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4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 2-2 Draw With Swansea City

Arsenal dropped two vital points after being held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea City on Tuesday night. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.

Olivier_Giroud Arsenal

Arsenal dropped two vital points after being held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea City on Tuesday night. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s destruction by Chelsea, Arsenal were preparing to steer their Premier League campaign back on track, with a win at home to Swansea. Flamini was recalled into the first eleven, whilst club-captain Thomas Vermaelen replaced the absent Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal were looking to hit the ground running to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s early humbling. Despite a positive start for Arsenal though, the psychological scars were still all too visible and the away side snatched a premature lead against the run of play. A simple cross fired in by Neil Taylor, setting up Bony to power home the opener.

The start was a poor one, but looked the right ammunition for Arsenal to respond. The home team hit Swansea at the other end through a series of neat passes, allowing Rosicky to fire an effort at Vorm, to which the Dutchman parried away.

Chances came and went, but yet again the killer edge required to convert looked far away. After a period of Arsenal pressure, Michel Vorm was finally forced into some tangible action when he thwarted Cazorla’s driven attempt, the resultant chance from an impressive, winding run by the Spaniard.

Half time arrived with a chorus of dismay ringing around the Emirates with this looking like another unstuck performance. Hopes of a second half revival would only be met if the Gunners had the fans on their side though.

Game restarted and it took it’s time to reach the levels the first period had provided. Michu’s return from injury was nearly capped with a goal, but his miscued header kept the score at 1-0.

Wenger switched pace for a robust clinical nature, when Oxlade-Chamberlain was replace by Lukas Podolski and the German had an immediate impact. Gibbs gliding past Angel Rangel brilliantly to set-up Podolski who powered home the equaliser from close range.

It took nominal time for the Gunners to extend their goal tally to a winning position. Podolski again at the forefront of play, to provide Giroud with the chance to comfortably dispatch. A vital goal by the Frenchman which had turned the game on its head.

Just as the home side thought they had escaped another relapse, Swansea broke, eager to punish some complacent Arsenal defending. Britton burst through the middle of defence with Per Mertesacker’s outstretched leg sending the ball against Szczesny before cannoning off the keeper’s leg, on to the onrushing Flamini and rolled agonisingly into the empty net. A soft and unfortunate goal, but one which put the score level at 2-2 in the 89th minute.

As if it seemed possible for no more action to arise, but for the referee to spark a final moment of controversy. Pablo Hernandez set clean through beyond a waning Arsenal back-line, but denied the chance to convert when referee Lee Probert blew the full-time whistle amid a solid goal-scoring chance. Swansea furious, but the score ended level as another failed victory all but compounded Arsenal’s slim title hopes for yet another season.

Here I will now analyse four talking points from this clash:

1) Hit For Six- Loss of Confidence

Of course it is considered unhealthy to ponder past results, but the Chelsea performance will live long in the hurting memory of Arsenal players and fans a-like. With the loss still strong in our minds it becomes a mammoth task to re-group and turn all focus onto a game so quickly.

In this game, we looked reluctant to throw too many men forward at once, in fear our back-line would suffer. This cautious attitude was the cause for us going behind and from this moment on we were on the back-foot. There is certainly a feeling of un-ease at sides like Everton, eager for Champions League football, clipping at our heels whilst we battle our annual season descent, but we must remain focused to deal with whatever comes our way.

2) Getting The Midfield Right

As I have previously mentioned, being Arsenal manager, Wenger must work to get the Gunner’s midfield formula spot on. With runners such as the Ox or Podolski, it is important we implement them alongside ball-players such as Cazorla, Rosicky or, when fit, Özil.

After his torrid afternoon at the weekend, Oxlade-Chamberlain returned on the wing as oppose to the holding role which, although did not prevent two goals, meant with Flamini in the side we did break up a greater number of Swansea moves efficiently. It’s vital we get the balance right in midfield, but our cause isn’t helped by a number of injuries at present.

3) Olivier The Key?

Over the passing months Wenger has faced a barrage of critical comments relating to his decision to not make any permanent moves in January. One area which was in high focus being the forward position currently inhabited by Olivier Giroud. Often under fire, Giroud’s all-round game might be lacking but you can’t really argue with his strike-rate in recent month, as he’s verging towards a goal per game.

There have been question marks over his psychological state since the revelations in his private life, but he can be clinical if we give him the right service. Podolski put the ball in an area Giroud loves to attack last night for his goal, and if we can do this more often, I’m sure we’ll see the Frenchman among the goals more often.

4) Needing A Forward Step

Year-after-year it looks less like a title challenge and more like a money earner for Arsenal with our persistence not to spend money and put up with fourth for another year. This game has blunted hopes of a title challenge beyond doubt and we now must focus on holding off Everton, a tough ask given our next two games are against City and then the Toffess themselves.

All clubs are developing aside from ourselves and whilst others believe the solution is to sack Wenger or throw our supposed load of financial dominance at it, I believe an FA Cup victory will go a long way to giving the players the boost they need and give us the confidence to push further ahead.

No ‘4 Talking Points’ article will be available for the City game unfortunately, but let’s hope for a revival at home to the Sky Blues. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below!

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