose Canas, Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer are the other three Swans to drop out as interim manager Garry Monk goes seeking a first victory since his opening match in charge.

7.31pmHe faces a difficult task this evening, though, with Arsenal unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season. That will be a reassuring statistic to the Gunners after their heavy beating.

7.34pmThey have been on the end of a few drubbings this season, Wenger's men, but on each occasion they have responded reasonably well. After they lost 6-3 to Manchester City, they drew 0-0 with Chelsea, and after being hammered 5-1 by Liverpool, they held Manchester United to a stalemate.

7.36pmThat suggests that Wenger tightens things up in midfield after seeing his side concede a hatful in previous games. His team selection tonight, with Flamini being recalled, suggests something similar.

7.38pmREFEREE WATCH: Lee Probert has shown fewer yellow cards than any referee that has officiated at least 10 Premier League games this term. Let's hope he knows who's who tonight.

7.41pmHEAD-TO-HEAD: Arsenal have won the last three matches between the sides in all competitions, but Swansea have tasted victory at the Emirates since their promotion to the top flight in 2011. Michu scored twice late on in a 2-0 success for the Welsh outfit in December of last season.

7.43pmPREDICTION: Wenger will be keen not to be as open as they were on Saturday. They are not playing Chelsea this evening of course, but Swansea present their own attacking threats. I think we could be in for a cagey first half before Arsenal's class shows. I'll plump for a 2-0 home win.

1 minSwansea get us underway under the floodlights in North London...

2 minLATEST: There has been a remarkably early goal at Old Trafford, where Edin Dzeko has scored within the first minute to give Manchester City a rapid start in the derby. I will try to keep you up to date with further goals there and any strikes in the Newcastle vs. Everton game on Tyneside.

4 minSHOT! We certainly haven't seen as quick a start here. Just as I type, though, an Ashley Williams header falls to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who shows great technique to get over a stinging volley from the right edge of the box which Vorm punches behind for a corner.

8 minPlenty of possession in the Swansea half for Arsenal now. Both teams like to keep the ball, of course, but who has the guile and creativity to open up the opposition defence this evening?

10 minA sign of Swansea's lack of confidence, or their negative approach tonight, comes with a counter attack which loses all steam and eventually is passed all the way back to Vorm in between the sticks.

11 minGOAL! ARSENAL 0-1 SWANSEA (WILFRIED BONY)

11 minOut of nowhere, Swansea take the lead through a brilliant Bony header. Taylor charges forward down the left and crosses from deep. Bony has the run on Vermaelen and sneaks in behind the Belgian to thump a powerful header just inside the post. Great finish, not good defending, though.

13 minThat goal will not help the already fragile atmosphere inside the Emirates. Another setback tonight and suddenly the Gunners could be looking over their shoulder, rather than upwards.

15 minThere are certainly signs of nerves in the Arsenal passing. Twice in quick succession they give the ball away sloppily in the Swansea half, and both mistakes are greeted with concerned groans.

17 minSome Arsenal pressing forces Swansea backwards, but Shelvey comes deep to collect the ball off Chico Flores and then sends a 70-yard pass over the top to Bony, who is marginally offside.

18 minBetter from Arsenal, with Rosicky and Cazorla exchanging a neat one-two on the edge of the area. The Czech squares from the return pass, but Angel Rangel sweeps the ball clear.

19 minCLOSE! The Gunners nearly level things up as Mertesacker shakes off Bony to meet a corner at the front post and flick into the side netting. Arsenal have scored 10 headed goals already this term, the second most in the Premier League, and nearly had another there.

21 minChico commits himself to robbing Giroud of the ball and gets caught out. He tries to recover, but the Frenchman wriggles free again before firing a low shot which is deflected behind off Williams.

23 minCHANCE! A flashback to Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Arsenal are completely exposed on the counter attack. A Gunners corner is cleared to Routledge, who has three teammates with him on the break against only two Gunners defenders. He travels 60 yards with the ball before finding Michu on the overlap, but the Spaniard's touch is a bit heavy and pressure from Szczesny forces him into a rushed pass which goes behind De Guzman. Shelvey collects and sees a shot blocked by the body of Flamini. Arsenal's centre-backs nowhere to be seen. Swansea should have made more of that opportunity.

27 minNow it is Swansea's turn to have some time in possession. The Welsh outfit have got more than one foot in this game, but have not beaten a 'top seven' side in the league this season.

28 minOxlade-Chamberlain makes a dart into the left channel and is found by Cazorla. Williams follows him, shows him down the outside and then slides in to block his cross. Good defending.

30 minArsenal's build-up play is pretty slow at the moment, but, as ever, their full-backs are providing them with some natural width. A Gibbs cross towards Giroud is headed clear by Chico.

32 minOxlade-Chamberlain has Taylor beaten for pace and slips onto an Arteta pass inside the Welshman. He squares just behind Giroud, whose attempts to turn on goal are denied by Williams. The ball is poked to Sagna, courted by Inter Milan this week, who drags a horrible left-footed shot wide.

