Arsenal 2 Swansea 2: What was the Emirates reception for Arsene Wenger like?
Focusing in on the Arsenal manager during his side's draw at the Emirates
Wednesday 26 March 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was back in charge at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night looking to atone for a 6-0 thumping at Chelsea only three days before, as the Gunners went head-to-head with Swansea.
Here, we take a look at how the Frenchman rebounded following the devastating loss...
Wenger walked to his seat with a look of steely determination ahead of the match which, after 13 minutes, became a look of exasperation, as Wilfried Bony headed Swansea's first of the match and the seventh goal in two games Arsenal had failed to answer. He rocked uneasily in his seat for much of the later part of the first half as his squad wasted a number of legitimate chances. The Frenchman was straight back into his seat after the break and only emerged from it once, before Lukas Podolski's goal with 16 minutes remaining, and Olivier Giroud's that followed seconds later brought a smile to Wenger's face and energy to his legs and he paced back and forth from the dugout from that point on. But Mathieu Flamini's own goal on 90 minutes saw Wenger storm on to the pitch and vent his anger at the fourth official after he was advised to step behind the line.
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Arsenal 2 Swansea 2 - match report
Arsenal's faithful appeared forgiving as Wenger headed to the bench and his players took to the field. But as the first half and Arsenal's momentum both came to a close, irate supporters vociferously suggested the manager needed to make some changes, and he was quick into the tunnel at the break, missing the chorus of jeers from the stands as the players followed behind him. The crowd had quietened after the break and all was forgotten as they prepared for the final period of extra time, but they turned on Flamini when he levelled the match at 2-2, and joined Wenger in his outward frustration.
TACTICS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs were both in Arsenal's side after successful disciplinary appeals from the fallout of Saturday's fiasco at Stamford Bridge. Wenger also started Thomas Vermaelen at centre-back with Laurent Koscielny out because of a calf problem, and defensive midfielder Matheiu Flamini came in to shore up the side. His impact was immediate as Arsenal movement from defence to the forward line throughout the first half was precise, but they fell apart in the final third. Wenger brought on Podolski early in the second half for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but they still looked sluggish, until the 28-year-old put Arsenal's first goal in the net and set up Giroud moments later. Kim Kallstrom came on late in his club debut, for Tomas Rosicky, and Yaya Sanogo completed the substitutions.
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Arguably he had little in the first half - at least in the public eye - as his interaction with his players from pitch side was minimalist. Arsenal needed to turn around their performance from the dismal display at the weekend, and although Wenger's players looked set to fail to deliver again, Wenger's second-half substitution in the forward line proved a winner. That was until Flamini unfortunate entry to the scoresheet.
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