Arsenal moved into the top four, for a few hours at least, with a comprehensive win at the Liberty, completing a season double over Swansea for the first time since they returned to the top flight (2011).
That means we’ll win the treble now, right?
It was yet another slow start by the Gunners who struggled to find any sort of momentum in the first half an hour.
Facing a Swansea press that dissipated after about 25 minutes, Arsenal were ahead not long after as Olivier Giroud grabbed his fifth goal in the last five games – the first Arsenal player to do that since Adebayor.
What an annoying stat.
We finished the first half with a paltry three shots but that number seems a lot higher than we’ve had recently, so should we complain? Probably not, but we will anyway.
We started the second half a lot better. Our energy levels were up, our movement better and our attack sharper than a lump of damp moss.
Camping out in the Swansea box, Arsenal’s persistence paid off ten minutes after the break when Alex Iwobi’s deflected shot looped over Lukas Fabianski who had no chance.
Two up with 35 left. What was this madness?
Giroud was then replaced after a hour, unable to shake off a problem he’d carried for most of the game. The Ox was his replacement, leaving Arsenal fans asking, once again, ‘what is a ‘Lucas’?’
It was three with another deflected effort, again created by Iwobi, who fired wide but hit Kyle Naughton, the former Tottenham player, sending the ball past the former Arsenal man in goal. Not buying any new players in January? No problem, we’ll just promote D. Flection from the Academy. We’ve been training him for a while and it seems he’s finally ready.
Next up it was Alexis to make four with Arsenal’s 40th away goal of the season…a total rout which was the total opposite of what we expected during the first 25 minutes.
With just a little over 10 minutes left, Alexis and Mesut Ozil were replaced by Danny Welbeck and mass hallucination, Lucas Perez. Alexis wasn’t happy, as you’d expect from a player who never wants to stop. Perhaps Arsenal should keep Atom and Humber on the sidelines for the matches they want to sub Alexis early.
It’s great to see his passion, but his strops at being subbed are a little childish and tiresome now. We were four up at Swansea and this is a squad game. Just rest. Let Danny get some minutes towards fitness and the result be the talking point after the game, not your huff.
There are some who say if you take that away from him, you take away what makes him ‘him’, I don’t agree. You can be a passionate grown up as part of a squad without behaving like this.
In the end, it was as comfortable a game as you could want, apart from the opening exchanges.
I don’t know what’s up with Arsenal when matches start lately, nor why they look so static and stuttery. But you can’t fault their reaction this week.
Whatever the problem is when games begin, we’re getting the points on the board.
Hopefully this second half will give them the confidence to start properly next time out.