Search

Arsenal at their lowest ebb after Michu double fires Swansea to famous win

17:05 01 December 2012

Swansea City

Swansea City's Miguel Michu scores his side's first goal in the 88th minute at the Emirates. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Premier League: Arsenal 0 Swansea City 2

Arsene Wenger faced the wrath of Arsenal supporters again after Michu’s late double gave Swansea a stunning victory at the Emirates.

The Spanish striker scored twice in the final five minutes to condemn the Gunners to a fourth league defeat of the season, and pile the pressure on beleaguered manager Wenger.

The Frenchman had seen his side fail to inspire during 88 largely anodyne minutes, and then succumb to a pair of well-taken goals from the Spaniard, who increased his league tally to 10 for the season.

Swansea had certainly held their own and were worthy of a point, but the way they took all three added further fuel to the fire of disgruntled Arsenal fans who had demonstrated against the board before the game.

They have plenty more to complain about now on the pitch too, as the Gunners dropped to 10th place in the table, five points off the pace of rivals Spurs in fourth place. At the moment Wenger’s record of always finishing in the top four in his 16 years in charge looks to be seriously in doubt.

After successive away draws at Aston Villa and Everton, Wenger had predicted that his side’s home form could now come to the fore and, with four games at the Emirates in December, propel them back into the top four.

Given that West Ham’s lunchtime victory over Chelsea had sent them above both the Gunners and Swansea before kick-off, the need for three points was urgent, but winning football matches is seldom straightforward for Arsenal these days, it seems.

Arsenal had been forced into a number of changes in defence, with Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny ruled out after picking up injuries at Everton meaning a return for Carl Jenkinson at right-back. Thomas Vermaelen moved back into the centre and Kieran Gibbs started at left-back.

Further up the field Lukas Podolski returned on the left flank with Aaron Ramsey dropping to the bench and Gervinho led the line in the place of Olivier Giroud.

Given that the last time these sides had met at the Liberty Stadium at the start of the year Arsenal had been completely outplayed in losing 3-2, the feeling of complacency around the Emirates was surely misplaced.

Swansea arrived on the back of a comprehensive win over West Brom and were not afraid to make the early running. The Welshmen should have taken the lead after 14 minutes when Michu found space in behind Gibbs, but Wojciech Szczesny blocked both his first attempt and his follow-up.

On the half-hour mark the visitors had another glorious chance, Michu’s header releasing Nathan Dyer, but the little winger took too long to pull the trigger and Vermaelen came back to save the day with a superb sliding challenge.

Arsenal had offered little. Podolski had a sight of goal but tried to manoeuvre the ball on to his favoured left foot and the chance was gone, while Gervinho was a whisker away from converting a Jenkinson cross from close range.

But the Gunners were struggling to dominate as they are used to at home. Swansea’s excellent Leon Britton and Ki Sung-Yeung were proving a considerable barrier in central midfield where Arsenal’s creative hub of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla failed to get a grip on the game in the first half.

After the break one presumed Arsenal would turn the screw but after one hopeful penalty appeal by Gervinho and then another when Cazorla burst into the box, it seemed the Gunners were already getting desperate.

And Swansea were always a threat. Just past the hour mark Angel Rangel came forward on a surging run from right-back, twisted into the area and let fly with a shot that was deflected into the side-netting.

The Emirates crowd were getting frustrated and Wenger reacted by bringing on two players who many felt should have been playing in the first place, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud, to replace the ineffective Gervinho and Podolski.

With 20 minutes to go and news filtering through of Spurs winning at Fulham, it was time for Arsenal to raise the tempo a notch, and a rasping shot from Cazorla was saved by Gerhard Tremmel moments after Giroud had tumbled theatrically in the box and, once again, referee Mark Clattenburg had waved away penalty appeals.

Both teams had played on Wednesday night and tired going into the last 20 minutes, but Arsenal’s need to find a winner was tempered by the fact that the Welshmen were on the same mission. With just five minutes remaining, Swansea’s two substitutes, Luke Moore and Dwight Tiendalli, exchanged passes and the latter was denied by an excellent save from Szczesny.

That was a warning for Arsenal and it was one they did not heed. Two minutes later Michu was bearing down on the Arsenal goal and the Spaniard made no mistake, curling a left-footed shot beyond Szczesny to send the visiting Swansea supporters wild.

Arsenal did not have long to find an equaliser, but instead they handed Swansea a second when Jenkinson was robbed on the right and Michu was calmness personified as he again ran clear and buried the ball beyond Szczesny.

The Polish goalkeeper was furious, as were the home supporters who streamed out of the stadium firing off angry words at Wenger and the board. A tally of 21 points from 15 games and mid-table – it is not good enough for Arsenal and everybody knows it, most of all Wenger.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere (Rosicky, 79), Walcott, Gervinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 66), Podolski (Giroud, 66).

Subs not used: Mannone, Rosicky, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin.

Booked: Vermaelen.

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Ki, De Guzman (Tiendalli, 74), Shechter (Moore, 66), Michu.

Subs not used: Cornell, Monk, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly.

Goals: Michu 88, 90

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Attendance: 60,098

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he is enjoying the best time of his managerial career as he prepares to take Tottenham to Manchester City for a title showdown on Sunday.

Yesterday, 09:27
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere will remain sidelined for at least the next two or three weeks.

Peter Crouch celebrates his decisive goal for Tottenham at Manchester City in May 2010

Sunday promises to be a big day in the title fight as the Premier League’s top four teams go head to head – Leicester City visit Arsenal while Tottenham travel to face Manchester City.

Kevin Wimmer:

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.

Thu, 09:00
Left to right: Gareth Davies, Max Hanson, Joe Northover, head coach Paul Doyle, Renat Samur, Alex Vonckx, Max Green

Haringey Aquatics teenager Renat Samur recorded a double as the club collected a total of five gold medals at the ASA Middlesex Age Group Championships.

Thu, 08:30
Back row (left to right): John Beckett, Joe Bruce, Wyn Bliss, George Everitt, Nick Corbett, Joe Beckett. Front row: Joel Robb, Ben Miller, Alfie Buxton

Haringey’s Under-13 indoor cricket side narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals of the London Youth Games at Harrow Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Thu, 08:00
Charlie Hodgson kicked three penalties in Saracens' victory over Exeter on Sunday. Pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall is confident his current squad can maintain the club’s momentum at the top of the table, despite the absence of key international stars due to the Six Nations.

Thu, 05:28
Junior Gunners

Arsenal head up to Manchester United later this month for what is always one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of any season.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe