Arsenal’s hopes for winning the league have taken yet another blow on Wednesday night, in the most turbulent Premier League season ever - with a shock 2-1 home loss to Swansea.
Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell – in for Theo Walcott –put Arsenal into an early lead, as they looked set to close the gap on league leaders Leicester, after their 2-2 stalemate with West Brom 24 hours earlier.
The Swans were without their new manager Francesco Guidolin, who was admitted to a London hospital with a lung infection that has troubled him over the past week, but they took a turn for the better when Wayne Routledge side-footed home thirteen minutes before the interval to equalise.
Arsenal’s striker Olivier Giroud and forward Alexis Sánchez, both went agonisingly close after the break, hitting the woodwork, before Swans’ captain Ashley Williams scored in the 74th minute to earn his side a crucial win in their bid for top-flight survival; Swansea now have a six-point gap to the drop-zone.
As for the Gunners, their six-point deficit to the Foxes, at the summit of the table, now looks unsurmountable on the evidence of this performance - on a night where their title rivals all lost as well. This result dented Arsenal’s title hopes severely; the top position is dangerously slipping away from them, in a season which many pundits and media regard as their best opportunity in recent years to be champions.
The Emirates fans were disappointed too; the full-time broke out to a chorus of boos.
The Gunners are in danger of failing dramatically and a top-four place does not look guaranteed anymore in this most remarkable of seasons where the underdogs are overachieving. They now sit third, three points behind Tottenham, who they meet on Saturday at White Hart Lane; Arsène Wenger’s focus now must be on this most important north-London derby in years, where Arsenal will need to win to draw level on points with their arch-rivals. However, they will play without Petr Cech, who picked up an injury-time calf strain; the 33-year old goalkeeper has played in all 28 Premier League games for Arsenal this season but will miss tomorrow’s derby. #Football