Arsenal 1 Swansea City 2
Campbell 15, Routledge 32, Williams74

Arsenal’s title credentials underwent a stern examination as they fell to defeat to Swansea City in a match that should have seen the Gunners take the victory with ease.

Joel Campbell put his side up early on as Arsenal began well. However, Swansea winger Wayne Routledge levelled before the interval, with skipper Ashley Williams adding a second late on. Wenger’s men had chances to equalise, but couldn’t make their chances count.

Arsenal hit the woodwork three times over the course of the match, leaving Wenger frustrated by the end result.

“I believe we were really unlucky with our finishing and some decisions today,” Wenger. “They had two shots on target and two goals.

“We need to bounce-back very quickly now. It’s a very difficult moment for the team so we need to focus on ourselves and do the basics.”

Arsenal need to recover fast. Next up is the crucial trip to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend.

Following a period of sustained pressure, Arsenal took the lead 15 minutes into the match when Campbell finished a fine team move.

Alexis Sanchez, spotting the run of his team-mate who had darted into the penalty area after seeing his initial shot blocked, picked out Campbell with a clever chipped pass.

The Costa Rican striker reached for the pass, sliding in on the wet turf before twisting his body and connecting firmly with the ball in one movement. It flew beyond the diving Lakasz Fabianski to give Wenger’s men an ideal start.

Moments earlier, Sanchez had hit the post from close range with a curling shot.

On 24 minutes, Bellerin nearly made it a second with a superbly struck shot from distance that stung the palms of Fabianski.

Arsenal, who had failed to beat Swansea on their last three visits to the Emirates Stadium, seemed to have the measure of their opponents.

However, relegation-threatened Swansea hauled themselves level on 32 minutes through a strike from ex- Tottenham winger Wayne Routledge.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech launched the ball into the centre of the pitch where Swansea’s Jordi Amat and Mesut Ozil battled for space. The Spanish defender appeared to foul his opponent. However, referee Bobby Madley waved play on.

“We stopped playing before the first goal because there was a foul on Ozil,” said Wenger.”There were hands around his neck and it should have been a free-kick for us.”

The loose ball fell to midfielder Jack Cork, who slipped the pass into Routledge. The winger ran onto the ball before applying a simple finish past Cech to give the visitors an unlikely equalising goal.

Arsenal struck the woodwork again with four minutes of the half remaining when Giroud lashed the ball against the crossbar from close range.

Arsenal’s players began the second half confidently.

On 57 minutes, Sanchez came close with a low shot following a goalmouth scramble. It fell just wide of Fabianski’s post. Moments later, the Chilean winger had another chance from a free-kick, but was unable to steer the ball in.

With twenty minutes to go, Wenger brought on Danny Welbeck as Arsenal went searching for that all-important winning goal.

But moments later, and with Arsenal failing to clear their lines, substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson raced through on goal before rounding Cech. However, the ball bounced up and caused his effort to sail harmlessly wide of the goal.

On 69 minutes, Arsenal were left cursing their luck again when Sanchez struck the crossbar from a free-kick.

However, Swansea took a surprise lead on 75 minutes when Sigurdsson’s dangerous free-kick appeared to deceive Cech. The ball evaded the Arsenal stopper and landed in the path of Williams, who turned the ball in from close range.

Arsenal were dealt a further blow when Cech pulled up late in the match with a muscle problem.

Wenger added: “Petr Cech is injured. I think it will keep him out of the game against Tottenham at the weekend. But I have full-confidence in David Ospina.”