Arsenal 1 - 0 Swansea
Andrey Arshavin's freak goal helped Arsenal to their first Premier League win of the season against Swansea City at Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger gave debuts to new signings Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta - but it still took a dreadful blunder by Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm to gift the Gunners the points.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was absent from the game after the death of his father, and while the newly promoted side competed well, they are still searching for their first goal in the top flight.
And that meant they paid the price when Vorm threw his clearance against Angel Rangel, who was facing the other way, and into the path of the grateful Arshavin just before the interval, allowing the Russian to slot his finish into an unguarded net.
Swansea's best chances fell to record signing Danny Graham, who was frustrated by Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny's stunning first-half stop but was guilty of a bad miss when he shot over the top from close range in injury time.
Wenger will be grateful for the slice of good fortune he feels has eluded his side this season and a win which helps them start the recovery from the humiliating 8-2 defeat at Manchester United.
Arteta faded after a bright start, while Mertesacker settled in quietly despite being troubled on occasions by Graham.
For Swansea, the concern was that they once again looked well-organised and prepared to play a passing game - but failed to break their scoring duck this season.
Arteta made an instant impression with a surging run and inviting pass to Aaron Ramsey inside the first two minutes, but he rushed his finish from an angle and shot high over the bar.
Mertesacker was also involved in the early exchanges when he was caught on his heels as Kemy Agustien's cross found Graham, only for Szczesny to produce a brilliant low reaction save to stop what looked a certain Swansea goal.
Steven Caulker then rescued Swansea with a brave goal-line clearance from Theo Walcott after he was played in by Arshavin. The defender took a knock and ripped the net in the process, but his intervention kept his side level.
Swansea looked to have survived until the interval, and in relative comfort, until Arsenal were gifted that goal by keeper Vorm. He raced to prevent the ball going out for a corner, only to then inexplicably hurl the ball against Rangel, allowing Arshavin to finish into an empty net from a tight angle.
The visitors had not been short of attacking ambition on the occasions when Arsenal gave them the opportunity and they were unlucky just after the break when Scott Sinclair's free-kick beat the flying Laurent Koscielny but glanced off the bar.
Arsenal responded after 56 minutes when Robin van Persie cut inside only to see his curling effort strike the outside of the post and bounce away to safety.
Swansea enjoyed plenty of possession without a cutting edge, and it was Arsenal who almost added a second late on when substitute Marouane Chamakh, on for Van Persie, rose to meet Kieran Gibbs' cross but Vorm made a fine save.
Graham then had that injury-time chance, but hooked the ball over the top when it looked like he might earn a point for Swansea in the closing seconds.
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta:
"It was important to get the three points and we've done it. It was important to forget about what happened two weeks ago [the 8-2 defeat against Manchester United] and now we have a big Champions League game on Tuesday [Borussia Dortmund] and let's focus on that now.
"It's been good. We had the chances early on to get the game in our hands and we didn't take them and then it was a bit harder.
"But credit to Swansea, they played really well they have some good players and are brave to get the ball at the back. It's not easy to come here but they were brave and showed some confidence. It wasn't easy but I'm glad for the debut and glad for the three points."
- 13 Szczesny
- 03 Sagna
- 04 Mertesacker
- 06 Koscielny Booked
- 28 Gibbs
- 08 Arteta Booked
- 14 Walcott Booked
- 16 Ramsey
- 23 Arshavin (Benayoun - 62' )
- 26 Frimpong (Coquelin - 74' )
- 10 Van Persie (Chamakh - 81' )
- 21 Fabianski
- 11 Santos
- 20 Djourou
- 30 Benayoun
- 39 Coquelin
- 09 Park Chu-Young
- 29 Chamakh
- 01 Vorm
- 02 Williams
- 03 Taylor
- 04 Caulker Booked
- 22 Rangel
- 07 Britton
- 11 Sinclair
- 12 Dyer (Moore - 84' )
- 24 Allen (Dobbie - 75' )
- 26 Agustien Booked (Gower - 64' )
- 10 Graham
- 25 Tremmel
- 20 Bessone
- 27 Gower
- 29 Richards
- 14 Dobbie
- 18 Lita
- 19 Moore
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:12
Handball decision goes against Luke Moore. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +2:52
Kieran Gibbs takes a shot. Save made by Michel Vorm.90:00 +1:19
Corner taken right-footed by Mark Gower. Danny Graham takes a shot from close range clearing the crossbar.90:00 +0:30
Short corner taken by Scott Sinclair. Scott Sinclair takes a shot. Blocked by Per Mertesacker.88:05
Shot from just outside the box by Stephen Dobbie misses to the left of the goal.86:23
Free kick awarded for a foul by Luke Moore on Mikel Arteta. Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.86:05
Aaron Ramsey takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in.84:11
Mark Gower gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Francis Coquelin. Francis Coquelin takes the direct free kick.83:16 Substitution
Substitution Luke Moore is brought on as a substitute for Nathan Dyer.82:30
Marouane Chamakh takes a shot. Michel Vorm makes a brilliant save.80:07 Substitution
Substitution Marouane Chamakh on for Robin van Persie.80:07
Mikel Arteta produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.79:18
Stephen Dobbie takes a shot. Save made by Wojciech Szczesny.78:25
Francis Coquelin challenges Ashley Williams unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Gower takes the direct free kick.77:20
Free kick taken by Steven Caulker.77:20 Booking
Booking Mikel Arteta goes into the referee's book.77:07
Mikel Arteta concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Dobbie.73:23
Mark Gower restarts play with the free kick.73:23 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Dobbie on for Joe Allen.
