Arsenal 2 Swansea City 2
(Podolski 73, Giroud 74, Bony 11, Flamini og 90)

Arsenal were seconds away from a vital win against Swansea City at the Emirates stadium on Tuesday night. Wilfried Bony gave the visitors a shock lead after 11 minutes, but two quick fire second half goals in two minutes from substitute Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud looked to have settled the Gunners’ nerves after the loss to Chelsea. With only seconds remaining however, an unfortunate Mathieu Flamini own goal saw the visitors secure a point in a fixture in which they played their part. With seven games left for Arsene Wenger’s men, their title hopes have all but vanished with the now familiar pattern of securing fourth spot becoming the focus in a season which promised to deliver so much more.

Swansea had good reason to be optimistic here, having won last time out. That scenario looked to be on the cards when Neil Taylor took possession and simply ran unchallenged to deliver a precision cross to Bony. Having outmuscled Thomas Vermaelen he powered his header past the static Szczesny for the games opener. It was not the start the Gunners had wanted or expected post the weekend mauling at Stamford Bridge. The confidence so eroded of late, ebbed that little but further. However up until the opener Oxlade-Chamberlain’s powerful drive saw Arsenal’s early intent. On that occasion, Michel Vorm punched the ball away for a corner.

Possession wise it was all Arsenal, as Swansea sat back to soak up the pressure. Tomas Rosicky cut through the visitors defence, but with the goal looming in front of him, chose to square the pass at the critical moment, and the chance was gone.

The Gunners had a succession of corners in the opening half, and should have found the leveller when Santi Cazorla curled one of those over which Per Mertersacker could only head into the side netting.

Lone striker Olivier Giroud couldn’t escape the shackles of the Swans defence, often winning the ball, but then finding that he was without any support in attack. That theme would continue and he was too easily caught in possession. When he did manage to shoot from distance after 20 minutes, his shot clipped Taylor for another Arsenal corner.

However not overawed, the visitors almost doubled their lead after a swift counter attack but Jonjo Shelvey saw his shot blocked.

After their controversial FA reprieve from that dismissal against Chelsea both Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain were seeing enough of the ball, the latter however seems to have encountered a corridor of uncertainty.

Given the current Gunners’ injury plight, the England man has been tasked with several roles and that has eroded his confidence at the most unfortunate time for for him and his side. The same could be said of Giroud, and when the two would combine, the latter’s first touch in the Swans area ensured the chance was gone.

Arsenal continued their onslaught and certainly you thought their possession and neat play would get its reward. Oxlade-Chamberlain hit wide late in the first half, but Cazorla almost did enough when he drifted in, feigned to shoot and then when he did connect, saw Michel Vorm save low down for Arsenal’s best chance of the half.

Swansea’s aerial approach which brought earlier dividends saw Bony trying to emulate his first half opener, but Szczesny gathered as the Ivorian lurked.

Podolski’s 59th minute introduction would change the Gunners fortunes. Replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain, the German striker was instrumental in getting his side back on level terms. Rosicky fed Gibbs and the left back raced beyond Rangel, getting to the bye line. His cross in to a congested Swans box found Podloski who hit past Vorm after 72 minutes for the equaliser.

The Emirates mood changed with an eruption of noise now replacing the anguish of a few moments ago. The Arsenal players responding in kind and from the Swans kick off, Arsenal won back possession. Podolski surged down the left and pointing to where he wanted the ball, Giroud got his wish from Podolski’s return to shoot first time with his left foot to put Arsenal 2-1 to the good after 73 minutes.

January transfer window loanee Kim Kallstrom was finally fit enough to make his Arsenal debut, replacing Thomas Rosicky after 79 minutes. The Swede showed some good touches, his fitness however is clearly not at a competitive level just yet, but he put himself about for the Gunners’ cause.

Swansea were not laying down however and Bony had another header gathered by Szczesny. Determined to make amends for his lapse in the Gunners’ leveller, Rangel raced forward and only a last gasp block from Flamini denied another Swans attack. With the seconds ticking away however, Swansea levelled in circumstances more akin to calamitous Arsenal defences of the past. Rangel’s shot came off Mertersacker’s attempt to clear. The ball then came off Szczesny’s legs, deflecting onto the unfortunate Flamini for an own goal and two points lost for the Gunners.