34 minBOOKING: If heading is Bony's strength, tackling is definitely his weakness. He is cautioned by referee Probert here for a nasty lunge on Flamini, who is more accustom to giving then receiving those type of challenges. Free-kick to Arsenal, which Cazorla will lift into the area.

36 minUPDATE: We now have a trio of 1-0 away leads in tonight's Premier League action. Ross Barkley has scored for the second straight game to put Everton ahead against Newcastle at St James' Park.

39 minApart from when 'The Ox' is involved in play, Arsenal have little but crosses to threaten Swansea with and so far, Chico and Williams have dealt with the aerial threat of Giroud comfortably.

41 minHow will they fare with the extra height of Mertesacker from this set piece, though? Arteta's ball is over the German and towards Sagna, who seems to duck out of the header at the last minute.

42 minRoutledge puts plenty on his backpass to Vorm, who has to chest the ball down and then hoof it out for a throw in. Garry Monk would be furious if Swansea gifted Arsenal something before the break.

43 minSAVE! Probably Arsenal's best chance of the opening 45 minutes is created for himself by Cazorla, who shifts the ball away from a couple of defenders as he runs along the edge of the box. He shoots across goal, but Vorm gets down to make a smart save before Shelvey clears. Nice footwork from the Spaniard, but he could not generate enough power on his effort to truly test the Swans keeper.

45 minWe are entering the first of TWO minutes of stoppage time at the end of this half...

45+2 minBony shows his superb strength to swat away the challenges of Flamini and Arteta in midfield, but Vermaelen stands up tall to halt the charging Ivorian as he ran at the Arsenal defence.

8.34pmHALF-TIME: ARSENAL 0-1 SWANSEA

8.37pmArsenal's players leave the field to boos at half-time after conceding a 1-0 lead to Swansea in the opening 45 minutes at the Emirates Stadium. Wilfried Bony with a fine header for the visitors.

8.39pmIf the mauling at Chelsea was a huge blow in the Gunners' title challenge, defeat tonight would surely be the final nail in the coffin. They cannot afford to lose, and you sense their fans know that.

8.41pmGarry Monk, on the other hand, will be very pleased with how that half transpired. His Swansea side sat back initially and seemed to be setting up to stifle Arsenal, but that Bony effort from Neil Taylor's cross has given them something to build on, and they have since held their own against the hosts.

8.43pmLATEST: We are 1-0 to the visitors at the Emirates, and tonight's other Premier League games have the same scoreline. Man City still lead in the big one against United thanks to Edin Dzeko's first-minute strike, while European hopefuls Everton are ahead at Newcastle courtesy of Ross Barkley.

8.46pmSTATS: This will be one of the few times this season that Swansea will have less of the ball. Arsenal have had 60% possession, but only two shots on target, which is still one more than the Welsh club. They have forced seven corners, though, and they have looked like a possible source of chances.

46 minArsenal get the action back underway, with both sides unchanged...

48 minRosicky injects some speed into the Arsenal approach play by carrying the ball into the final third. Giroud tries to flick a return pass into his teammate, but it bounces away from him.

50 minMichu doesn't get much of a low 25-yard shot that dribbles wide of the post. He still looks rusty. Bony doesn't, though, and he chases onto a chip over the top, only for Gibbs to get there first. It appears to be good defending, but Monk and his staff on the touchline are adamant that it was a foul.

52 minUPDATE: Everton have moved a step closer to taking three points from their trip to Tyneside. Romelu Lukaku has scored and they now lead 2-0. A win will really boost their European hopes.

54 minGibbs is in an advanced position on the left, and he creates just enough room to cross into the box. Shelvey is there to clear unconvincingly, with his wild hack diverting off Rosicky and behind.

56 minSUBSTITUTION: Wenger wastes little time in this second half before making his first move. It is Lukas Podolski, who has not scored a Premier League goal since Boxing Day, replacing 'The Ox'.

58 minArsenal patiently pass the ball around the edge of the Swansea box before it reaches Rosicky. Nobody closes him down and so he tries another spectacular effort, having scored with an outrageous half volley in the North London derby. This one isn't so good, though, and flies high and wide.

59 minParticularly now that Oxlade-Chamberlain is off, that is the sort of approach play Arsenal are restricted to. They were slow before his withdrawal and I can only see them being slower now.

60 minCHANCE! De Guzman gets free down the right and has acres of space to put a cross in. He finds Michu unmarked, but the Spaniard nods over, trying to head back across Szczesny from 12 yards.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Monk decides that is enough for Michu, as the Spaniard continues his recovery from injury. Nathan Dyer is on to give the Swans another quick outlet on the counter attack.

64 minUPDATE: Manchester City might have wrapped up the derby against rivals United with a second goal just before the hour mark. Again it is Dzeko who has scored. That could be a massive result in their Premier League title charge of course, as well as a victory for Blues fans everywhere!

66 minWilliams again displays good strength and a measured tackle to deny Giroud, who has really struggled with his back to goal this evening. A silver lining for Arsenal fans, though, is that Williams and company have not kept a clean sheet in 19 games on their travels in all competitions.

68 minCazorla and Rosicky link up again, with the latter running beyond the Swans defence to collect the ball in the box. He clips across the area and Taylor lets it drift past him and harmlessly out of play.

