Arsenal just about made it through a thrilling encounter with Swansea on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners had 2-0 and 3-1 leads but they were not comfortable for long, allowing Borja Baston to make it 3-2 before a needless Granit Xhaka foul saw him given a straight red.
Arsenal did really impress in patches though, and should have been out of sight on several occasions, with some brilliant attacking play, as has often been the case this season. Although Alexis Sanchez was not that active today, with him as the teams striker, it gives the team a certain fluidity and makes them so dangerous in attack. For what turned out to be the winner in this fixture, he drifted wide and allowed Ozil space to score.
But only player who really caught the eye and got the fans excited again was Nigerian Alex Iwobi. The youngster has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months and now he has nailed his place down on the left hand side of this starting line up. Iwobi’s technical quality is clear for all to see, and he finished the game with a stunning 94% pass accuracy against Swansea. This helped Arsenal build sustained pressure on the Swansea backline. He made 50 passes in total, including 1 key pass. Perhaps his most impressive contribution on the day was his 4 successful dribbles – Iwobi helps transition midfield to attack so well.
Whilst it may not have been his very best game in an Arsenal shirt to date, it was another solid performance from the youngster, with flashes of brilliance. The kind of football he is playing will really please and excite Arsenal fans for the future.
Here is some of the reaction to Alex Iwobi’s performance vs. Swansea on Twitter this afternoon. A moment that particularly caught the eye of the fans was when the youngster took the ball and beat no less than 5 Swansea players in a Messi-esque run. Unfortunately it came to nothing, but that little burst just shows what he is capable of and being just 20, the future is really huge for this lad. Exciting times for Arsenal fans.
Wanted Mahrez but Arsène said we have leftover Walcott and Iwobi at home. Father always knows best
— ™️ (@TheFalseNein) October 15, 2016
Iwobi is a true young talent. Doesn't get the hype as others but doesn't need it.
— GOAT SZN ® (@Rickyinho_) October 15, 2016
Iwobi you beautiful footballer. One of the best young players imo. Has been consistent for a while now. Unreal footwork.
— Merci Arsène (@theEpicGooner) October 15, 2016
Played some of our best football this season but Arsenal don't like winning the easy way do they, Iwobi was incredible again
— Rambo (@DanRamsay1) October 15, 2016
— Spanish Gooner #MerciArsène (@elspanishgooner) October 15, 2016
Trying to control myself from gushing over Iwobi too much….but it’s hard. #Arsenal
— Sandra N. (@SandraHelena39) October 15, 2016
Arsenal fans will hope that Iwobi keeps his head down and Arsene Wenger manages his fitness and expectation with precaution. At the moment he seems to be flying under the radar in relation to the likes of Marcus Rashford etc. but that may be a good thing. So often the media hype has got the better of young players, it’s important Iwobi does not follow that path and instead flourishes and fulfils the potential it is clear he has.