Assessing Arsenal: Gibbs for England, Oxlade strong, Vermaelen no good

Emirates at Sunset

Arsenal slipped further behind in the title race and into a potential top four dogfight after failing to overcome Swansea City, drawing 2-2 at Emirates.

Wojciech Szczesny - 6.5

Was beat by a Wilfried Bony header in the first half but redeemed himself by making numerous saves later in the game.

Bacary Sagna - 7

Completed two tackles, two clearances, one interception and hit 62 of his 66 pass attempts but failed with all five of his crosses.

Per Mertesacker - 7

In the first half, when Bony was making a mug of Mertesacker's team-mates, it was Per who was able to actually get the better of Wilfried on occasion. Can never be criticised for lack of effort, desire or ambition. After the 90 minutes was up, Mertesacker had failed with just two of his 69 passes (97% accuracy).

Thomas Vermaelen - 6

Was out-jumped for Arsenal's first half concession. Appeared to display an apparent lack of understanding, or even communication, with Mertesacker - although that cannot all be one way. Completed just one of his four tackling attempts.

Kieran Gibbs - 8.5

Arguably Arsenal's man of the match as his movement down the left channel, particularly when that flank was supplemented by Podolski, was pivotal in the two-goal swing. His best moment was setting up Lukas Podolski for Arsenal's 1-1 equaliser - or was that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Help me Andre Marriner, you're my only hope.

Mikel Arteta - 6.5

Attempted a handsome 92 passes, with 95% accuracy, yet was not as solid as his midfield partner, despite outpassing him.

Mathieu Flamini - 7.5

One of the few Gunners to show genuine passion on the field, Flamini made crucial interceptions and compensated for Arteta's substandard game. His own goal was cruel at the game's death was cruel. Made five clearances, 78 completed passes and was successful in 66% of his aerial battles.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7.5

Was an effective runner with and without the football. Without the football he was able to use his pace to stretch the defence and with the football he diagonally ran around his marker and/or produced a commendable six to ten-yard line box-bound pass.

Tomas Rosicky - 6

Had a good first half in terms of positioning but overall, in terms of statistics, he was not as strong as others - zero clearances, zero completed tackles, zero shots on target, zero successful crosses and only one successful dribble, on interception, but an 86% passing accuracy.

Santi Cazorla - 6

Got himself into positions where he could threaten and, with Oxlade-Chamberlain, was one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise impotent and uninspiring Arsenal side.

Olivier Giroud - 7

The Frenchman made it two goals in one minute for the Gunners as Arsenal went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up, with Podolski fundamental to both moves, but Giroud providing the finisher for the second. His 19th of the season.

Subs:

Podolski - 8.5 - The German scored the vital first Arsenal goal, bringing the match level, before playing provider for Giroud's goal, the club's second, 66 seconds later; Kallstrom - n/a.

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