LONDON (Reuters) – A clinical second-half display earned Arsenal a 3-0 win at Swansea City on Saturday and proved they are ready to mount a sustained Premier League title challenge.
After playing second fiddle to Swansea before the break, goals from Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Joel Campbell sealed a fifth consecutive league win for the Gunners who are level at the top of the table with Manchester City on 25 points from 11 games.
It was the perfect riposte to the midweek 3-0 defeat by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, a match in which England pair Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were injured.
“Swansea took six points off us last year and that shows we’ve moved forward. The second half we were a different team,” manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.
“After we scored the first goal it was all us and there was only one winner on the pitch. Our technical level took over.”
Costa Rica forward Campbell’s goal on his first league start for Arsenal was particularly pleasing for Wenger, esepcially with an injury list that also includes the attacking threat of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck.
“Let’s not forget he is still a young player,” Wenger said of a player who has spent most of his Arsenal career on loan at various European clubs.
“He had to wait for his chance. He has adapted to Europe, been in a few leagues, has come back and I like his team spirit, his work rate and he shows he can be on the end of things.”
Arsenal’s win helped carry their tally of goals since Wenger took over in 1996 to more than 2,000.
“I am proud of scoring goals because people like to come to see football to see people try to play but the most important of course was the three points,” the Frenchman said.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Tony Jimenez)