Our 10th game in the premier league this season saw us face Swansea City at home which looked like a routine win but it turned out to be a difficult game as we can expect in this league. It was also Arsene Wenger’s 800 game incharge. In the end it was the 3 points that mattered & we got them comfortably at the full time whistle. The team automatically picked itself from the last premier league game where we played brilliantly and it meant that our best attacking trio started a back to back league game for the first time.
It was really a game of two halves where we looked a little dodgy in the first half. We started off very sharply as we expectedly dominated possession and tried to create chances in the first few minutes. Then we conceded the opener because of some very poor play starting with Alexis who gave the ball away, then Koscielny slipped to give it away again & then one pass opened up the goal for their Lwb who scored (Clucas who was playing out of position). Cech could have done a lot better for the goal and Bellerin could have been more aware. After that we were very poor in the first half as Swans sit deep & soaked all the pressure. It was becoming frustrating as swansea’s game plan was working. Our tempo & build up was slow and it all became stale towards the end of first half. Mertesacker didn’t have the best of halves where he was struggling with pace everywhere, we were kinda lucky to go into the break only one goal down. We came out a lot stronger in the second half as Wenger clearly worked his magic during the break. We started on the front foot as we looked a lot better in our passing & buildup. We scored within 6 minutes through Kolasinac’s powerful shot after some brilliant play & movement between Lacazette and Özil. Then it was all us in the second half and we deservedly took the lead in 58th minute through Ramsey who finished expertly from a Kolasinac cross which was made possible by Xhaka’s precision & vision. Then we kept coming at swansea with high tempo & power but just couldn’t score. Alexis had his moments but gave the ball away many times, Giroud came on later & had chances but couldn’t score. Team massively improved in the second half and we shouldn’t repeat our weak performance like in the first half. From here we have a tough run of games and we really should be levelling up our performances as the crucial time starts now.
FIRST TEAM :
Cech – 5
Could have done better for the goal we conceded. Didn’t look comfortable in the first half but made some saves and didn’t really had to do anything in the second half. He should improve now as he looks shaky at times.
Koscielny – 5.5
Didn’t have the best of games, as he was at fault for the swans goal. Looked unassured, passing was stray and committed some mistakes too. I don’t know if its his persistent Achilles problem but he will think he can improve on this game as he is our best defender. Missed an easy chance from a set piece too.
Mertesacker – 5
Largely struggled in the first half as he looked all over the place. Pace is something, he can’t really handle and Swansea exploited that in the first half. Improved in the 2nd half.
Monreal – 7
Was our best CB on the day as he looked assured and good. Passing & reading of the game was good, nothing really troubled him. Looked good even when he was put in place of Kolasinac at LWB.
Bellerin – 6
He could have been aware of Clucas when he scored and had a torrid first half. Improved a lot in the 2nd half as he looked dangerous on the counter and put some good crosses in, which was never his strong point before.
Had a bad first half like the rest of the team but grew into the game in 2nd where he scored the winner. Ran the game later on & was always looking decisive.
Xhaka – 7
Similarly, had a bad first half where he was sloppy at times. But completely changed in the 2nd half where his passing was top class. Distributed beautifully at times & always looked confident in the 2nd half.
Kolasinac – 8 (MOTM)
He was our best player on the day as he completely changed the game in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half where he scored the equaliser & created the winner. Was unplayable & sublime at times while going forward and was a real threat. We have got a very good player there and he looks solid game after game. I hope he’s ok as he went off with a knock.
Özil – 7
He was good and was his usual self in creativity. Worked hard & tried to create in 1st half too. Became even better in the 2nd half where his touches & creation was good. His good play got us the first goal & could have created more.
Lacazette – 6
Didn’t have the best of games as he didn’t had many chances because Swansea sit quite deep. Wasn’t involved much but was instrumental in the first goal we scored as his good play in the box led to the chance. Can improve on this performance.
Sanchez – 6.5
He was good but gave too many balls away which is quite usual for him. Has to improve his ball retaining power but he is certainly a dangerous player and it showed at times where he was a problem for Swansea. Created some chances and could have scored 1 but didn’t happen.
Holding – 6
Giroud – 6
Substitutes didn’t really had much to do, Giroud had 2-3 chances where he could have scored and Holding did ok when he replaced Kolasinac due to a knock.
Thats is it from my review & ratings. Thank you for reading & feel free to interact with us at Arsenal-ClockEndTalk on Twitter & Facebook. All your comments are welcome.
Tejasvi Bhandari ( @SaviAfc on Twitter )