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Saturday 3 December 2016

Swansea do double over Arsenal with a late smash 'n' grab

Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis celebrates scoring
Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis celebrates scoring

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski returned to haunt his former club as a late goal from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis gave Swansea a 1-0 win over in-form Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

 

The Gunners, beaten at Swansea in November, were looking to keep up the pressure on Manchester City in the battle for second place in the Premier League, and created enough chances to win the match comfortably.

However, Fabianski – who left north London last summer in search of regular first-team football – produced a string of fine saves before Gomis (pictured) completed a smash-and-grab raid with a late header at the far post, which was given by the goal decision system after David Ospina had tried to claw the ball out.

The first half was largely forgettable as Arsenal failed to get a shot in on target, frustrated by Swansea’s tactics.

The Gunners, who had won nine of their last 10 league matches, started the second half with some purpose, thought, as Olivier Giroud almost converted a low cross at the near post before Alexis Sanchez lashed an angled drive into the side-netting.

Arsenal continued to press, with Aaron Ramsey the next to fire just wide from a tight angle and Fabianski blocked a close-range effort from Santi Cazorla.

With 24 minutes left, Jack Wilshere came on, replacing defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin, to make his 150th Arsenal appearance before Giroud made way for Theo Walcott.

Arsenal had finally found a second gear, with Swansea forced into some desperate deep defending. Fabianski came to Swansea’s rescue again when he blocked a point-blank shot from Nacho Monreal after the right-back got into the area on the overlap. The Poland stopper was having one of those nights as he beat away Sanchez’s snap-shot and then scrambled across to save Walcott’s follow-up, which really should have been buried from 10 yards out. There was then late drama at the other end as Swansea snatched a winner with just four minutes left.

Following a counter-attack, Jefferson Montero floated the ball over from the left, which was nodded down towards the opposite corner by Gomis. Ospina looked to have scooped the ball out, but the GDS signalled to the referee correctly that it was over the line.

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