Premier League: Arsenal 0 Swansea City 2
By Football News
Swansea City upset Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday thanks to a late brace from Spanish star Michu.
Michu found himself through on goal with three minutes remaining and beat Wojciech Szczesny with a fine curling finish, and sealed the points in the 91st minute with another confident strike after a slip from Carl Jenkinson let him through on goal.
The defeat leaves Arsenal 12 points behind reigning champions Manchester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Everton.
In-form striker Olivier Giroud was replaced by Gervinho having played seven consecutive matches for Arsenal, while Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna missed out at the back.
Michael Laudrup's Swansea team went to the Emirates after a fine 3-1 win over high-flying West Bromwich Albion, and started the game the stronger of the sides.
Thomas Vermaelen made a fine tackle in the fourth minute to deny Itay Shechter with the striker through on goal, while the home side had to scramble the ball away a minute later in a frenetic opening.
Laudrup's side could have taken the lead on 13 minutes - Shechter found Angel Rangel free on the right of the penalty area with a cute pass, but Szczesny brilliantly denied the Spaniard twice.
Nathan Dyer had a glorious chance on the half hour after the forward burst on to Michu's knock-down, but Vermaelen did superbly to deny the winger by blocking his goal-bound effort from 16 yards.
Gervinho had a chance to head home from 12 yards but could only glance his header away from goal as the home side departed to boos at the half-time whistle.
However, Wenger must have had strong words for his players during the break, as the Gunners came out of the interval full of vigour, with Cazorla's low 18-yard drive stinging the hands of Gerhard Tremmel on 47 minutes.
Wenger's much-needed changes arrived on 65 minutes, with Lukas Podolski making way for Giroud, while the disappointing Gervinho left the pitch for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to inject some pace into the side.
Controversy ensued on 69 minutes when Chico Flores got the slightest of touches on the ball as Giroud looked to be through on goal, with referee Mark Clattenburg doing well to spot the challenge as Wenger fumed on the touchline.
Two minutes later Cazorla showed fine technique to control a left-footed volley from 18 yards, but Tremmel did well to hold onto the swerving effort.
Great interplay from Luke Moore and Dwight Tiendalle saw the defender through on goal on the right, with Szczesny again on hand to produce a fine stop for the hosts.
Vermaelen powered a header at goal from 12 yards out as the hosts went searching for a valuable winner, but Michu left Arsenal's title hopes in tatters minutes later with two strikes of the highest predatory quality.
The home fans' exasperated reaction at the full-time whistle suggests the transfer window can't come soon enough for the Gunners.
Laudrup meanwhile will be delighted with an excellent performance and three unexpected points.