London - Arsenal celebrated Arsene Wenger's 800th Premier
League game as manager with a win but only after coming from a goal behind to
beat Swansea City 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Swans went ahead in the 22nd minute when Sam Clucas
scored his first goal for the Welsh club since a pre-season transfer from Hull
But Sead Kolasinac equalised six minutes after half-time and
Aaron Ramsey put Arsenal ahead seven minutes after that as the Gunners recorded
their 10th successive home win in the Premier League.
There were few signs early in the game of the struggle in
store for Wenger's men and such was Arsenal's command in the first 20 minutes
they felt free to pass the ball with all the intensity of a five-a-side
Their lack of urgency, however, meant that Arsenal's only
significant efforts on goal in that period came when Per Mertesacker headed an
Alexis Sanchez free-kick straight at former Gunners 'keeper Lukasz Fabianski
and Hector Bellerin's shot was blocked by Federico Fernandez.
Perhaps the feeling that it was all too easy was responsible
for the error by Laurent Koscielny that led to Swansea taking the lead.
As he stepped forward to clear a long diagonal ball from
Mike van Der Hoorn, the Frenchman stumbled and then fell, leaving Swansea's
on-loan Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham in possession and in space.
Abraham instantly turned and slipped the ball between
Bellerin and Mertesacker for Clucas to run onto and roll his shot under Arsenal
goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The shock should have roused Arsenal, but they were still
lethargic. Mesut Ozil was unable to reach a pass over the defence by Sanchez
and Clucas might have had a second goal as a gap suddenly opened up in front of
him before he shot just wide of Cech's right-hand post.
Fabianski did not have to make a serious save until the 40th
minute, when Sanchez exchanged passes with Nacho Monreal and fired a fierce
shot towards the far top corner. Fabianski, though, flung out his right arm to
push the ball over the crossbar.
Swansea had yet another chance to double their lead when
Mertesacker was caught in possession by Jordan Ayew, who advanced and saw his
shot saved by Cech at the expense of a corner.
Whatever veteran French boss Wenger said at half-time seemed
to inspire his players and a more aggressive Arsenal were level six minutes
after the break.
Alexandre Lacazette forced his way into the Swansea penalty
area and both he and Ozil had shots blocked. The ball ran loose to Kolasinac
and although Fabianski got a hand to his shot he could not keep it out.
If Arsenal expected Swansea to collapse, they were
disappointed. They had the ball in the net barely a minute later only for
Abraham's close-range finish to be ruled out for offside.
But in the 58th minute Arsenal were ahead. This time
Kolasinac was the creator, chesting the ball down and finding Ramsey in an
unusual amount of space in the Swansea defence.
The Welshman's first-time left-foot shot was not powerfully
struck, but too well-placed for Fabianski to save.
Suddenly full of running, Arsenal made chances to extend
their lead. Lacazette was inches from connecting with Bellerin's cross from the
right, and Bellerin's shot at full stretch from Ramsey's pass sent the ball
looping over Fabianski but against the bar.