72 minArsenal are setting up camp in the Swansea half now, pushing them further and further back. They have not tested Vorm yet, though. A penalty appeal for a push on Cazorla is turned down.

73 minGOAL! ARSENAL 1-1 SWANSEA (LUKAS PODOLSKI)

73 minArsenal are level, and it is the substitute Podolski who has scored for the first time in English football in 2014. He owes a lot to Gibbs, though, who darts past Rangel on the left with ease and then picks out a smart cutback for Podolski to cushion in on the volley. The comeback is on!

75 minGOAL! ARSENAL 2-1 SWANSEA (OLIVIER GIROUD)

75 minThe hosts complete a rapid turnaround with a second goal in as many minutes! Podolski scored the last one, and he has set this one up with a truly stunning pass. Rangel gets caught upfield and the German is released into space on the left. There seems to be nothing on for him in the box, but he delivers a brilliant cross in behind the Swans back line for Giroud to poke home from six yards! Arsenal are ahead, and that comeback has come out of the blue! Oh, how quickly things change in football!

77 minSHOT! Swansea now have to change tactics, having sat back for the past 20 minutes. They launch an attack down the left, with Shevley cutting inside and bending a shot just wide of the far post.

79 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Three changes to tell you about. Swansea swapped Taylor, who seemed to be suffering with cramp, for Ben Davies at left-back straight after conceding the first goal, and are now bringing on Pablo Hernandez for Shelvey, who looked short of match sharpness following his spell out. Meanwhile, there is an Arsenal debut for 108-times capped Swedish international midfielder Kim Kallstrom. Rosicky makes way for the man whose Gunners bow has been delayed by a back problem.

81 minAround 10 minutes plus stoppage time remaining for Swansea to find a way back now. For the first time in the match, the onus is on them to do the attacking. They showed in their 4-3 loss to Liverpool that they can score plenty against the big sides. Can they find the net again here?

83 minPENALTY APPEAL! Bony again feels harshly treated by the officials as he appeals for a spot kick following a tussle at a Swansea free kick. The Ivorian was making a run into the box which was blatantly checked by the forearm of Podolski. Arsenal are very lucky that the referee did not spot that.

85 minCHANCE! De Guzman has the ball on the right edge of the area. Rangel makes a great overlapping run, but instead the Dutch midfielder clips into the box for Bony to run onto. He gets above Mertesacker, but there is not much pace on the cross and the effort lacks the power to really stretch Szczesny, who dives to his right to catch the ball and deny the Swans striker an equaliser.

86 minThis time Rangel does receive the ball at the end of his charging run down the right. He has loads of time to pick out a man, but only pokes hopefully against Gibbs and the ball loops clear.

88 minSUBSTITUTION: Wenger makes his final change, bringing on Yaya Sanogo for his third appearance in the Premier League. Perhaps the scorer of the winner, Olivier Giroud, makes way.

90 minGOAL! ARSENAL 2-2 SWANSEA (MATHIEU FLAMINI OG)

90 minSwansea look to have snatched back something from this game with a goal in the last minute! Rangel does brilliantly to turn the ball around the corner for Britton, who, while darting into the area, manages to just about get it under control. Szczesny races out and stops him from scoring, but the ball bounces off the Arsenal keeper, against Flamini and back into the net. It's a comical goal, really, but Wenger won't be laughing as he sees his title hopes all but extinguished!

90+1 minWe will have FOUR minutes of stoppage time. Can either side grab a winner?

90+3 minMertesacker has been thrown forward to act as an emergency striker in the final minutes. Williams has been a beast in the air all day, can he withstand the final few barrages?

9.38pmFULL-TIME: ARSENAL 2-2 SWANSEA

9.40pmThe final whistle is blown, but Swansea are furious. Hernandez had played De Guzman through and there was no defender between him and the goal. Bizarre refereeing from Lee Probert and the visiting players surround him in anger! Either way, a valuable point for Garry Monk's side.

9.42pmOn the other hand, that could just about be that for Arsenal's title hopes. With Manchester City winning tonight, and in style too, it would take a very unlikely set of circumstances for them, Liverpool and Chelsea to all drop enough points to allow the Gunners to make up their six-point deficit.

9.44pmRESULTS: On the subject of the Manchester derby, City were convincing winners from start to finish, with Edin Dzeko scoring as early as the first minute, before doubling his tally after the break. Yaya Toure capped off the victory late on. Meanwhile, Everton stake their claim for fifth spot, or even higher, with an impressive 3-0 success at Newcastle. Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman all scored.

9.48pmThe Toffees are now only six points behind Arsenal, with a game in hand, after what happened at the Emirates tonight. A brief summary, a Wilfried Bony header put Swansea into a surprise 11th-minute lead, before two goals in two second-half minutes saw the Gunners turn it around. A rather unfortunate Mathieu Flamini own goal saw the visitors snatch a point just before stoppage time.

9.50pmThat's it from me, on a night where the final nail may have been hammered in Arsenal's title-chasing coffin. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for this Premier League game. Until next time...

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger walks off at the end of the Barclays Pemier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium on March 1, 2014
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