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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Football

Graham grabs Swansea replay
AFP
Swansea, January 07, 2013
First Published: 00:31 IST(7/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:31 IST(7/1/2013)

Swansea City and Arsenal will settle their FA Cup third-round tie at the Emirates Stadium after Danny Graham struck late on to earn Swansea a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Goals from Lukas Podolski and Kieran Gibbs gave Arsenal the advantage in the final 10 minutes of the game, after Michu had struck to give Swansea the lead with his first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Then, just as he did in the 2-2 Premier League draw against Aston Villa last week, Graham pounced from close in to force a replay.

It was always going to be a game for the purist - two sides who enjoy passing the ball and who are not afraid of playing with a touch of directness too.

Swansea coach Michael Laudrup had spoken in mid-week of Arsenal forward Theo Walcott's pace and subsequent danger, and it took a decisive and typically robust challenge from Chico Flores to deny the England man an early chance.

However, Swansea won the sides' previous encounter 2-0 in December and they signalled their intentions in the 10th minute when Nathan Dyer's cross was hurriedly cleared by Per Mertesacker.

Graham was twice caught offside, perhaps a little harshly, before bringing out the best in Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

A long ball from Leon Britton provided the opportunity, with Szczesny at full stretch to beat away Graham's 20-yard strike.

Wayne Routledge sliced wide as Swansea came again and though Arsenal were certainly not short of possession, they found Swansea's back four a difficult nut to crack.

After a period of relative calm, Arsenal should have taken the lead when Aaron Ramsey exchanged passes with Gibbs before taking one touch too many in front of goal.

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