Arsenal display too much for Swansea
Arsenal kept itself firmly in the race for Champions League qualification with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Swansea on Saturday. The Gunners had by far the better of the contest and Nacho Monreal's first goal for the club gave them the lead with 16 minutes remaining, before substitute Gervinho struck in stoppage time. Swansea faded badly after a promising opening and, aside from a couple of half-chances, they barely worked Lukasz Fabianski in the Arsenal goal. The win moves Arsene Wenger's side to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea -- and four of third-placed Tottenham -- with their rivals in action Sunday. Wenger was delighted with the spirit of his players as they became just the third side to win at the Liberty Stadium this season. "We will know at the end of the season how important this win is, but we knew as well the win was absolutely vital for us and we could not drop points today," he said. "We have shown we are up for the fight and we will do so until the end of the season." Arsenal could have led in the fifth minute thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he tricked his way past Angel Rangel to beat Michel Vorm, only for his shot to clip the top of the bar. Swansea quickly settled after the early scare, and Ki Sung-yueng's weighted pass gave Rangel a run in on goal, but the fullback sliced wide of Fabianski's goal. The hosts enjoyed an extended spell of pressure, and the visitors almost gifted them an opener when Carl Jenkinson gave the ball to Jonathan De Guzman. The Dutch international fed Michu only for Swansea's top scorer to fire narrowly wide on the turn. Santi Cazorla's dipping volley was parried by Vorm but the Swans were looking assured, and the Gunners' high defensive line were relieved to see Michu flagged offside after being cut apart by another superb through ball from Ki. But the Gunners, with Abou Diaby dominating the midfield exchanges, began to take a hold on proceedings. Oxlade-Chamberlain was again denied by the woodwork three minutes before the break, his fierce swerving strike had Vorm beat all ends up, but flicked the crossbar as it flew over. Cazorla was proving Arsenal's most threatening attacking player and Vorm sharply saved the Spaniard's low shot after he had cut in from the right. Michu was a peripheral figure as Swansea struggled to assert themselves and his poor day continued when he blazed miles over from Pablo Hernandez's smart pass. But Swansea's attacking forays were becoming increasingly rare and the dam eventually broke in the 74th minute. Cazorla was again heavily involved as he tricked and teased his way past defenders on the edge of the box. The chance looked to have gone when Olivier Giroud took a heavy touch, but Monreal pounced to lash a shot across Vorm and into the corner with the help of a deflection off Ashley Williams. Gervinho then made the points safe after Aaron Ramsey's pass teed him up to slot low beyond Vorm. Michu had to be restrained after an earlier disagreement with Fabianski spilled over after the final whistle, but nothing could take the gloss of an excellent Arsenal display. Wenger saluted his defense. "They defended well, as did we," he said. "It was a game of defensive stability and we just needed an opening and the first goal was vital. "We defended high up the pitch and in the whole second half we tried to pin them back, but we did not create many clear chances until the last 20 minutes and once we went 1-0 up I thought more would come." Swansea manager Michael Laudrup felt a draw would have been a fair result. "I think in the first half we saw some good football from both sides," he said. "I thought it would be 0-0, but when things are like that the first goal will decide the game and that is what happened, it was a strange goal, but it was a goal and that decided the game." Information from Press Association was used in this report.