By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The midfielder seemed to be the only one capable of finding the holes inside the Swansea net and was a continual threat to goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
The Dutch custodian was himself having a superb game and doing his best to force it to extra time. The Swans seemed to be focused on that particular gameplan and were happy to sit back, defend and prevent the Arsenal players from getting too close to the goal.
Ultimately, the plan proved futile even with the introduction of star attacker Michu as a super-sub and the Gunners will now meet Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round.
Wojciech Szczesny - 7
The Pole had an easy game and was only really called to action late in the second half when he had to palm away a shot from distance by Ki Sung-Yueng.
Bacary Sagna - 7.5
Sagna was diligent as a full-back but failed to produce the brilliant crossing that helped Robin van Persie net many a goal in the past season.
Thomas Vermaelen - 8
The Arsenal captain was superb within the game and was always there to help cover for his fellow defenders whenever they were beaten by a Swansea attacker. He made a number of crucial blocks that ensured that Szczesny's main task was in marshalling the defence during corners within the game.
Per Mertesacker - 7
Mertesacker was not as good as his defensive partner and was also culpable for playing attackers onside as he rushed back too quickly instead of staying on par with the rest of his defence.
Kieran Gibbs - 6.5
He demonstrated some decent touches and went forward on a couple of occasions but was not able to produce the impact desired from his manager.
Francis Coquelin - 7
The French midfielder got a rare start and did himself proud by frequently winning the ball off his opponents. His passes into the box, however, were not of the highest order but it was good to see such willingness and ambition from the youngster.
Jack Wilshere - 8.5
Wilshere was seemingly active in every facet of Arsenal's game, whether it be winning the ball, sending through-balls, dribbling and somehow finding space to shoot at goal or at helping distribute the ball around to good effect.
At this rate, it's hard to see why Theo Walcott deserves a higher wage, let alone a pay-raise, when the younger Englishman appears to be a more useful component for the side.
Abou Diaby (off 82') - 7
Heralded by some as Alex Song's successor, Diaby still needs to improve on his long-range passing but was quietly effective against the Swans.
Santi Cazorla - 7.5
The Spaniard showed great vision to make the pass to Olivier Giroud that eventually led to the winning goal by Wilshere. He did get harried off the ball a bit too easily, though.
Theo Walcott - 6.5
Walcott could have settled the match with a couple of goals much earlier if he had just kept his cool and not try to score in a fancy manner. A striker should always place his shot but Walcott does not yet have the presence of mind to do so effectively and should instead focus on drilling them in.
Olivier Giroud - 7.5
We're beginning to see the Giroud that lured manager Arsene Wenger to make a bid over the summer as he made rapid decisions and helped his team-mates get into goalscoring positions. It was his smart flick-on that allowed Wilshere the time and the space with which to fire a belter that resulted in the winning goal.
Aaron Ramsey (on 82') - 7
Brought on to try and force the issue when Swansea appeared reluctant to concede a goal, the Welshman played his part but was not a key factor for the late goal.
Michel Vorm - 8
Fortune favours the brave and Vorm was very brave in this match. As the adage goes, luck did come his way and he was helped by the woodwork as well as some fortuituous positioning during the game.
The Swansea keeper can definitely consider himself unlucky at having missed out on a clean sheet bonus after doing everything he could to keep the scores level till the last four minutes of the game.
Ashley Richards - 7
The 21-year-old was drafted into the first team after the absence of Ashley Williams due to the latter's paternal responsibilities. He would have done manager Michael Laudrup proud as he was more than up for the challenge.
Chico Flores - 7.5
Vorm was also helped by Flores' excellent reading of the game and he commanded his defence and ensured Swansea's zonal marking strategy paid great dividends for much of the game.
Kyle Bartley - 7
The former Arsenal player nearly punished the home side as he was denied by the crossbar after getting on the end of a good cross in the first half.
Dwight Tiendalli - 6
iendalli was an ever-eager participant in attack but this left his team-mates exposed at the back.
Leon Britton - 7
Renowned for his passing, Britton was excellent in a defensive capacity in this match and made crucial blocks and clearances to keep the Swans in the game.
Kemy Agustien (off 59') - 6
The Dutchman was generally a letdown for his team as he was rarely around to help them when they were under pressure.
Julian de Guzman - 6
De Guzman lacked his customary pace and drive and was also a liability for the Swans' midfield.
Wayne Routledge - 7
The winger was quite a handful down the left flank and combined well with the advanced players.
Nathan Dyer - 7.5
Dyer had some of the few opportunities at goal that came Swansea's way and carried out some determined running and was intelligent in the role of a second striker.
Danny Graham (off 71') - 7
Graham did a competent job as a target man atlhough he could have participated in the various midfield skirmishes like Michu would have done in order to boost his side's chances.
Pablo Hernandez (on 59') - 6.5
The ex-Valencia man was more effective at keeping hold of the ball down the flanks than Agustien.
Ki Sung-Yueng (on 61') - 6.5
The South Korean was only marginally better than De Guzman as he did not dwell over his passes but he did not have the requisite creativity to help unlock the Arsenal defence.
Michu (on 71') - 6.5
The Swansea star was brought on in order to test the tiring Arsenal defence but, unfortunately for him, the home side enjoyed their best spell of possession and rarely gave him a sniff of the ball.