Arsenal's title hopes took a huge blow at the Emirates on Tuesday in a 2-2 at home to Swansea City. It looked like the Gunners were going to pick up no points at all with 20 minutes remaining, but goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud cancelled out Wilfried Bony's early opener. Unfortunately for the hosts, there was still time for them to throw away a couple of points away in calamitous fashion, with Mathieu Flamini sticking the ball into his own goal in the 90th minute.
The pattern of the first half was set within the opening minutes. Arsenal dominated possession without ever putting their visitors under too much pressure. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forced a stop from keeper Michel Vorm, though the Swans were otherwise fairly comfortable at sitting compact and soaking up everything the Gunners fired their way.
As it turned out, they were pretty dangerous on the counter-attack too, taking the lead with their very first foray forward in the 11th minute. Neil Taylor's deep cross from the left was met by Wilfried Bony in the box, and the Ivorian's looping header sailed into the back of the net and stunned the Emirates into silence.
Arsenal continued to hog the ball right through to halftime. An organised Swansea continued to look defensively sturdy and a threat on the break, however. Santi Cazorla had Arsenal's best chance of the entire opening period right on the whistle, but Vorm made a close-range stop after the Spaniard had danced his way into the penalty area and the Swans held onto their lead.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, they didn't have any more luck early in the second half. Swansea often defended superbly, forming an impenetrable defensive wall on the edge of their area. It meant that on the rare occasion the Gunners did manage to work the ball into the area, the chance was swiftly snuffed out.
Then, inside the final 20 minutes, the game changed completely. Kieran Gibbs was able to create for the Gunners with some good individual play, dribbling the ball into the penalty area before pulling it back across goal for substitute Lukas Podolski. Taking the shot first-time, the German buried it in the back of the net.
Just seconds later the scorer turned into the provider, with Podolski assisting Olivier Giroud with a beautiful low cross from the left. The Frenchman was left with a tap-in that not even he could miss, and poor Swansea's two-minute meltdown had undone all of their excellent work. But the drama wasn't finished there.
Swansea upped the ante as the game headed towards its climax, and had their reward with a dramatic equaliser in the final minute. Leon Britton slalomed his way into the Arsenal penalty area, then an attempted defensive intervention rebounded off the shins of the unfortunate Mathieu Flamini and into the back of the net.
If it wasn't already, Arsenal's task to win the Premier League is now nigh impossible.
Arsenal: Szczęsny; Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna; Arteta, Flamini; Cazorla, Rosický (Källström 79'), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Podolski 57'); Giroud (Sanogo 88').
Goals: Podolski (73'), Giroud (74').
Swansea: Vorm; Taylor (Davies 73), Williams, Chico, Rangel; Routledge, Shelvey (Hernández 79'), Britton, de Guzmán; Michu (Dyer 63'); Bony.
Goals: Bony (11'), Flamini o.g. (90')