MX23RW : Friday, October 19 03:30:41
Oct 15, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,007
SwanseaSwansea City
Walcott (27', 33'), Ozil (57')
Xhaka (70')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Sigurdsson (38'), Baston (66')
Taylor (47')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of Saturday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Swansea City at the Emirates, which finished 3-2 to the Gunners.

Ten-man Arsenal have claimed a nervy 3-2 win against Swansea City in Saturday's Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott claimed a quickfire brace in the first half to give his side a healthy lead early on, but Granit Xhaka's effort allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson to halve the deficit before the break.

Mesut Ozil then restored the hosts' two-goal lead just before the hour, but Borja Baston's goal and Xhaka's red card left the Gunners sweating right until the final whistle.

Here is how Sports Mole covered the action in North London.

2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of today's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Swansea City!

2.02pmThe international break is but a speck in the wing mirror now, and we're back in domestic action! It promises to be an exciting clash today at the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners, flying high in the league, take on a team that is struggling on paper but has proven to be a bit of a bogey side for the North Londoners in recent years.

2.04pmWithout further ado, here are the team news...

2.05pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Cazorla, Iwobi, Ozil, Walcott, Sanchez

2.06pmSWANSEA STARTING XI: Fabianski, Taylor, Amat, Fernandez, Naughton, Fer, Britton, Cork, Routledge, Sigurdsson, Barrow

2.07pmARSENAL SUBS: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Coquelin, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas

2.08pmSWANSEA SUBS: Nordfeldt, Van der Hoorn, Rangel, Kingsley, Fulton, Ki, Borja

2.10pmArsene Wenger has opted to keep the same starting XI in place today as the one that won 1-0 at Burnley on October 2.

2.13pmAs the Gunners boss said earlier in the week, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey will not be involved as they look to regain match fitness following respective toe and hamstring injuries, while Francis Coquelin is back after missing the last two games with a knee problem, but has to make do with a place on the bench.

2.15pmAs for the visitors, they welcome new head coach Bob Bradley to the dugout, and he opts to make three changes from the side that lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool on October 1.

2.17pmAngel Rangel, Mike van der Hoorn and Borja Gonzalez are the players who make way, taking their places on the Swans bench, while Neil Taylor, Federico Fernandez and Modou Barrow are named in the side's starting XI.

2.19pmThe main story today at the Emirates is the arrival of Bradley, who becomes the first American to manage in the Premier League after he succeeded former boss Francesco Guidolin at Swansea on October 3.

2.21pmOf all the potential maiden Premier League fixtures for a new manager, Arsenal away has to be one of the most daunting, so the 58-year-old will certainly be tested in what could prove a baptism of fire.

2.24pmThe two sides facing off today at the Emirates are at opposite ends of the table, with third-placed Arsenal chasing a sixth consecutive Premier League win, in contrast to the Swans languishing in 17th place, level on points with third-from-bottom West Ham United.

2.27pmHowever, Swansea have proven to be a thorn in Arsenal's side in recent years - their 2-1 win at the Emirates on March 2 this year was arguably the death knell for the Gunners' title hopes, putting them six points behind eventual champions Leicester City.

2.30pmIn fact, Swansea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League visits to the Emirates and Arsenal have averaged just 0.8 points per game at home to Swansea in the league – their worst return against any side at home.

2.32pmBesides, Bradley is hardly an unknown quantity - the American has held managerial posts since 1981, which include the United States and Egypt national teams.

2.35pmHis spell in charge of the US saw them finish first in Group C at the 2010 World Cup - above England, who were then dealt a second-round clash against Germany for their failure to top the group - and the less said about that game, the better!

2.37pmPetr Cech, a Premier League goalkeeping fixture for the last 12 years, has hit yet another milestone - he plays his 50th game in an Arsenal shirt today.

2.40pmCredit should also be given to Alexis Sanchez, who starts today for the North Londoners despite clocking up around 15,000 air miles to represent Chile in two matches during international week.

