Arsenal suffer first defeat to Swansea in 30 years
By AFP | Posted 16-Jan-2012
Arsenal slumped to a surprise 3-2 defeat against Swansea City, while Mark Hughes' debut as QPR boss ended in a 1-0 loss at Newcastle United yesterday. Danny Graham's second-half winner condemned Arsene Wenger's men to their second successive league defeat.
Swansea City's Scott Sinclair converts a penalty during yesterday's EPL match against Arsenal in Wales. Pic/AFP
Fifth-placed Arsenal, beaten by Fulham in their last league outing, are now four points behind Chelsea and 10 behind Tottenham in third. Wenger left Thierry Henry on the bench despite his match-winning cameo role against Leeds United at the start of his brief return on loan from New York Red Bulls.
Robin van Persie put Arsenal in front in the fifth minute, running onto Andrey Arshavin's pass before clipping a cool strike past Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm. But Swansea drew level in the 16th minute when Scott Sinclair converted a penalty after Aaron Ramsey was ruled to have tripped Nathan Dyer.
Swansea took the lead in the 57th minute when Dyer punished Arsenal's poor marking with a ferocious strike past Wojciech Szczesny. Henry made his return to EPL after a five-year absence in the the 63rd minute and the Gunners drew level thanks to Theo Walcott's composed finish six minutes later.
However, Arsenal's defensive frailties were exposed less than 60 seconds later as Swansea striker Graham drilled a superb shot into the far corner and secured the hosts' first win over their visitors since 1982.