Ramsey rising to the top


Ramsey rising to the top

Ramsey helped himself to another Premier League goal as Arsenal upended Swansea at the Liberty Stadium to retain top spot. That’s five goals in six league games this season for Ramsey and eight in all domestic and European matches.

However, it was not only his 62nd minute strike that left nearly 3,000 travelling fans purring with satisfaction. Four minutes previous, the product of Cardiff City’s academy produced the perfect delivery for 18-year-old Serge Gnabry.

Wilshere, who also played his part in his midfield partner’s goal, said: “If he carries on playing the way he is and working hard, he can improve further.

“He’s got a great appetite for the game. He wants to improve and he’s training all the time. He never misses a session. Aaron’s fit, young and he’s showing his best form. Hopefully he can continue it and get even better.”

Ramsey was head and shoulders the game’s best player from start to finish. His distribution was first-class, his work rate even better and his finishing sublime.

“His fitness levels are not normal,” Wilshere added. “He’s naturally so fit he can score at any time in the game. You can see that. He’s pushing on in the 94th minute trying to get another. Not many players can do that. Hopefully he can keep this run going. The great thing is that he’s got his confidence back.”

It’s three and a half years since Ramsey’s career was dangling by a thread following a horror clash with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross that left the young Welshman with a badly broken leg. He spent eight months recuperating before going out on loan, to Notts Forest and Cardiff, in a bid to rediscover his lost confidence. Wilshere, who knows all about long-term injury revealed the agony his team-mate went through as he battled his way back.

“His injury was different to mine. I can’t remember a moment when I got injured, where I got kicked and thought ‘Oh God!’.

“He can remember that horror tackle and that might have stayed in his mind for a while. That’s a tough thing to get over.

“For the first couple of months, or even a year, if you’re going into a 50-50 tackle, it’s in the back of your mind. Thankfully he’s over that now and he’s a key player for us.”

Arsenal were less than impressive in a first half of precious few chances. Jonjo Shelvey had Swansea’s best opportunity, albeit from distance, while Olivier Giroud shot wide when put through by Gnabry in stoppage time.

It was a different story after the interval with Ramsey setting up Gnabry in the 58th minute for Arsenal’s first and Mesut Ozil, after Ramsey’s run and delivery, denied, two minutes later, by Michel Vorm’s smart save.

However, Giroud and Wilshere combined in the 62nd minute to leave Ramsey with the task of rounding Chico Flores and beating the desperate lunge of two Swansea defenders and Vorm.

Wilshere said: “It’s nice to look at the table and be top, but we know it’s only a good start. We’ve got to keep it going. There’s an international break coming up soon when we won’t play for a fortnight and we want to be top then. That’s when it counts and again at the end of the season.

“We didn’t acquit ourselves against Villa and we knew it wasn’t good enough. The fans gave us some stick which we deserved and after that, we woke up. Momentum is key in this league. You see how Man United and Man City slipped up this weekend and we’ve been in this position before. I remember a few years ago when I broke into the team, when they lost, we lost. We failed to capitalise, but this weekend we did, which is nice.

“I think we showed a different side to our game and hopefully we can continue that.”

Swansea keeper Michel Vorm said; “It was a similar situation to the Manchester United game where they scored two goals in quick time. If you don’t concentrate 100% you will get punished. But we won’t change our style or approach – it’s the only way we know.”

SWANSEA (4-5-1): Vorm 6; Tiendalli 5, Flores 5, Amat 6, Davies 7; Dyer 6, Canas 6, Shelvey 6 (Bony 60,6), De Guzman 6, Routledge 6 (Pozuelo 64,5); Michu 6.

ARSENAL (4-5-1): Szczesny 7; Sagna 6, Mertesacker 6, Koscielny 7, Gibbs 6; Wilshere 6 (Jenkinson 90,5), Ozil 7 (Monreal 87,5), Ramsey 8, Flamini 7, Gnabry 6 (Arteta 77,6); Giroud 6.

Referee: M Clattenberg.

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