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LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Swansea City defended deep and then hit Arsenal on the counter to earn a 1-0 victory at Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
Second half substitute Bafetimbi Gomis found the back of the net with a header in the 85th minute to seal the win for the Swans, although it took the goal-line technology deeper to confirmed the goal.
The defeat put a massive dent in Arsenal’s chances of finishing second, while Swansea City strengthened their hopes of gaining places in the Europa League next season.
“We worked all week on our plan. The players were magnificent and carried it out to the letter,” Swansea manager Garry Monk told Sky Sports.
“I’ve tried to make the team adaptable. There’s no one way to play – as a team you have to be able to adapt and today was a perfect example of that.
“We didn’t have a fit striker to choose from the start but I knew if it was tight in the last 20 minutes we could push for a winner.”
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “We were a bit unlucky with the goal. There are a lot of positives. This kind of game you play 20 times and win 19 times.
“In patches our domination was top quality. You have to learn from defeat and we take encouragement from a defeat like that.
“Swansea deserve credit for their defensive display but they probably had the fewest passes in our half of any team here this season.”
Arsenal and Swansea are locked at 0-0 at halftime, but history have shown that the second half is normally when the goals have come.
Swansea City have been playing a bit more on the defensive side, as they continue to look for a chance to hit the Gunners on a counter-attack.
Arsenal are unchanged again today for their EPL clash with Swansea City as manager Arsene Wenger named the same starting lineup for the fifth game in a row.
This means that midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who was doubtful for the contest, is fit to play as the Gunners keep their eyes on second place and Manchester City.
The Swans, in the meantime, were forced to make one adjustment to the lineup that won 2-0 against Stoke, as Nelson Oliveira, who is on loan from Benfica is out injured. Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng has been recalled to play in midfield with fellow midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson looks well set to lead the attack.
Striker Bafetimbi Gomis is also on the bench after he recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out the last three games.
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LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal take on Swansea City in an English Premier League fixture at Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
Live Radio Coverage Will Be On talkSport | Monday, 11 May, 2:00 PM CT on NBCS
The Gunners are sitting third in the table standings at the moment, but have played two games less than second place Manchester City and manager Arsene Wenger will be targeting that place, with Chelsea already crowned champions.
Swansea will face an Arsenal side that has proven very difficult to beat at home in recent times.
In fact, Wenger’s side has just one defeat in their last 34 English Premier League games at Emirates Stadium, according to Opta stats.
Heading into Monday night’s battle, Arsenal have won 24 of those last 34 home matches in the EPL, while drawing nine and dropping just the one.
1 – Arsenal have lost just one of their last 34 Premier League matches at the Emirates Stadium (W24 D9 L1). Fortress.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 11, 2015
Swansea City are still eyeing a place in Europe next season, with the Europa League very high on their wish list.
At the moment, the Swans are still trailing Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton, but a win for them on the road would lessen the gap and put more pressure on those above them just in case they slip-up.
In team news going into this battle, Arsenal are set to be without injured forward Danny Welbeck, who is still to recover from a knee problem, while midfielder Mikel Arteta (ankle), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) and Abou Diaby (knee) and defender Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring) are all out of the contest due to injuries.
“Welbeck will play again this season. He had all the scans and medical checks, and there was nothing major, just an inflammation,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“For the weekend he will be certainly short but for the game after he should be alright.”
Key midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also doubtful after he picked up a leg injury in the win over Hull City the last time out.
Wenger rates his chance of playing at “50/50.”
“From the Hull match we had Ramsey who took a big kick, he is getting slowly better. We have an uncertainty about him, he got a big knock on his fibula and we’ll see about that,” the manager said on Arsenal.com.
“Yes [ he is 50/50]. No [he hasn’t trained this week], not at all. He has not been out yet. [But yes] Ramsey will play again this season.
Forward Bafetimbi Gomis could be back in action to lead the front line for Swansea City, after he missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.
Arsenal (squad): Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, Szczesny, Gabriel, Gibbs, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Rosicky, Flamini.
Swansea City (squad): Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Cork, Ki, Shelvey, Montero, Sigurdsson, Gomis, Tremmel, Richards, Tiendalli, Bartley, Fulton, Britton, Dyer, Emnes, Barrow, Grimes, King.