London - Swansea City captain Ashley
Williams's late goal earned his side a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium on
Wednesday that further dented Arsenal's Premier League title chances.
The central defender scrambled home 16
minutes from time as Arsene Wenger's side were made to count the cost of
hitting the woodwork three times.
Joel Campbell had given the hosts an early
lead, but Wayne Routledge levelled before the break and the south Wales side
produced a determined second-half display to boost their hopes of avoiding the
While they pulled six points clear of the
relegation zone, Arsenal remain five points below leaders Leicester City.
Arsenal made three changes to the side that
were beaten 3-2 at Manchester United on Sunday, with Per Mertesacker, Campbell
and Olivier Giroud all returning.
Swansea were without head coach Francesco
Guidolin, who was taken to hospital with a chest infection, so Alan Curtis took
He made six changes to his side, with a
Premier League debut for left-back Stephen Kingsley and a first start for Leroy
Fer among the notable additions.
Arsenal had failed to score in four of
their previous six matches at the Emirates Stadium, but quickly signalled their
intent to ensure that sequence did not continue.
Francis Coquelin shot over the bar early
on, while Giroud could not quite get a proper connection on Hector Bellerin's
Alexis Sanchez was pulling the strings and
he was unlucky not to open the scoring as he hit the post, seconds after an
initial air shot, with former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski left to watch
Wenger's side did break the deadlock 15
minutes in, with Campbell showing cleverness to strike the ball past Fabianski
having seemingly lost his footing from Sanchez's pass.
It was the Costa Rican's fourth goal of the
campaign, one of the other three having come in the 3-0 win over Swansea at the
Liberty Stadium, and it immediately eased the tension around the Emirates.
Bellerin came close to a second from
distance, with Fabianski just able to retrieve the ball before Aaron Ramsey
could reach the rebound.
But Swansea were a threat on the break and
former Queens Park Rangers midfielder Fer went close with a powerful drive from
the edge of the area.
Campbell saw a deflected shot gathered by
Fabianski, but Swansea went on to level with a goal out of the blue on 32
Mesut Ozil lost out to Jordi Amat on the
halfway line, with Wenger claiming a foul, but play continued and Jack Cork fed
Routledge, who finished coolly past Petr Cech.
Arsenal's toils continued when Giroud
volleyed against the bar after Mertesacker had headed on Ramsey's cross.
It was Swansea who looked brighter at the
start of the second half as Andre Ayew shot over from the edge of the area,
while they looked they much improved at the back.
Wenger replaced Campbell with Danny Welbeck
and was met with chants of "You don't know what you're doing!" from
his own fans, whose frustrations quickly increased.
Moments afterwards, Swansea squandered a
chance to go ahead as Gylfi Sigurdsson rounded Cech from Ayew's pass, but
dragged his shot wide.
At the other end, Arsenal hit the woodwork
for a third time as Sanchez's deflected free kick had Fabianski beaten.
Swansea, though, went on to score a winning
goal that could have huge ramifications for both ends of the table as Williams
netted in scrappy fashion.
With Cech unable to claim the ball, he
deflected in from Sigurdsson's free-kick in a moment that just about summed up
Arsenal's day, ahead of Saturday's pivotal showdown with north London rivals