Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski involved in the weekend's biggest shock


Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski kept a clean sheet against Swansea, but it was the manner of it which surprised.

There were a few shocks around the Premier League this weekend, namely defeats for Liverpool at Southampton and Tottenham at home to Fulham.

Wigan also stunned Newcastle with a last minute winner, while even the out of form Nikica Jelavic netted for Everton against Manchester City.

Yet the biggest shock of the weekend came at the Liberty Stadium.

It was not the fact that Arsenal won, nor that Swansea failed to, although many would have fancied them to beat the Gunners on home turf after winning at the Emirates.

Nor was it necessarily the fact Lukasz Fabianski keeping a clean sheet, if you can do it at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena you can do it anywhere.

Instead the big shock was the fact Fabianski was not required to make a single save.

Swansea were so impotent in their attack, manager Michael Laudrup was forced to deny his side were 'slacking off'.

The Swans have picked up three points from a possible nine since lifting the Capital One Cup. With European qualification secured, it is an easy to point the finger at the reason for the drop off in form.

Laudrup said: "I really cannot complain about the attitude from the players. It’s not like they are saying, ‘It’s OK, we are already on vacation’, because they are not."

Yet the fact Fabianski was not required to make a single save speaks volumes about the drop off in performances compared to the recent games against Arsenal.

On their last two visits to the Liberty Stadium, Arsenal have conceded five goals. Losing 3-2 to Swansea in the Premier League last season, and drawing 2-2 in the FA Cup earlier this year.

The reason why it was such a missed opportunity for the hosts was due to Fabianski's lack of game time. His game against Bayern was his first of the season.

It was not only Fabianski's first Premier League game of the season, but his first in more than two years. He last played on January 5th 2011, in a 0-0 home draw against Manchester City.

Prior to that he kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win away to Birmingham, so technically Fabianski is correct in claiming he has three Premier League clean sheets in a row, but he won't have had an easier one.

Arsene Wenger is keen on resting Wojciech Szczesny, but he also wants to learn a bit more about 27-year-old Fabianski prior to deciding on his future in the summer.

Unfortunately he didn't learn much on Saturday, but he can thank his defence for that for providing him with better protection than he could have hoped for.

The unusually razor sharp attack of Swansea was unusually blunt, and is unlikely to be quite so again as they look to prove a point against Spurs next week. 

That is certainly news which will give Arsenal fans a further lift as they look to catch their rivals. The Gunners host Reading next weekend in a game they will be hoping to win, but you can bet on Fabianski having a tougher day with the Royals scrapping for their lives.

Are you surprised Fabianski had it so easy against Swansea?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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