How the media reacted to Arsenal's 3-2 victory over Swansea
“When you see him in training, he scores basically when he wants. You speak with the keepers and he’s one of the most difficult players to predict where he’ll put the ball.”
Reflecting to the Arsenal website, Arsene Wenger was more than impressed with the way that birthday boy Mesut Ozil, who turned 28 yesterday, took his goal to send Arsenal on their way to joint-top of the Premier League.
“In the game, I’m happy that he gets goals and I hope that gives him the taste to try more,” Wenger continued, and he wasn’t the only one impressed with the way Ozil performed.
Oliver Holt, reporting for the Daily Mail, said:
“Thankfully, he is only 28. Nobody wants players like him to get old. It is one of the many privileges of English football to be able to see him play every week. His goal against Swansea, Arsenal’s third, won the match and was as sweet a hit as you are likely to see. It was his present to Arsenal’s fans.”
The German was at the heart of the performance for Arsenal at the Emirates, in a game in which for most part the Gunners should have been comfortable, but an impressive rally combined with some Granit Xhaka errors, allowed the Swans to come back and end the game in a close 3-2 defeat.
“It was a comfortable afternoon that finished very uncomfortably,” Wenger said, speaking to the Guardian.
Guardian reporter, David Hytner, also paid tribute to the effort the visitors made to keep coming back into the game, something that would have impressed new manager Bob Bradley:
“Welcome to the madhouse, Bob. This was an historic occasion, with an American manager taking charge of a Premier League team for the first time. It was one that Bob Bradley will never forget, even if he and Swansea City came out on the wrong side of a five-goal thriller.”
The match also featured another impressive performance, despite his uninspiring England showing, from Theo Walcott. The winger scored two, and missed two big opportunities late on to grab at least the match ball.
Luke Reddy, reporting for the BBC, compared Walcott’s new found form to recent seasons among other things, and it read up some interesting statistics:
“The 27-year-old has only ever reached double figures once in a league season, scoring 14 times in the 2012-13 campaign.
But he seemed hungry in front of goal, with six shots – a game high – and showed instinct to sense Amat would have difficulty dealing with a bouncing ball, allowing him to prod the opener.
Walcott’s approach play was also sharp – completing 92% of his passes – and he worked hard too, with only Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin covering more ground for Arsene Wenger’s side.”
As impressive as Ozil and Walcott in particular were for Arsene Wenger’s side, it was not a good day for new signing Granit Xhaka, who’s mistake created the opportunity for the first Swansea goal, and he was then sent off late on for a reckless challenge.
John Cross, writing for the Mirror, said that Xhaka has some work to do to make himself a better player:
“This was an awful day for Arsenal’s £34million midfielder.
First his mistake – being caught on the ball – gifted Swansea a goal thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s brilliant finish.
Then Xhaka’s rash challenge on Modou Barrow saw him sent off.
Despite being Swiss captain, Xhaka needs to calm down and learn where to play and when to clear.”
All in all, however, it remained a positive day for the Gunners, as they now face Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the next few weeks, in games they will expect to win to build momentum.
Swansea will face easier challenges as they expect to build momentum themselves under their new manager, but this day belonged to the home side and in particular Walcott and a now 28-year-old Mesut Ozil.
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