Arsenal beat the absolute butt off of Swansea, scoring four times and not really letting the Swans do anything approaching soccer after the first half hour or so. Here’s how it went down.
Tenacity at the start
For the first thirty minutes or so, this was a pretty even game. Swansea went after it, they pressed well and harassed Arsenal on and off the ball. For a good while, I had concerns as to whether this would be a Typical Game Against Swansea. They even had a penalty claim after Arsenal’s first goal, though referee Mike Jones didn’t give it (in fact, he booked Ki Sung-yueng for diving instead).
Ugly duckling-sea City
Get it? Because the ugly duckling turns into a swa...whatever. I’m a little bit sorry about that headline. But good golly, Swansea’s not very good. The doors really came off in the second half; Arsenal were already ahead 1-0, but after the second goal went in courtesy of Alex Iwobi and a defender’s leg, the fight went out of the Swans and it was 4-0 almost before you could blink. Arsenal had a few chances to get a fifth, but couldn’t quite get it done even after Swansea had mostly conceded the game.
When we were losing to Preston North End and getting basically played off the pitch, I will admit that I had something of a knee-jerk reaction to the performance of the Ramsey-Xhaka tandem that I and many others had wanted to see for so long. Considering they haven’t played together much, that was pretty stupid, and it looks even stupider now. They’re starting to get a bit of a feel for each other, and the last hour of the game showed what a midfield that can retain possession can do to a team (even if the opposition wasn’t great).