Arsenal play Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium Tuesday just three days after suffering a humiliating 6-0 defeat at title rivals Chelsea in what was Arsene Wenger's 1,000th match in charge of the Gunners.
The build-up to Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge focused on Wenger's landmark as Arsenal boss, but English football's current longest-serving manager had little to celebrate as he watched his defence get torn apart by a rampart Chelsea side.
The Blues went two up after just seven minutes with goals from Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schurrle. Arsenal then conceded a penalty when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball on the goal line. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and then mistakenly showed a red card to Gunners defender Kieran Gibbs. Eden Hazard converted the spot-kick to give Chelsea a three-goal lead at the break.
Two second-half goals from Oscar and another from substitute Mohamed Salah completed the rout as Arsenal suffered the joint-heaviest margin of defeat during Wenger's 17-year tenure as manager, the other being the 8-2 loss at Manchester United in August 2011.
Arsenal (19-5-6) slipped down to fourth place in the table following Saturday's crushing defeat, and they are now seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
"It was a nightmare and I take full responsibility for it," Wenger told his club's official website. "What is important is to give a response on Tuesday night and that is it.
"It leaves it (the title race) in a very bad situation. But we want to respond. We have to win the next game. That is what we have to focus on now and give a strong response."
Swansea (7-8-15) are 13th in the standings and are four points above the drop zone after Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Everton. The Welsh side are without a win in five matches and in desperate need of points to avoid being caught up in a late-season relegation battle.
The Swans will travel to north London hoping they can repeat last season's performance at the Emirates when they beat Arsenal 2-0 with two late goals from Spanish forward Michu.
Defender Angel Rangel is confident Swansea can get a positive result against the Gunners.
"Both teams go into the game on a losing note, and I think they will want to make up for their result at Chelsea," Rangel told his club's official website. "We need some points to move ourselves away from the teams in the relegation zone, but, of course, it will be very tough at Arsenal.
"But we have shown in our last performances that we can create chances to score, and if we can take them then we have a good chance of getting something at the Emirates."
The Gunners have won 10 of their 14 home matches in the Premier League this season, with three draws and only one defeat. Swansea's recent away form has been poor with three draws in their last nine road matches.
Wenger will not be able to call upon a number of first-team players, including Mesut Ozil (hamstring), Aaron Ramsey (tendon), Jack Wilshere (broken foot), and Theo Walcott (knee).
Swansea head coach Garry Monk could be without Kyle Bartley (hamstring) but has been boosted by the recent return to full fitness of Michu after a three-month absence with a foot injury.
Arsenal were top of the table when they beat Swansea 2-1 away at the Liberty Stadium in late September. Serge Gnabry and Ramsey scored for the Gunners before Ben Davies netted a late consolation goal for the Swans.
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- Arsene Wenger
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