SWANSEA 1 ARSENAL 0
58 min GOAL! SWANSEA 1 - ARSENAL 0 (Michu)
57 min "Dire," says the ESPN commentator. Sorry, that was "Dyer". He was talking about the player, not the match.
56 min Two changes for Swansea. Routledge departs for Pablo Hernandez and De Guzman makes way for Michu.
55 min A screenshot of that pen shout. Watch as Ramsey trips himself up:
54 min Giroud writhing around in pain in the box after injuring himself trying to latch onto a ball in from Gibbs. He's in considerable pain.
53 min A quick look at the replay reveals that Ramsey tripped himself up and Tiandelli had nothing to do with it. Good refereeing.
52 min Huge penalty shout! Ramsey felled in the box but no spot-kick, says Howard Webb.
51 min Giroud! He's seeing more of the ball this half. His latest involvement is to fire a left-footed strike straight at Vorm after a Walcott througball. A fierce and clean strike but too near the 'keeper.
50 min Ramsey has the ball at his feet in the box but has no time to strike before Britton nips in with a tackle.
48 min Giroud! He harmessly fluffs a shot wide and his effort on goal is followed by a personalised Hey Jude cover version from the Arsenal fans. Reward for failure that Wenger's socialist project encourages.
47 min Eventually the ball is worked to Gibbs but his cross from the left flank is confidently claimed by Vorm.
46 min Arteta knocking it about near the centre circle and the crowd is so quiet you can hear the players' calls.
14.30 Second half about to start. It has nothing to live up to after that underwhelming first period.
14.24 A stat that may be about to change:
Twitter: Infostrada Sports - HT 0-0 Arsenal have never been knocked out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in the Arsène Wenger era. #SWAARS
45+1 min The referee blows the half-time whistle as the Liberty Stadium DJ pumps out Of Monster and Men's Little Talks. This DJ is the only thing good about the match so far.....
45 min Bit of trickery from the highly-rated Britton gets the crowd off their feet, but as with so much in this game it results in neither a chance or a shot.
44 min Cazorla drills a low, long-range shot at Vorm. Not a convincing strike and only a wild optimist would believe that was going to go in.
42 min An action shot from the game of Theo Walcott sprinting and Chico sporting a hairstyle that a 20 year-old female history of art student would be proud to call her own:
40 min Long ball towards Walcott but he's unable to hold the ball up for long enough and Swansea regain possession.
38 min Swansea on top these last five minutes, heaping the pressure on Arsenal. Just missing a decent final ball.
36 min Chance! Bartley hits the bar! De Guzman whips a ball into the box and the ex-Arsenal man rises above Mertesacker and loops a header on to the bar before watching it bounce over for a goal-kick.
35 min Ramsey trips the flying Tiandelli and is rightly booked. It's a decent free-kick opportunity for Swansea.
34 min Chance! Cazorla blazes over after a cutback from the left by Gibbs. Not a clear-cut chance but you'd expect a better strike from a player of Cazorla's class.
32 min I could imagine that watching this match as an Arsenal fan is quite frustrating. Swansea fans probably quite content with their way their understrength side are coping with the visitors.
30 min Huge opening for Arsenal! Some pretty passing from the Gunners results in Ramsey creating a clear scoring chance. He has the chance to pull the trigger, but cuts inside the final man, and then has another chance to shoot, but cuts inside again reducing his long-awaited attempt on goal to a harmless poke straight at Vorm.
28 min Arteta takes my advice and sends a direct long ball towards Giroud that skids out of play for a throw.
26 min "Come here, lad. I want to tell you about the day I went to the Liberty Stadium in 2013. Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta had a cracker, completing 90 per cent of their passes. No goals, mind. But we were just happy to see Giroud in the flesh."
25 min We're well into this match now and I count Graham's effort as the only proper chance we've had so far. Come on, lads. Some young child in the crowd wants you to craft a lifelong FA Cup memory.
23 min Argh. Not good. Walcott looks great sprinting with the ball but not so good taking a free-kick and his low effort skids into the wall and is promptly cleared away.
22 min Walcott beginning to become a dominant force now he has decided to give up on actually playing on the wing. Chico cynically fouls him, and although the ball breaks to Cazorla, Webb blows for a free-kick that Arsenal's star men are fighting to take.
20 min Walcott bursts through the middle and lays the ball off to Giroud. He finds this unfamilliar orb at his feet difficult to control but eventually lays it off to Cazorla, who passes it on to Walcott but the England forward sees his goal-bound effort blocked.
19 min Corner to Swansea after Sagna knocks the ball away from Routledge's feet and out of play.
18 min Sagna, shielding the ball in defence, is bundled over by Routledge to hand a free-kick to Arsenal.
17 min A mail from Peter in response to the above question:
Absolutely....but then again all the salaries spoken of in the last 10 years are a joke. How much is Chamakh being paid to run around a few days a week at the luxurious training facility in London Colney.??
