As it happened: Swansea v Arsenal, FA Cup

Swansea took on Arsenal, having already beat the Gunners once already this season.

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Swansea 2-2 Arsenal

Hello, and welcome to our first liveblog of the day. Here are the teams:

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Bartley, Davies, Dyer, Britton, de Guzman, Ki, Routledge, Graham. Subs: Tremmel, Michu, Hernandez, Monk, Shechter, Rangel, Agustien.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla. Subs: Martinez, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Podolski, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin.

We’re underway…

It’s been a good start from Arsenal, as they’ve controlled possession in the opening stages.

Swansea could well be under the cosh today, especially given that they are at less than full strength.

Swansea are sitting quite deep at the moment, and allowing Arsenal to play the ball around in their own half.

They’re clearly trying to emulate the counter-attacking style that brought them success at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season.

Wilshere has just lofted a free-kick straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.

Arsenal need to be less casual in attack in order to break Swansea down.

As I type, Danny Graham finds himself through on goal, and his powerful shot from just outside the box is parried away by the goalkeeper.

For the second time in quick succession, Vorm comfortably collects Wilshere’s free-kick.

Perhaps Arsenal need to change their set-piece taker.

Despite not having their best team out, Swansea look quite clever and rather Arsenal-esque at times when in possession.

Who says they don’t care about the FA Cup?

A good run by Walcott forces a free-kick on the edge of the area.

However, the England striker hammers the set-piece straight into the wall.

Some nice play from Arsenal, as they exchange a series of slick passes.

However, the move comes abruptly to a halt, as Arteta hits a clipped pass to no one in particular.

The Gunners have been conspicuously unimaginative in their opponents’ final third thus far.

Ramsey bursts into the box with the ball, following another flowing Arsenal move.

Nonetheless, the Welshman takes too long to pull the trigger, allowing the defender to recover and get a decisive tackle in.

(Michael Laudrup watches on – John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

Bartley’s header hits the bar, following a well-delivered free-kick from De Guzman.

That’s the closest we’ve come to a goal, with 37 minutes played.

Swansea are gradually coming more into this game and are beginning to get more possession and territory.

Arsenal, meanwhile, look like they’re going through the motions somewhat, as was the case in their last match against Southampton.

Cazorla’s strike from just outside the box is saved with relative ease by Vorm.

The Spaniard hasn’t influenced the game in the manner that he often does.


So half-time in a game in which goalscoring chances have been in short supply.

Swansea came closest when Bartley hit the cross bar with a header following a De Guzman free-kick, and Danny Graham also went close when played through on goal, while Arsenal have had a few pot shots without really ever looking too threatening.

Overall, there’s been some nice, attractive, passing football, but little in the way of end product from either team.

Let’s hope for a better second half.

The second half is underway…

According to OptaJoe, Arsenal have had two shots on target in the last 135 minutes of football.

Does little to play down critics’ claims that they try to walk the ball into the net all too often.

Arsenal break quickly, and Walcott lays it to Giroud.

The Frenchman’s strike is powerful, but straight at Vorm, who parries it away.

Strong claims for an Arsenal penalty, as Ramsey goes down, but the referee dismisses them.

The replay shows that it was the correct decision, as the Welshman clipped his own heels.

The visitors have noticeably upped the tempo in the last few minutes.

Rather ominously for Arsenal, Michu and Hernandez have come on for De Guzman and Routledge.

It surely proves that suggestions that Swansea can’t be bothered with this game are unfair.


Swansea 1-0 Arsenal: Straight after coming on, Michu lofts the ball over Mertesacker’s head and runs through on goal, powerfully shrugging off defenders as he does so and finishing coolly (57 mins).

What an impact he has made on this game! The Liberty Stadium is rocking as a result.

Tiendalli makes a great recovery tackle, after Gibbs gets ahead of him in the Swansea box.

This game has really livened up in recent minutes.

Ramsey does well to get his cross in from a tight angle, and the unmarked Giroud heads wastefully wide.

In case it wasn’t obvious before, Arsenal clearly need to buy a striker in the January transfer window.

Here’s how that Michu goal looked:

YouTube credit: MyFootballlights

Lukas Podolski has replaced the disappointing Ramsey for Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Walcott has hit a chance just wide from close range, after some sloppy passing by Swansea at the back.

Swansea are having to put in more last-ditch tackles than they’d like of late.

Roughly 15 minutes remain, with an Arsenal equaliser still very much looking on the cards.


Arsenal 1-1 Swansea: A corner is only half cleared, and Koscielny plays it back into Podolski, who turns and hits it into the net in exquisite fashion (81 mins).



Arsenal 2-2 Swansea: Phew! Firstly, it’s another beautiful goal (83 mins).

Gibbs plays a one-two with Giroud, ultimately volleying it powerfully into the net.

Shortly thereafter, a Swansea corner falls to an unmarked Danny Graham, who hammers it home with aplomb (85 mins).

The second half is certainly making up for the dullness of the first period.

Great chance for the onrushing Tiendalli, who can only find the side-netting when it’s laid to him just inside the box.

Both sides are throwing bodies forward in abundance now, as they desperately seek to avoid a replay.

Michu has been named Man of the Match, despite playing less than half the match.

Five minutes of added time to be played…


So a draw is probably a fair result ultimately.

Possibly owing to the fact that a potential replay was on the horizon, both teams really attacked at will in that second half, following a cagey opening period.

C0nsequently, there were moments of attacking brilliance and a series of bad defensive mistakes from both sides.

Having worked so hard to get back into the game, Arsenal will be disappointed to have let the lead slip in the dying stages, especially by conceding such a poor goal.

The hosts will also feel they could have won the game, but given how the Gunners dominated large parts of that second half, it would have been very harsh on them if they’d lost it.

Overall, as was the case with the West Ham-United game last night, both teams will be extremely irritated at the prospect of having to play each other again in the coming weeks.

(Swansea City’s Danny Graham celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game - John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

This sums proceedings up nicely…

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting, as always.

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