Captain fantastic. Ashley Williams is a leader on and off the pitch, and tonight produced a moment that could save Swansea City’s season.
Arsenal took the lead after 14 minutes; Alexis Sanchez dinked a through ball to an unmarked Joel Campbell, who tucked the ball past Lukasz Fabianski on the sliding half-volley.
Swansea pulled level after Jordi Amat won a questionable duel with Mesut Ozil - the ball fell to Jack Cork who played a cutting pass straight through the Arsenal defence, and Wayne Routledge’s curled shot wrong-footed Petr Cech.
Then, with 15 minutes left, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s perfect free kick found its way to Williams who poked the ball home using a combination of his thigh, wrist and everything in between.
Early Arsenal pressure
Inside 10 minutes, Swansea captain Williams had already blocked two efforts from Olivier Giroud from good positions as Arsenal were on the front-foot from the off.
Shortly after, Ozil smartly flicked a header over to Alexis, who’s shot smacked against the post at the second time of asking. The ball bounced gratefully straight into Fabianski’s arms, but he would be beaten five minutes later by Campbell.
Swansea’s first real effort came after 25 minutes. Leroy Fer, making his first start for the club, received the ball just outside the Arsenal box, swivelled and tried a powerful shot that flew just over the bar. Shortly after that, they would equalise too, admittedly well against the run of play.
Arsenal should have restored the lead five minutes before half time. Caerphilly-born Aaron Ramsey played a lofted cross dangerously into the Swansea area and Per Mertesacker headed the ball back to Giroud, but his volley smacked the crossbar.
Five minutes into the second half, a long ball found its way to Ozil inside the Swansea area, but he wasn’t able to make a decent connection on the ball before it found its way to Fabianski.
Alexis just couldn't score
Arsenal's pressure continued as Alexis’ shot was tipped round the post by a Williams block, Swansea yet again unable to deal with a corner.
Just two minutes later an Ozil free kick was perfectly lofted into the six-yard area but Alexis was unable to meet the ball. Any contact would have surely resulted in a goal.
All these missed chances would be rued too, as Swansea nicked the lead and maintained it until the end.
Swansea resist the pressure
During Swansea’s best spell of the game - which they were able to cap with a goal - Sigurdsson found himself through on goal, rounded Cech, but incredibly managed to send the ball the wrong side of the post.
Arsenal hit back after this spell, winning a free kick 25 yards from goal, which Sanchez took and the slight deflection off the wall ensured it smacked back off the crossbar. Arsenal were very unlucky to only have the one goal at this point.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Giroud found Nacho Monreal inside the Swansea box but the fullback was reluctant to use his right foot and the result was a shot that made Arsene Wenger scorn.
The Gunners continued to apply the pressure late on, and a corner found substitute Theo Walcott but his header was tame and Fabianski saved comfortably.
Having withstood wave after wave of attack, as well as five added minutes, the result sees Swansea six points clear of the relegation zone, and Arsenal staying six points behind league leaders Leicester City.