Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has this even been targeted on social media, after the Armenian made his debut off the bench for the Gunners versus Swansea.
The two sides went head to head at the Liberty Stadium, with Arsene Wenger’s visitors coming into proceedings on the back of a pair of morale-boosting victories over Crystal Palace and Chelsea, the latter of which saw the Gunners earn a spot in the final of the Carabao Cup.
(Before tonight) Arsenal sat 3 points adrift of fierce rivals Tottenham (5th) in the Premier League table, and 5 points off Liverpool, who currently hold the final Champions League qualification spot.
Swansea, meanwhile, had earned 2 wins and 2 draws from their last 4 fixtures across all competitions, including an incredible 1-0 victory over Liverpool in their last league outing.
The Swans came into tonight’s action bottom of the Premier League table, though an impressive recent run of form had seen Carlos Carvalhal’s men move to within 3 points of 15th-placed Newcastle.
A huge blow for Arsenal ahead of kick-off came with the news that Jack Wilshere was set to miss out altogether, having come down with a bout of illness.
Olivier Giroud, meanwhile, was surprisingly included, albeit on the bench, despite reports spreading earlier today that the Frenchman had already departed the Arsenal camp to complete his imminent transfer to Chelsea.
New signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan was also amongst the substitutes:
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 30, 2018
Swansea lined up as follows:
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) January 30, 2018
Following an entertaining opening half-hour at the Liberty, Arsenal took the lead through defender Nacho Monreal, who arrived at the back post to slide home a typically perfect delivery from Mesut Ozil.
However, incredibly, the Gunners’ lead lasted just one minute, as Ozil gave the ball away cheaply inside his own half, before Granit Xhaka inexplicably allowed Sam Clucas to dart in front of him for a perfect finish at Petr Cech’s near post.
And the mistakes did not end there for the visitors, as hosts Swansea took the lead just past the hour mark when an absolute howler of an attempted clearance from Petr Cech gifted Jordan Ayew with a tap-in.
Bizarrely, Swansea’s second goal came just seconds after Henrikh Mkhitaryan was introduced off the bench to make his first appearance for Arsenal, and, while there was nothing that the Armenian could have done about the comical nature of Cech’s mis-kick, the Gunners’ newest recruit nevertheless quickly bore the brunt of a running joke across Twitter:
Mkhitaryan comes on and Arsenal immediately concede. Miss home yet? @HenrikhMkh
— Nem (@nem_kibet) January 30, 2018
The Mkhitaryan effect. pic.twitter.com/RqIr9H63Hr
— Luke Rimmer (@LukeRimmer14) January 30, 2018
Instant impact. pic.twitter.com/cxHblkpv78
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) January 30, 2018
Instant impact from Mkhitaryan
— Mark (@markhowell88) January 30, 2018
60 Min: mkhitaryan debut
61 Min: Arsenal go 2-1 down
— Hammad (@H4K007) January 30, 2018
— Black & White FPL (@Barrick88) January 30, 2018
— Matthew Nash (@mattnashmetro) January 30, 2018
Yes mkhitaryan this is what you signed up for 😂😂😭😭😭😭😭
— BuyerOfDreams (@tcmawerera) January 30, 2018
60′: Henrikh Mkhitaryan comes on for his Arsenal debut.
61′: Swansea go 2-1 up.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) January 30, 2018
👍 60′: Mkhitaryan on for his #AFC debut.
— Sky Bet (@SkyBet) January 30, 2018
Swansea went on to notch a 3rd in the 86th-minute, completing a thoroughly miserable night in Wales for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners.