Arsenal’s disappointing week got a fitting end at the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday night, where another lead was blown in three minutes to fall to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City.
Arsene Wenger got tetchy when quizzed about his critics in the lead up to the game, but his retorts and arguments continue to provide further ammunition for those claiming his side’s defensive deficiencies are undermining them.
Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring by finishing off a terrific counter-attack started by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but were pegged back by a sensational free-kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson. Three minutes after than substitute Bafetimbi Gomis got on the end of a Jefferson Montero cross to head the winner.
Arsenal had no answer to that on a night where they struggled to create anything and they again blew a lead against a side they seemed to have little trouble withstanding for much of the match.
Here are the Arsenal ratings...
Wojciech Szczesny – 7
Had the least to do out of the two Polish goalkeepers, but was solid when called upon. He could do little about Sigurdsson’s sensational free-kick and had no chance for the winner from Gomis, so will be annoyed he was on the losing team.
Calum Chambers – 5
The youngster had a torrid time dealing with Jefferson Montero on the Swansea left and got booked in the process. He was beaten down the side for Gomis to head the home side in front. Subbed for Yaya Sanogo on 90 minutes.
Per Mertesacker – 6
The Arsenal captain had a steady afternoon and his partnership with Nacho Monreal seems to be getting more solid, but they were again found wanting at crucial the moments. He could do little about either goal and was generally solid throughout.
Nacho Monreal – 6
There were a number of worried Gunners fans before the game when thinking about the Spaniard going up against Wilfired Bony, but he battled hard and acquitted himself well in what was a tough contest. Gomis towered above him to put Swansea ahead, but he could do little against a much bigger opponent.
Kieran Gibbs – 7
Arsenal have one of the most consistent and reliable left-backs in the Premier League in Gibbs and he was his usual self at the Liberty Stadium – apart from one dodgy tackle that earned him a booking and led to the free-kick equaliser.
Mathieu Flamini – 6
Most effective when asked to limit his game to the dirty stuff and had a busy evening. Was booked for a foul he didn’t commit though, but this did not stop him getting stuck in. Eventually replaced by Jack Wilshere on 79 minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
Is growing in confidence and stature with ever fixture and was impressive again here. His driving run made the first goal possible and he was often the only outlet for the Gunners in a tight first half.
Aaron Ramsey – 5
Another poor game from the Welshman, who at least was more disciplined in central midfield as he has been recently. His passing was not quite there and he is struggling to reach the heights of last season. Came off for Theo Walcott with a little over ten minutes remaining.
Santi Cazorla – 6
Cazorla never goes missing in a match and will always provide his teammates with an option, but the Spaniard is struggling to add some cutting edge to his game at the moment.
Alexis Sanchez – 7
One of his quieter matches, but the Chilean was in the right place to put away the opening goal. Swansea defended stoutly throughout and he struggled to make an impact on the game.
Danny Welbeck – 7
Much like Sanchez, Welbeck struggled to make much of an impact on the game through lack of service and squandered a very good chance in the first half. However, he kept his head at the crucial moment to lay on the goal for Sanchez and worked tirelessly for the entire game, as usual.
Jack Wilshere – 5
Only had ten minutes to make an impact, but could do little to change the game.
Theo Walcott – 5
Still looking for game time in his recovery from a serious knee injury and could not change the game. His touch let him down when found with a terrific Sanchez pass with five minutes remaining.
Yaya Sanogo – 4
Would have got ‘n/a’ because he only had stoppage time to work in, but stupidly gave away a free-kick to relieve pressure on Swansea late in the game.