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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Gibbs and Podolski goals keep Arsenal in cup

Lukas Podolski and Kieran Gibbs scored late on to force Arsenal's third round FA Cup tie with Swansea on Sunday to a replay. It was a tense game at the Liberty in which Michu scored first but after the Gunners goals, Danny Graham struck even later on to ensure the teams meet again. It wasn't the best performance from Arsenal but the likes of Gibbs and Podolski were impressive whilst Ramsey had one of his better games being played out of position. Arsene Wenger made a few changes to the side that had drawn with Southampton a week before as Mertesacker came in for Vermaelen, Giroud came in for Oxlade-Chamberlain whilst Ramsey was played out wide in place of Podolski who was on the bench.
Kieran Gibbs scored a brilliant goal on the volley as Arsenal drew with Swansea
The first chance of the game went Swansea's way as Danny Graham beat Mertesacker before unleashing a powerful shot which Szczesny managed to beat away.

Arsenal's first chance came later on as Giroud cut the ball back to Ramsey who then layed off Walcott but his shot was blocked by ex-Gunner Kyle Bartley.

The Gunners then almost found the net again as Gibbs got down the left hand side and then pulled the ball back into the path of Cazorla but he blazed his shot over the bar.

The best opportunity of the half came on 35 minutes as De Guzman's free-kick found Bartley whose header then hit the crossbar.

Just before the break Cazorla had another chance as he found space to hit a shot from outside the box but it was tame and ended up as an easy save for Vorm.

The score at half time was 0-0.

The first shot on goal in the second half fell to Arsenal as Walcott got the ball in a central position and then found Giroud who smashed a shot which Vorm parried away.

The Gunners then thought they had a good shout for a penalty as it looked as though Tiendalli had brought down Ramsey but he had actually just clipped his own heels and the referee rightly turned down the appeals.

It was a lively start from the visitors as Giroud then tested Vorm once more as he hit Gibbs' cross on the volley but couldn't find the net.

However it was Swansea who took the lead. Michu managed to flick the ball over Mertesacker and then run clean through on goal before cooly slotting the ball home.

Shortly after, Arsenal had a great chance to equalise as Ramsey did well on the left flank before crossing to Giroud but his header went wide.

Theo Walcott was then inches away from finding the net as the ball broke to him inside the penalty area but his shot bounced wide of the far post.

With ten minutes left to play Arsenal finally got their goal. Walcott's cross was deep but Sagna managed to keep the ball in play. It then fell to Koscielny who played the ball back into the danger area where Podolski was waiting to fire the ball into the back of the net.

Just two minutes later the visitors were ahead. Gibbs found Giroud who then flicked the ball over the defence and back into the path of the left back who looked up and smashed the ball past Vorm on the volley.

Swansea who were under pressure were then able to force a corner as Dyer's shot was deflected over the bar.

From the resulting corner, the Swans brought the game all level again. Agustien's corner found Ki at the back post who then fed Graham to fire home.

In the last minute Arsenal almost scored again. Walcott's corner found the head of Koscielny who was brilliantly denied by Vorm. The rebound then came back to the Frenchman but this time he couldn't direct it goalwards.

The final score finished Swansea 2-2 Arsenal.

The teams lineups:

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Bartley, Davies, Britton(69), De Guzman(56), Ki, Routledge(56), Dyer, Graham.
Subs: Tremmel, Rangel, Monk, Agustien(69), Hernandez(56), Michu(56), Shechter. 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Ramsey(73), Giroud.
Subs: Martinez, Vermaelen, Santos, Coquelin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain(73), Podolski. 

My man of the match: Kieran Gibbs

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 18,848

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