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Arsenal 2-2 Swansea: Instant Reaction


Julian Finney

Arsenal are now firmly in the race for 4th place after failing to adequately to respond to Saturday's 6-0 defeat against Chelsea, drawing 2-2 with Swansea City. Arsenal started brightly, but went behind in the 11th minute after Wilfried Bony beat Thomas Vermaelen to Neil Taylor's cross and headed past Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal did absolutely nothing of note for the next 50 minutes, but then Lukas Podolski, on for the extremely disappointing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, converted Kieran Gibbs' cutback. Gibbs had been the only Arsenal player to get behind the Swansea defence all evening, and there was finally a runner to meet his cross. 66 seconds later, Arsenal were ahead. Lukas Podolski, who is far better as a substitute, played a perfect cross right in front of Olivier Giroud, who couldn't miss.

Arsenal, though, went far too deep after going 2-1 up, and were under pressure for the last 10 minutes. It finally told when Leon Britton went through on goal in the 90th minute. He lost the ball, but it was deflected off of Per Mertesacker towards Szczesny, who cleared it away. Unfortunately, he cleared it right to the onrushing Mathieu Flamini, who had initially lost Britton, for a comical own-goal.

Ultimately, Arsenal paid the price for playing within themselves. To have only 1 shot on target between going down and the 73rd minute is not good enough. Instead of giving them some room for at least 4th, Arsenal are now just 6 points ahead of Everton, who have a game in hand.