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Swansea 1-2 Arsenal: Quickfire Gunners double downs Swans as Arsenal top table

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Swansea City’s English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (L) closes in on Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud during the English Premier League football match between Swansea City and Arsenal at The Liberty Stadium in Swansea, south Wales on September 28, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Paul Ellis - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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With Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea all slipping up earlier on, Arsenal pounced on their chance to seize the top of the table.

A game billed as the two most beautiful styles of play in the Premier League saw Aaron Ramsey and Serge Gnabry pound the Gunners through 2-1 at Liberty Stadium.

Swansea started on top, as they pressed high up the pitch and didn’t leave Ozil and company with any space to work. The midfield seemed to be where the battle would be won or lost, as both sides proved up for the match.

Ramsey started well for Arsenal to try and counter Swansea’s pressing with his physicality, and even dragged a shot just wide in the 14th minute. This midfield play from Ramsey allowed Arsenal to gain more possession and eventually take hold of the game.

The home side did well to keep the Gunners out early - they had opened the scoring in all of their first five Premier League matches, all inside the first 23 minutes.

Swansea City v Arsenal - Premier League

SWANSEA, WALES - SEPTEMBER 28: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Arsenal at Liberty Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

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The game sped up and slowed down over and over, like someone pressing the rewind and pause button on their DVR. The best chance of the first half fell to Olivier Giroud, who appeared to twist his ankle just before extra time, but came back and fizzed a low shot just wide of Michel Vorm’s goal on the stroke of halftime.

Swansea began the second half firmly on the counter-attack, and it almost appeared that Arsenal seemed lost in possession, instead wishing they were the side playing on the counter.

Finally the breakthrough came int he 58th minute, with Ramsey brilliantly laying off to Gnabry in penalty-area traffic, and the 18-year-old slotted it by Vorm for his first Premier League goal.

It was a foreshadow of things to come, as the Arsenal side blistered with confidence following the opening. Just three minutes later Ramsey won the ball with a pinpoint slide tackle, and he received the ball back from Giroud before touching once and finishing high. Its his eighth goal in eight games across all competitions this season.

Swansea pushed hard for an opportunity to get back into the game, and they got one back in the 82nd minute. Ben Davies made a run down the left side, and Wilfried Bony played a fantastic one-two with him, one-touching a lofted pass over the defense back to Davies who finished past Szczesny.

The goal gave the Swans hope and they threw everything they had at Arsenal in the final ten minutes, but it wasn’t enough as Arsenal bent but didn’t break to close it out.

The win now has Arsene Wenger’s side by themselves in first place with 15 points out of a possible 18. It was a valiant effort by the home side, but against a top team in top form, they fell just short. The loss leaves Swansea mired in the middle of the table on seven points, but many would expect to see them climb in the coming weeks.

Goals:

Arsenal - Gnabry 58', Ramsey 62'
Swansea - Davies 82'

Lineups:

Swansea – Vorm; Amat, Chico, Tiendalli, Davies; Shelvey (Bony, 58'), Dyer, Routledge (Pozuelo, 64'), De Guzman, Canas; Michu.

Arsenal – Sczcesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Wilshire (Jenkinson, 90'), Flamini; Ramsey, Ozil (Monreal, 88'), Gnabry (Arteta, 77'); Giroud.