Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Arsenal's top-4 hopes hit by 3-1 defeat

Published:Wednesday | January 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right) looks dejected after Arsenal concede their third goal of the game during the English Premier League match against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea yesterday.


The arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cannot come quickly enough for Arsenal. A 3-1 loss yesterday to Swansea, which started the match as the Premier League's last-place team, punctured some of the optimism generated by the imminent signing of one of Europe's most lethal strikers.

Aubumeyang flew to London earlier in the day to put the finishing touches to a drawn-out transfer from Borussia Dortmund that Arsenal hopes will be completed today, the final day of the January transfer window.

He would be joining a team that slipped eight points off the Champions League qualification positions as a result of the chastening loss in south Wales.


Time running out


Arsenal have just 13 games to claw back the deficit, or they will be out of Europe's elite competition for a second straight season.

Swansea midfielder Sam Clucas scored either side of a goal by Jordan Ayew following a dreadful error by Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, who miskicked a clearance straight to the striker.

Olivier Giroud came on as a late substitute for what could be his last appearance for Arsenal, with Aubameyang arriving as a direct replacement for the France striker. Giroud waved to Arsenal's travelling fans before the leaving the pitch after the final whistle.

Asked about the departure of Giroud and the arrival of Aubameyang, Arsenal manager ArsÈne Wenger said all will be revealed on Wednesday morning.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan played the final half-hour in his first appearance for Arsenal since joining from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez.

Fourth-place Liverpool capitalised on Arsenal's slip-up by beating Huddersfield 3-0 away to move eight points clear of Wenger's team. Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot were the scorers. West Ham drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace in the other game.