- Arsenal vs Swansea

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Tuesday 25 March 2014 | Emirates Stadium | Referee: Lee Probert | Attendance 59,937

  • Lukas Podolski (73)
  • Olivier Giroud (74)
2 - 2
  • Wilfried Bony (11)
  • Mathieu Flamini (90 OG)

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Match report

Arsenal's Barclays Premier League title hopes suffered a further setback after Mathieu Flamini's late own goal ensured Swansea City salvaged a 2-2 draw in north London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger endured, rather than celebrated, his 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal when his side lost 6-0 at Chelsea on Saturday, and there was more disappointment as the tally ticked to 1,001 at Emirates Stadium.

Wilfried Bony put the visitors in front with an early header, but substitute Lukas Podolski converted from close range in the 73rd minute, before providing the assist for Olivier Giroud to give his side the lead just over one minute later.

The defining moment came in second-half stoppage time, though, when the ball rebounded into the Arsenal net off Flamini after hitting the feet of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The result leaves Arsenal two points adrift of third-placed Liverpool, and six behind leaders Chelsea, while a point for Swansea will prove valuable in their fight for survival.

Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both lined up for Arsenal after the Football Association cleared up the confusion that surrounded the former's sending off in Saturday's Stamford Bridge humbling.

There was no mistaking the identity of Swansea's biggest change, as Michu – responsible for two late goals in his side's 2-0 win at Arsenal last season – came into Garry Monk's starting XI for the first time in more than three months.

It was Oxlade-Chamberlain who was first to test Michel Vorm in the Swansea goal, unleashing a fierce half-volley from the edge of the box, and the visitors posed little threat in the early stages. However, they found themselves ahead on 11 minutes when left-back Neil Taylor, starting in place of Ben Davies, found Bony with a cross from deep, which the Ivorian headed in from 12 yards.

Wenger refused to talk to the media in the build-up to Tuesday's match, but it was the home fans who fell silent in the immediate aftermath of the opener.

Half of the ground mustered a cheer nine minutes later when Per Mertesacker made the net ripple with a header from a corner, but his effort deceptively crept the wrong side of the left-hand upright.

Arsenal's quest for a leveller left them exposed at the back at times and Swansea wasted a chance to double their lead when they outnumbered the home defence four to two, before Santi Cazorla tested Vorm with a low strike two minutes from the break.

The hosts emerged for the second period with pre-interval boos still ringing in their ears, but their chances were limited, with Tomas Rosicky's wayward 20-yard strike about as good as it got for Wenger's men.

Podolski looked bright after coming on in place of Oxlade-Chamberlain though, and tapped in after good approach play by Gibbs down the right. And the Germany attacker turned provider almost immediately after, providing the cross for Giroud to convert from close range moments later.

But Arsenal were left red-faced and despondent at the death, when Britton's surge into the area prompted a series of unfortunate events that led to Flamini deflecting the ball into his own net.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It's difficult to swallow because the team gave absolutely everything tonight, their spirit was great. You wonder how we could draw a game like that, they had nothing and in the end it was 2-2.

"Basically, we gave them the two goals but overall the spirit was great and we have to recover from that last goal.

"The spirit was absolutely brilliant and you have to give credit to the players, even if result didn't go our way. At 2-1 we became too conservative because of what happened on Saturday and instead of continuing to attack it worries us more to keep the score."

Swansea manager Garry Monk: "This team goes to the end, I knew that we would have another chance and hopefully take it. They showed that desire and that application."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Wojciech Szczesny 4.0 6.33
5. Thomas Vermaelen 4.4 5.4
4. Per Mertesacker 5.67 6.37
3. Bacary Sagna 4.4 6.12
28. Kieran Gibbs 6.86 6.16
20. Mathieu Flamini 4.67 6.22
19. Santiago Cazorla 5.2 6.72
15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 4.2 5.27
7. Tomas Rosicky 5.8 6.2
8. Mikel Arteta 4.2 6.01
12. Olivier Giroud 6.5 7.05
Substitutes All Fans BFR
29. Kim Källström 2.25 4.86
9. Lukas Podolski 8.2 6.65
21. Lukasz Fabianski 0.0 5.0
25. Carl Jenkinson 0.0 5.75
22. Yaya Sanogo 2.4 4.61
40. Héctor Bellerín 0.0 3.2
44. Serge Gnabry 0.0 6.08
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Michel Vorm 5.33 5.19
6. Ashley Williams 4.0 4.92
22. Angel Rangel 4.67 4.69
3. Neil Taylor 4.33 2.74
4. Chico 2.0 4.48
7. Leon Britton 2.33 4.55
20. Jonathan De Guzmán 2.67 4.71
15. Wayne Routledge 2.67 5.0
8. Jonjo Shelvey 3.0 5.25
9. Michu 4.5 6.2
10. Wilfried Bony 6.75 6.43
Substitutes All Fans BFR
33. Ben Davies 5.0 4.69
21. José Cañas - 4.21
26. Álvaro Vázquez - 3.55
2. Jordi Amat - 3.65
25. Gerhard Tremmel - 3.12
12. Nathan Dyer 6.0 5.42
11. Pablo Hernández 5.0 5.14

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