Arsenal vs. Swansea City  1 - 0

Article

Wenger savours ´vital´ win

10 September 2011 21:44

Arsenal's first win of the season may not have been pretty, but manager Arsene Wenger was relieved to seal a 'vital' win.

The Gunners triumphed 1-0 over Swansea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, courtesy of a howler from Swansea keeper Michel Vorm, but Wenger was satisfied his side got the points despite a nervy performance.

"It was vital for us to win the game. I think we started quite well and slowly the nerves took over. We played handbrake-ish, restrictive in the second half," he said.

"It's not often that we pass the ball back to the goalkeeper from halfway. We just wanted to get over the line."

"We didn't manage the second goal and any mistake and then you don't win the game - a game that we absolutely had to win."

"Swansea make it difficult for you because they keep the ball well and are quick on the flanks."

The French boss was positive on signings Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker, who both debuted for the London outfit in the victory.

"Mertesacker was calm and composed - he leads the line well but needs to adapt to the pace of the game," Wenger said.

"Arteta played well overall, especially in the first half. You could see that he will bring us some technical security."

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was absent from the sideline on Saturday due to the death of his father, but coach Colin Pascoe said the boss admired the effort of his troops in the defeat.

"I have spoken to him and he is proud of the way the lads played and performed. Everything had been prepared well for the game and were unlucky not to get a draw," Pascoe said.

Rodgers' side are yet to score in the Premier League in four matches since their promotion, but Pascoe said it was not because of a lack of trying.

"We are gutted really that we did not get anything (against Arsenal), but we have to score goals to win games. At the moment we haven't been doing that but we are creating chances, I would be worried if we were not," Pascoe said.

Article

Premier League: Arsenal 1 Swansea City 0

10 September 2011 18:33

A Michel Vorm howler was enough for Arsenal to take their first Premier League win of the season as they beat Swansea 1-0.

The goalkeeper effectively gifted Andrey Arshavin an open net with which to score after he rolled the ball at the ankles of defender Angel Rangel, only to see it rebound to the Russian who did well to curl in an effort from a narrow angle.

It was a bright opening to the match from both sides, with Swansea's attacking brand of football that served them well in the Championship proving a good foil for Arsenal's much-complimented pass-and-move play.

Real goal threats were disappointingly few and far between in the first half though there were early chances for both sides.

Arsenal fielded two debutants signed on a busy transfer deadline day for the club, with former Everton man Mikel Arteta moving straight into the midfield, while German giant Per Mertesacker filled in for the injured Thomas Vermaelen in defence.

And it was Arteta who created the first chance of the match, skipping past a challenge before threading Aaron Ramsey through on goal, only for the Welshman to waste the chance in the opening minute.

The Swans weren't content to sit back though, with Nathan Dyer sending in a beautiful cross for record-signing Danny Graham who got ahead of Mertesacker at the near-post to flick the ball on, only for Wojciech Szczesny to make a stunning save.

Ten minutes later Arsenal almost took the lead again, as Theo Walcott raced away from Neil Taylor and placed a shot beyond Vorm in the Swansea goal, and but for the goal-line clearance from Steven Caulker the England international would have been celebrating his second league goal of the season.

As the first half progressed, Swansea grew into the game, but both goalkeepers were scarcely involved, until Vorm committed one of the early contenders for howler of the year.

The keeper collected a sliced Walcott shot along the side of the box, and wanting to get a counter attack started quickly, he attempted to roll it out to Rangel, only to bounce it against the defender's legs, who had no idea he was in possession of the ball.

To Vorm's horror, it rebounded straight to Arshavin, who finished with aplomb from a tight angle right in front of the away fans.

Just 10 minutes into the second half Swansea could have gone level. Scott Sinclair was tripped just outside the box by Laurent Koscielny. The winger picked himself up to take the free-kick, which he rapped against the crossbar.

But Arsenal were not to be outdone, and barely a minute later Robin van Persie struck the outside of the post after surging across the boundary of the penalty area, shrugging off challenges from Rangel and Leon Britton along the way.

As the game edged towards the finish, Brendan Rogers' men were pushing for an equaliser though Arsene Wenger's defence were holding strong.

That was until the 92nd minute, when Graham had a gilt-edged chance to level the scores, but blazed over from a corner after Szczesny had come for the corner and missed.

However, Arsenal had just enough to hold onto their first three points of the season, while a first Premier League goal for Swansea remains elusive.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25