2.43pmWenger is certainly not underestimating Bradley today - this is what the Frenchman had to say about his opposite number at this week's press conference:

"Bob Bradley has a lot of experience. He's not a beginner, he has travelled a lot and has accumulated experience in the United States.

"He has been in Egypt, France recently and is now in England [i.e. English football], which is certainly a fantastic opportunity for him.

"It's also good for the Premier League - to have an American here will create even more interest for the Premier League in the United States. He is equipped to deal with what is asked of him."

2.45pmWith just 15 minutes to kick-off, let's quickly take a look at some statistics for each team, and then I'll make a prediction on who I think will win today's game.

2.47pmAs mentioned before, Arsenal are chasing a sixth consecutive Premier League game, but also, they have been behind for just 52 minutes in the top flight this season, fewer than any other side.

2.49pmThe Gunners have also kept four consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, which does not make for pleasant reading if you're a Swans fan (or indeed player).

2.51pmBut now, time for some more positive stats for the visitors - Arsenal have won just one of their last five league games against Swansea, losing three, and the Welsh side are chasing a third consecutive win at the Emirates.

2.53pmIn addition, Mesut Ozil has provided just one assist in his last 16 Premier League games, after registering 11 in his previous 16 appearances in the division. If Ozil and Sanchez have an off-day, could the Swans keep their good Emirates run going against all odds?

2.55pmPREDICTION: Time for me to try and predict today's result between Arsenal and Swansea. Now, the Gunners have an impressive line-up and are in good form, but they may experience nerves today against a potential bogey team boosted by the arrival of a new manager, so I think it'll be 1-1 come the final whistle.

2.57pmThe players are in the tunnel. Kick-off at the Emirates is not far away now.

0 minKICKOFF: We're underway in North London as Arsenal kick off against Swansea!

2 minArsenal with the early exchanges as Walcott breaks and picks out Ozil, but the birthday boy - 28 today - gifts possession to the visitors right on the edge of their box.

5 minArsenal are enjoying the bulk of the possession here as Iwobi forces a corner via a deflection, but Cazorla's in-swinging set piece is ineffective and Swansea clear their lines.

7 minMore attacking intent by the Gunners, with Walcott pinging the ball into the box for Ozil, who in turn looks to pick out Sanchez with a cushioned pass, but Swansea's Amat skilfully cuts the ball out.

9 minSwansea win a free kick in a promising position, which Sigurdsson floats into the hosts' box, but a Gunners defender gets a head onto the ball and clears.

11 minBarrow breaks forward down the right flank, but he is stifled by Koscielny, who shepherds the ball out for a Swans corner which is subsequently wasted.

14 minOFF THE BAR! Arsenal get the ball down at the other end and Fernandez gifts the hosts a corner, which is taken by Ozil. Mustafi gets the better of Amat, glancing a header towards goal, but it ricochets off the woodwork!

15 minCHANCE! End to end stuff as Cork receives the ball from Barrow 20 yards from goal and gets a shot away, but the effort sails high over the bar.

16 minCHANCE! Now it's Arsenal's turn to threaten as they win a free kick - Ozil looks to pick out Sanchez, the ball falls to Iwobi on the edge of the box, but he slices his snap-shot wide.

19 minCHANCE! Arsenal have been dominating possession but get caught out by a Swansea counterattack which sees Fer finding himself in a good position on the edge of the box - however his first-time effort is off target.

23 minCazorla finds Ozil with a pass down the left - the German international then tees up Xhaka inside the Swansea box, but the latter hesitates to fire and Britton is able to make the block.

25 minA good Arsenal chance gets snuffed out by Taylor, who, on the slide, gets his foot on the ball before Walcott is able to break through the Swans back line and find himself one on one with Fabianski.


28 minWe cannot say it hadn't been coming - Arsenal have dominated proceedings on the pitch and now this is reflected on the scoresheet as Theo Walcott breaks the deadlock.