16 min Here's a pic of a ticket for today's match:
14 min Free-kick to Arsenal out on the right. Plenty of men in the box for Wilshere to aim for. Straight to Vorm though.
13 min Graham! Great play! The big striker controls a long ball, holds off Mertesacker and then fires a shot on goal that Szczesny has to dive to push away to his left. Graham, on his way out in the window apparently, had the German's number there.
11 min Ramsey finds Walcott but his cross from the right is fairly ordinary. Not too many colleagues making a run, to be fair. I was really enjoying Theo's reincarnation as a striker, though, so any wing-plan, unless sparkling, is likely to disappoint me.
10 min Arsenal sliced open and Sanga has to stretch to head Tiendalli's cross away from Routledge.
8 min ESPN's commentary duo share an anecdote about a television programme that had the Arsenal coaches gripped in their hotel bar last night... Was it Splash! ?
6 min Walcott's pace puts Chico under pressure as the Arsenal forward chases a knockdown from Giroud but the defender just about wins the race and tidies up.
4 min Britton passes to Dyer who is felled by Wilshere on the halfway line. Webb awards the Swans a free-kick and then another seconds later when Ramsey goes too far with a tackle.
3 min Wilshere takes the free-kick and puts the ball into a really dangerous area in the box. Chico is moderately more alert than Giroud and puts the ball out for a corner. Wake up, Olivier!
2 min Sagna on the ball a lot so far. Wilshere and Arteta, too. Bit of keep-ball from Arsenal at the beginning of this match. Rather pleasant to watch. It comes to an end when Ki fouls Wilshere.
1 min We're off! Dyer intercepts the ball and sets off on a run. But he becomes a bit coy and passes the ball backwards. Arsenal regain possession and put some passes together in the Swansea half.
13.28 The two teams are emerging from the tunnel as this screenshot proves:
13.21 Arsenal boss, and practicing socialist, Arsène Wenger, with some pre-match words:
It's a tricky tie but we have no choice because we want to stay in the FA Cup. We have to get closer to them to stop them more from playing their game and us dictating the way we want to play. Vermaelen has played many games [so that's why he's benched].
13.17 Last one, seriously. But the Liberty Stadium DJ, who should instantly replace Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1, is now pumping out this epic tune:
13.15 A popular thing to do this weekend seems to be highlighting your best FA Cup memory. Easy one for me. It's Fulham's FA Cup run in 1999. The Cottagers, then in Division Two, beat Southampton and Villa before falling to a gutsty 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford to a Manchester United team on their way to a treble. I went to the game at the Dell and had my photo taken with Carlton Palmer, Hassan Kachloul and Dave Jones.
13.11 Arsenal fans. Are you interested in an FA Cup run this season? Or could you do with fewer games? I think a cup run would do you some good.
13.09 Final music-related post before we concentrate fully on football. Swansea's stadium DJ has upped the ante and is pumping out Country House from London's Blur. Has he/she misplaced the Stereophonics CD?
13.02 James Brown's I Feel Good soundtracking a Swansea montage on ESPN. If you had to pick a song to soundtrack a montage of your Sunday what would you choose? I'd go for this:
13.00 TEAM NEWS: The two teamsheets are in and it looks like Theo Walcott has been shunted off to the wing for today's match. While Michu, still recovering from an injury, starts on the bench for the Swans.
Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Bartley, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Ki, Routledge, Dyer, Graham. Subs: Tremmel, Michu, Hernandez, Monk, Shechter, Rangel, Agustien.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Martinez, Vermaelen, Santos, Coquelin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
12.55 Ed Miliband, Gordon Brown, Francois Hollande and Arsène Wenger. What do they all have in common? A penchant for ankle-length puffer jackets? No, don't be ridiculous. The common bond linking these four comrades is of course: socialism. Today's Sunday papers include some fascinating quotes from the Arsenal manager who told a press briefing that he is trying to implement a "socialist" wage structure at the Emirates with players on round about the same wages. It's a nice gesture from Arsene but as history has taught us, socialism does not really work. Or to put it another way, does Sebastien Squillaci deserve to be paid the same as Santi Cazorla?
We have no players on £200,000 a week and I think other clubs will come down to us with financial fair play. We have a more socialist model.
Theo Walcott may yet decide he wants to leave his Dear Leader's London Colney utopia and actually get paid what he deserves. Either way Arsène Wenger has revealed a side to him we previously did not know existed, especially since we know he backed Conservative Boris Johnson in the 2008 London mayoral election. But then again, Boris is a big fan of the Living Wage, something that is currently keeping Emmanuel Frimpong in trainers.
Wenger takes his Red Army to Swansea today hoping to avoid a repeat of the 3-2 reverse his team suffered at the Liberty Stadium last season. Let us relive that cracking match before kicking off the blog:
Sport » Football » Arsenal » Swansea City » Nick Pearce »
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