A pair of own goals in between a goal each for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez helped Arsenal end their poor run of recent results away from home in the Premier League, thrashing Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium.
With Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both returning to the side and straight into the starting line-up, Arsene Wenger might have expected a better start from his Arsenal side, but the Gunners continued their early struggles, taking close to half an hour to find their groove.
Petr Cech was called into action early, and the veteran keeper did well to keep out Kyle Naughton’s shot from distance.
Arsenal scored with their first real excursion of note into the Swansea box, with Olivier Giroud getting on to Mesut Ozil’s knockdown from Alexis Sanchez’s cross. The Frenchman missed a tap-in in the run up to the goal as Ozil had sent Ramsey outside him down the right channel and his cross was missed by Giroud from a yard out. Fortunately for the Gunners, Sanchez was alive to the opportunity and slid to keep the ball in play down the left wing. His cross was met by Ozil, and the loose ball in the box fell kindly to Giroud, who this time made no mistake.
There was limited action in a tight first half with Swansea going into the break feeling that they should have got a penalty with Ki Sung-yueng falling in the box over Laurent Koscielny’s trailing leg with the Referee opting to book the player for diving instead.
Arsenal came out for the second half like a team possessed and created chance after chance as they knocked on the Swansea door, chasing a second goal that would have killed the game.
Lukas Fabianski, an FA Cup medal winner for Arsenal, did well to deny Aaron Ramsey after the Welshman had been found in the box by Sanchez once again.
Arsenal did get their second shortly after though with Jack Cork deflecting Alex Iwobi’s cross into his own net, giving Fabianski absolutely no chance.
Arsenal replaced a struggling Olivier Giroud on the hour mark with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with the Frenchman having picked up a knock on his ankle in the first half. The Englishman moved to the right with Sanchez going central and Iwobi moving to the left wing.
Iwobi was just as effective on the other side of the pitch with Kyle Naughton this time deflecting another cross from the young Nigerian into the Swansea net.
Arsenal were to get a fourth as the goals kept coming at the Liberty with Alexis Sanchez this time adding his name to the scorers’ list. Oxlade-Chamberlain provided the cross on this occasion, and a mixture of Aaron Ramsey and Wayne Routledge appeared to knock the ball in the Chilean’s direction, who netted on his return to the side.
Arsenal threw on Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck for the last 10 minutes in place of Mesut Ozil and a very disappointed Sanchez, who once again made a public display of annoyance at being replaced.
Meanwhile back on the pitch Aaron Ramsey was on the receiving end of a poor challenge from Swansea substitute Leroy Fer that he may end up feeling for a week.
Swansea had some late chances to grab a goal with their substitutes Oliver McBurnie and Borja Baston combining well, but there was to be no consolation for the Premier League strugglers as the Gunners grabbed a long overdue clean sheet away from home.
The win takes Arsenal back up to third place in the Premier League standings and matches Tottenham’s win over West Brom earlier today, but with everyone else still to play this weekend, it could well be a case of wait and watch for the Gunners this weekend.
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Kingsley, Ki Sung-yueng, Cork (McBurnie 71′), Dyer (Fer 55′), Sigurdsson, Routledge, Llorente (Baston 71′)
Subs: van der Hoorn, Fer, Bastón, Nordfeldt, Rangel, Fulton, McBurnie
Arsenal: Cech, Gabriel, Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil (Perez 79′), Sanchez (Welbeck 79′), Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 60′), Iwobi
Subs: Pérez, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Holding, Welbeck, Reine-Adelaide, Maitland-Niles
Final Score: Swansea 0-4 Arsenal (Giroud 37′, Cork og 54′, Naughton og 67′, Sánchez 73′)