Arsenal laboured to a 1-0 victory over newcomers Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal got their Premier League campaign up and running with a narrow 1-0 win over gallant Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners were in need of a response following their 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United before the international break. However, for long periods the Swans – coached by assistants Colin Pascoe and Alan Curtis as manager Brendan Rodgers missed the game following the death of his father – more than matched Arsene Wenger’s men, who included all five deadline signings in the squad.
However, a mistake by Swansea keeper Michel Vorm, when his roll-out had hit defender Angel Rangel, saw Andrey Arshavin snatch the lead just before half-time, which proved enough for the Gunners’ first league win.
Arsenal had started brightly, with former Cardiff youngster Aaron Ramsey blasting over as Mikel Arteta orchestrated midfield on his debut. It was, though, Swansea who almost took a shock lead on seven minutes.
The ball was swung in from the right and Danny Graham got in front of new arrival Per Mertesacker, but despite being wrong-footed Wojciech Szczesny made an acrobatic save to claw the striker’s close-range effort off the line.
Arsenal were soon back on the offensive, and a quick break saw Arshavin release Theo Walcott. The England man slipped his shot under the advancing keeper, but Vorm had got just enough on the ball to slow it down as Steven Caulker, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, recovered to hack clear in front of his own net.
Swansea were forced to defend deeper and deeper as Arsenal pressed for an opening goal. A neat exchange between Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Frimpong, back from suspension, opened up space at the edge of the area, but the young midfielder dragged his shot wide.
Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong returned from suspension to play 75 minutes for Arsene Wenger’s side.
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