Saturday, September 28, 2013

Swansea City 1 - Arsenal 2

I didn't get home from this morning's bike ride until the first half was nearly over. The game was scoreless, but I did see the play where Giroud should have put Arsenal on top with nearly the final kick of the half.

In the second half, Arsenal dominated possession until they led 2-0 on goals from winger Serge Gnaby (from Ramsey) and the unstoppable Aaron Ramsey (from Giroud). Gnaby was deputizing again for the injured Theo Walcott. From what I saw in the second half, Gnaby looks like the real deal. He doesn't have Theo's blazing speed, but he plays hard and with confidence, touch, and good vision. He also helps out on defense, which is a weakness of Theo's game. I'm not suggesting (yet) that Gnaby should be first choice ahead of Walcott, but he's going to give both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain some real competition for the right-side winger position. Ramsey's goal (Arsenal's second) came on a beautifully worked play, after another long spell of possession.

After that, Arsenal seemed to take the foot off the accelerator, and started playing defense - always a dangerous proposition for the Gunners. The consequence was that Arsenal once again failed to keep a clean sheet and had to work awfully hard in the final part of the game to prevent the Swans from scoring an equalizer. Still, all's well that end's well, and Arsenal are back top of the table, now two points ahead of Spurs who only managed a draw today at home to Chelsea. More surprisingly, reigning champs Man U languish in 12th place, having lost for the third time already this season to West Brom. Also, Man City lost away to Aston Villa, which puts them in 5th place, a full five points behind the Gunners. It's early days yet, but one thing's for sure: the Premiership championship this year is wide open; and the Gunners have a team that, while thin at certain positions, can compete.

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