You’ve got to be shitting me.
It was just a couple weeks ago when Arsenal toppled Leicester in dramatic fashion, securing a critical win against this season’s Cinderella and appearing to deal a huge blow to their title aspirations while buoying their own shot for their long-awaited redemption trophy. In typical Arsenal fashion, the Gunners responded to their newly cushy position as favorites by getting battered by Barcelona in the Champions League, getting smashed by a Manchester United team led by a no-name kid with more baby teeth than EPL appearances, and now, just today, losing 2-1 at home against Swansea.
Early on in the match, it looked like Arsenal were up for the challenge and would rebuff all those who expected the famous choke artists to reprise their favorite tune. Joel Campbell scored the opening goal 14 minutes into the match, and Arsenal should’ve added a couple more to their tally before halftime (Alexis Sánchez and Olivier Giroud both had shots that hit the post).
By preventing Arsenal from playing out from the back after a goal kick and applying pressure on the ensuing Petr Cech long ball, Swansea were able to get an easy goal to tie things up in the 31st minute:
The home team found it much harder to make much of anything happen in the second period, and it was the Swans who grabbed the winning goal from a set piece that Cech totally botched:
This is bad. Leicester only managed a draw yesterday and Tottenham lost to West Ham today, so Arsenal didn’t lose all that much ground in the title race; they’re still in third, three points behind Spurs and six back of Leicester.
However, facing a relegation-threatened Swansea at home and failing to pick up all three points is bad, as was losing to an injury-riddled United team the weekend before, especially when the North London Derby is only a few days away. Here’s analytics writer Michael Caley’s league projection after today:
So yeah, this hurt. And while losing today wasn’t fatal, even a draw away at Tottenham this weekend could be debilitating, and a loss might sound the death knell of what should’ve been their final triumph. (Or not—it’s been a strange season.) I’m not saying Arsenal are definitely going to blow this, but they’re probably going to blow this.
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