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Arsenal 1-2 Swansea City: More misery

Arsenal could not take advantage of a weakened Swansea City side at the Emirates and continue to throw away any hope at a title challenge.

Vic Akers (l) reading Arsene Wenger (r) tweets about Arsenal's performance.
Vic Akers (l) reading Arsene Wenger (r) tweets about Arsenal's performance.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal was unable to take advantage of poor results by Leicester City, Tottenham and Manchester City today as they fell to relegation-concerned Swansea City 2-1.

Arsenal made three changes to their starting lineup at Old Trafford with Per Mertesacker, Joel Campbell, and Olivier Giroud coming in for Laurent Koscielny, Danny Welbeck, and Theo Walcott, respectively. Koscielny missed the match entire with a slight issue with his left calf.

Arsenal were disjointed early but had a great chance within three minutes as Alexis Sanchez set up Giroud but the Frenchman's effort was well blocked by oft-rumored Arsenal target Ashley Williams.

Giroud had another wonderful chance blocked a few minutes later as Joel Campbell found Hector Bellerin with a great throughball. From that point on, the Gunners were extremely comfortable and largely on top.

Alexis was unlucky not to get a goal as his shot in the 11th minute hit off the right post right back to former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Campbell opened the scoring three minutes later in spectacular fashion. Alexis found the onrushing Costa Rican who controlled his sliding half-volley effort wonderfully past Fabiasnki. It was a wonderfully made and taken goal from an Arsenal side that have struggled to put the ball in the back of the net at home this season.

Arsenal continued their dominance after the goal, but the Swans did have moments of danger. In the 26th minute, QPR-loanee Leroy Fer curled and effort just over Petr Cech's crossbar.

Then, Swansea leveled proceedings against the run of play in the 32nd minute through Wayne Routledge. Cech had played a lofted ball up to Ozil who appeared to be fouled by Jordi Amat. The ball fell to Jack Cork who easily played in the speedy Routledge. The winger made no mistake in his 1v1 with Cech.

Arsenal should have regained the lead before halftime when Mertesacker headed the ball back to Giroud on a platter, but the Frenchman's weak footed effort pinged off the crossbar.

The second half was set up to be open and more attacking, as shown by Swansea's sub of Gylfi Sigurdsson for Ki Sung-Yueng, and it did not disappoint, for the neutral, at least.

Alexis Sanchez continued his run of bad luck in front of goal with a couple of back-to-back, stunning misses off Ozil set pieces. First, an Ozil corner fell to him in the box, but his effort went just wide. Minutes later, after Ozil was felled by Williams, he nicked a beautiful Ozil free kick straight to Fabianski. All the service needed was the slightest touch in any direction (other than backwards, sure) and the Gunners would have taken the lead.

Danny Welbeck came on in the 64th minute for Campbell, as the latter had run out of steam. Joel had been the best player in the first half, by far, but struggled to make a contribution in the second half.

Immediately after the substitution, Sigurdsson had a chance to put Swansea on top. Andre Ayew played Sigurdsson past Mertesacker and through on goal, but Cech forced the attacker wide and he could not get the angle right on his close-range effort.

Alexis, stop me if you heard this one before, nearly put the Gunners back on top with a free kick of his own in the 68th minute, but his shot caromed off the crossbar. Sigurdsson seemed to atone for his earlier miss by getting a vital head on the free kick, pushing it just high enough to hit the cross bar.  At this point, Alexis was the left post away from the Excruciating Miss Hat Trick.

In the 74th minute, Swansea City went on top through Ashley Williams. Gabriel felled Ayew on a Swansea City break. Sigurdsson played a wonderful free kick into the box and it was turned home by Williams. Cech possibly should have gotten more contact on the free kick but his slight touch allowed the ball to fall right to the Welshman. Hard to blame the keeper due to the pace and whip on the free kick.

Immediately after the goal, Theo Walcott was subbed on for Alexis. Arsenal's ability to create dangerous challenges went with Alexis as the Gunners failed to create any opportunities of note over the final fifteen minutes and stoppage time.

Arsenal had a penalty shout in the 90th minute as Routledge seemed to impede Aaron Ramsey's run into the box, but nothing was given. There appeared to be some contact but there weren't major protestations from the Gunners.

Welbeck had a half-chance from a Walcott left-footed cross, but in the end, there was not enough power on the cross to cause any real trouble.

Arsenal had a couple of  opportunities in the 95th minute, but Ozil's free kick was punched clear by Fabianski and his corner soon thereafter was overhit.

With the loss, the third straight in all competitions, Arsenal are 6 points behind Leicester City and 3 points behind Tottenham going into Saturday's North London derby.

(Editor's note: In a previous version of this report, that idiot, FBJ0, thought that the NLD was Sunday. It's not. It's Saturday. We apologize for the error and hope you didn't change your weekend plans because of that incorrect date.)