Substitution Francis Coquelin replaces Emmanuel Frimpong.73:23
Mikel Arteta challenges Nathan Dyer unfairly and gives away a free kick.67:30
Mikel Arteta delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save by Michel Vorm.67:30 Booking
Booking Steven Caulker receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.67:04
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Steven Caulker.65:07
Close range headed effort by Danny Graham clears the crossbar.63:09 Substitution
Substitution Kemy Agustien goes off and Mark Gower comes on.61:45 Substitution
Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Yossi Benayoun coming on for Andrey Arshavin.58:41
Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.57:29
Shot on goal by Andrey Arshavin from long range goes harmlessly over the target.55:53
Effort from the edge of the area by Robin van Persie hits the post.53:42
Nathan Dyer fouled by Per Mertesacker, the ref awards a free kick. Kemy Agustien restarts play with the free kick.52:10
Scott Sinclair has an effort direct from the free kick,52:10 Booking
Booking Laurent Koscielny is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.52:06
Laurent Koscielny concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Sinclair.51:11
Robin van Persie has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.48:14
Free kick taken by Ashley Williams.48:14 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Theo Walcott for unsporting behaviour.48:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Neil Taylor by Theo Walcott.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +3:19 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +3:01
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Kemy Agustien, Andrey Arshavin makes a clearance.45:00 +2:42
Nathan Dyer takes a shot. Kieran Gibbs gets a block in.45:00 +1:55
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Ashley Williams.45:00 +0:19
Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Theo Walcott goes wide of the left-hand post.42:47
Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie from the right by-line, Steven Caulker manages to make a clearance.39:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Andrey Arshavin - Arsenal 1 - 0 Swansea Andrey Arshavin finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Swansea.39:39
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Ashley Williams gets a block in.37:44
Corner from right by-line taken by Kemy Agustien.34:56
Corner from right by-line taken by Kemy Agustien. Scott Sinclair takes a shot. Bacary Sagna gets a block in. Joe Allen takes a shot. Bacary Sagna gets a block in.30:34
Corner taken left-footed by Robin van Persie to the near post, clearance made by Steven Caulker.25:41
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nathan Dyer by Emmanuel Frimpong. Shot comes in from Kemy Agustien from the free kick.24:21
Free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.24:21 Booking
Booking Kemy Agustien goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.24:11
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Kemy Agustien.23:59
Scott Sinclair is ruled offside. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.23:15
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott by Neil Taylor. Bacary Sagna takes the direct free kick.22:37
Shot from just outside the box by Emmanuel Frimpong misses to the left of the goal.20:38
Aaron Ramsey challenges Joe Allen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Allen.19:16
Aaron Ramsey produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.18:39
Corner taken short by Bacary Sagna.17:14
The offside flag is raised against Kieran Gibbs. Michel Vorm takes the indirect free kick.14:35
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Steven Caulker makes a clearance.9:32
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Blocked by Steven Caulker. Mikel Arteta takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Ashley Williams.9:09
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.7:08
Joe Allen fouled by Emmanuel Frimpong, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Allen takes the direct free kick.3:05
Danny Graham challenges Mikel Arteta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Mikel Arteta from the free kick, blocked by Steven Caulker.2:28
Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Graham on Emmanuel Frimpong. Direct free kick taken by Emmanuel Frimpong.1:40
Mikel Arteta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Caulker. Direct free kick taken by Michel Vorm.0:53
Shot on goal by Aaron Ramsey from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.0:00
The referee starts the match.
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