28 minOzil sends a ball to the back post, which Bellerin then nods on towards Walcott - Amat appears to have it safely covered, but following some hesitation, the England man nips in, wins the ball and prods it over the line.

30 minCHANCE! Arsenal look eager to double their lead right away as Sanchez gets in behind the Swansea defence and tries to lift the ball over Fabianski and into the far corner of the net, but his effort is off target.


34 minArsenal have found their groove as Walcott doubles his side's lead in a manner of minutes - in between the two goals, the hosts have been rampant and they get their just rewards!

35 minBellerin was able to get a shot in, which won his side a corner and, from the set piece, a catalogue of errors among the Swansea defenders allowed Walcott all the time in the world to take a touch in the middle of the box and slam home.

36 minArsenal are threatening to run away with this game as a one-two with Cazorla sees Ozil charge down the byline, but he takes a touch too many and is unable to send the ball into the danger zone.


39 minMy oh my, no sooner we write the Swans off, they're back in it courtesy of yet another blunder in this game! Xhaka gifts possession to Sigurdsson just outside the box, and the Icelander produces a beautiful finish to curl the ball beyond Cech and into the far corner. Game on!

42 minNow the pendulum swings Swansea's way as Barrow gets down the right flank and gets the ball to the feet of Sigurdsson - with his back to goal - at the near post, but Mustafi does enough to force the goalscorer into firing wide.

45 minsThere will be two minutes of added time as Swansea find themselves defending a succession of Arsenal corners.


3.49pmSwansea have one last-gasp chance to draw level as Amat gets on the end of Sigurdsson's free kick, but he heads the ball straight at Cech and that's the last action of the first half as the Gunners hold a slender advantage over the visitors.

3.50pmIt has been an exciting first half which has yielded three goals, but all three have come about as the result of mistakes - Jordi Amat's mis-handling of a dangerous ball allowed Theo Walcott to nab the first goal of the game, while Federico Fernandez and Jack Cork did not do their job as the England man was given free rein to get his brace. However, Granit Xhaka's poor pass proved costly as Gylfi Sigurdsson dispossessed him and halved the deficit.


3.55pmSwansea know that they've been lucky to have been given a lifeline, now it's up to new boss Bob Bradley to inspire his boys and attempt to get something from a game that looked like it was all but over for them following Walcott's brace.

3.57pmLikewise, Wenger will most likely be having stern words with his players, but will he urge them to go for the knockout blow or will they be cautious and try and see the game out at the current scoreline? I would predict the former, but to find out, stay put with Sports Mole as the second half is just a few minutes away!

46 minKICKOFF: Swansea get us back underway at the Emirates.

47 minBOOKING: The visitors quickly give possession away and, with Arsenal trying to carve out an opening, Taylor slides in and catches Ozil late to earn himself a yellow card.

48 minOzil gets up from the tackle and opts to take the ensuing free kick, but Amat heads clear in the Swansea box.

50 minMore sustained pressure from the Gunners as Sanchez looks to thread the ball over to Ozil behind the Swansea defence, but Amat is once again well positioned to clear the danger.

52 minNow it's Swansea's turn to threaten, with Sigurdsson trying to slip the ball over to Barrow in a dangerous position, but Koscielny intercepts before Mustafi clears.

53 minArsenal seem to be struggling to get back into their rhythm, looking a bit edgy as Swansea look for the goal that would cancel out the hosts' initial two-goal lead.

56 minOzil attempts a one-two with Sanchez and makes a run into the Swansea box hoping for the return pass from the Chile international, only for Fernandez to make an important interception.


58 minArsenal enjoy a bright spell and it yields a goal as birthday boy Ozil gets the better of Fernandez at the back post and ferociously volleys into the roof of the net from Sanchez's cross! The Gunners have their two-goal lead back - is it game over for Swansea?

60 minArsenal have their pomp back, with Cazorla finding Bellerin down the right - the latter attempts to drive at the defence, but he fails to find a teammate. Swansea are in disarray.

