How Arsenal Managed To Get Back Into The Title Race With An Emphatic Win

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners at the Liberty stadium against debut manager Paul Clement’s Swansea side. It was Clement’s first league game in charge of Swansea and the win meant that Arsenal moved up to third in the table and piled on the pressure on their fellow title contenders.

Clement, being Swansea’s third manager in a torrid season, had promised an end to the defensive disarray that had marked the end of his predecessor Bob Bradley’s short reign. The Englishman, who took over as Swans head coach on January 3, said Arsenal were appropriate opponents for his first game in charge.

And for much of the first half Swansea were as good as Clement’s word as they fought tenaciously, matching the intensity of Wenger’s side and stopped Arsenal having a meaningful sight of their goal. But his careful planning was undone by ill-fortune and dismal defending and loss of concentration.

Swansea started brightly and came close to breaking the deadlock when Kyle Naughton forced Petr Cech to tip a low strike around his right-hand post. Sanchez then tested Lukasz Fabianski with a stinging low strike from 20 yards out but that was Arsenal’s only effort on goal in a sluggish opening half-hour.

With 37 minutes into the game, Sanchez collected the ball from wide left and his dinked-in cross picked out an unmarked Mesut Ozil near the penalty spot, and the German’s header deflected kindly off Swans defender Alfie Mawson into Giroud’s feet and the French striker scored to give Arsenal the lead. Giroud has now scored in 5 successive games for his side, which is good news for the Gunners.

Swansea thought they had a found the chance for an equalizer just before half-time when Ki Sung-Yueng went down in the Arsenal penalty area after being clipped by Laurent Koscielny, who was making his 200th Premier League appearance, but referee Mike Jones opted to book the South Korean midfielder for going to ground too easily.

Arsenal though turned up the pressure in the second half and within 10 minutes of the restart found themselves leading by two goals. A loose ball broke to Iwobi in the area and his low right-footed shot took a huge deflection off the foot of Jack Cork and looped over the despairing dive of Fabianski and into the net.

There was another own goal scored by a Swansea player in the 67th minute by Kyle Naughton, again after Iwobi fired in a low cross, only for Naughton to deflect into the Swansea net. However the final goal of the game came from Arsenal star man Alexis Sanchez who capped his second half excellence with a predatory finish to round of the game 17 minutes before the full time whistle.

Paul Clement has a tough task ahead in the coming few months as he would look to keep Swansea in the Premier League despite them being bottom of the table currently. Arsenal however eased into third place ahead of Liverpool who face Manchester United on Sunday.

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