60 minSUBSTITUTION: Leon Britton is replaced by Borja Baston for Swansea, who have a mountain to climb in order to maintain their good record against Arsenal.

63 minIt's all Arsenal now as they continue to pile men forward - first Mustafi tries to release Ozil, only for the offside flag to deny him, and moments later, Sanchez attempts to lift the ball into the path of Iwobi before Amat heads clear.


67 minUnbelievable! The minute you write off Swansea, back they come into the game! Baston, only just introduced to the action from the subs' bench, puts his side back within a goal after Barrow bursts past Monreal and feeds the ball to the Spaniard, who rattles home from close range!

68 minSUBSTITUTION: A change for Arsenal as Alex Iwobi is taken off, and on comes Francis Coquelin.

69 minRED CARD! Arsenal are down to ten men! Barrow looks to break for Swansea and Xhaka takes him out with a cynical challenge on the touchline, prompting Jonathan Moss to show the Swiss international a straight red!

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Swansea, who surely must be smelling blood now against an increasingly beleaguered Arsenal, replace Jack Cork with Ki Sung-yueng.

73 minBarrow, who has had an impressive game, gets to the byline again and sends a cross in, but the ball falls to Walcott who is able to hack away. Just under 20 minutes for the Gunners to hang on here.

76 minCHANCE! Swansea, so rattled for large chunks of the game, are asking all the questions now and come within a whisker of equalising through Barrow, who gets into space in behind the Arsenal defence but heads straight at Cech.

79 minFrom a corner, Sigurdsson fires the ball into the box but Fer's header sails wide. At the other end, Walcott cuts in from the left but makes a hash of his ensuing effort.

80 minCHANCE! What a game from Barrow, who keeps troubling the Arsenal defence. This time he powers past Monreal for the umpteenth time in this match before picking out Sigurdsson with a low cross, but the effort is skewed over the bar.

83 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A spate of changes as both sides swap personnel - Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs, while Modou Barrow's afternoon is over as he hobbles off, with Angel Rangel taking over duties in the Swansea XI.

84 minOFF THE POST! Arsenal nearly deliver the fatal blow to Swansea's hopes of getting something from this game as Fer's carelessness allows Oxlade-Chamberlain to play a ball in to Walcott - he then cuts inside his man and curls a low finish off the inside of the post and across the line!

86 minFabianski launches the ball downfield and Bellerin wins the header - a high boot prompts the ref to gift Arsenal a free kick and allows them to use up yet more time trying to see this crazy game out.

89 minCHANCE! Have Arsenal fans got any fingernails left? Swansea once again come so close to pulling level as Naughton's cross takes Mustafi out the game and puts Fer clear - but he heads the ball straight to Cech!

90 minFour minutes of added time for Arsenal to survive, four minutes for Swansea to snatch a draw.

90+1 minCHANCE! Every single player bar Fabianski is camped in the Arsenal half as Rangel's inswinging ball into the box finds Fernandez, but Cech once again claims from the header.

90+3 minCHANCE! Arsenal nearly make sure of all three points after Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the better of Fer and squares to Walcott - the latter misses his chance to get the hat-trick as he blasts over the bar.


4.54pmWhat a topsy-turvy game this was! Arsenal survive by the skin of their teeth but were made to sweat at the Emirates as Swansea City took them all the way in a 3-2 win for the home side.

4.55pmIt looked like the Gunners were going to run away with this after Theo Walcott's quickfire brace, but Gylfi Sigurdsson's strike gave Bob Bradley's side some hope going into the break. Mesut Ozil then restored the hosts' two-goal lead just before the hour, but Borja Baston's goal and Granit Xhaka's red card left the North Londoners sweating right till the end.

4.57pmThat's all we have time for but stay with Sports Mole for match reports and reaction from this and all the other Premier League games this afternoon! Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Head Coach Bob Bradley of the United States watches his team lose to Spain at Gillette Stadium on June 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Read Next:
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