0 - 1 Alexis Sanchez 30'
0 - 2 Alexis Sanchez 90+3'
Arsenal took all three points from the Stadium of Light today despite putting in another loose, slipshod performance on the day. Alexis ran onto a Wes Brown fluffed backpass to chip home over a stranded Vito Mannone in the first half, and then following sixty minutes of futile not-quites from both teams, he poked home a Mannone error from close range to seal the win for the Gunners.
I'm not necessarily endorsing the Steve Miller Band, but:
The performance today was cut from the same cloth as many Arsenal matches this year. It had a bit of everything: squandered counterattacks, lack of movement in possession around the opposition penalty area, Wojciech Szczesny insane-mode antics. At times, the game was stretched nearly to the breaking point, but aside from a good Patrick van Aanholt cross to Jozy Altidore near the end, Sunderland didn't generate a TON of dangerous chances, despite the occasional promising setup. Aaron Ramsey came on in the end, hopefully getting a little more fitness, although it was only in the 86th minute. He perhaps could have had an assist on a counter, but the cross would've been fairly difficult to get to fellow sub Tomas Rosicky.
Most worryingly of all, though, was that Kieran Gibbs had to leave the match with a hip complaint (MAYBE IT WAS A HIP COMPLAINT ABOUT MY STEVE MILLER VIDEO AMIRITE YOU GUYS AMIRITE HEY O HEY O) in the second half. Depending on how that plays out, that leaves Arsenal with four healthy defenders, two of whom are 19 years old. Mathieu Flamini and Isaac Hayden form the entirety of our defensive subs, really, at this point.
To look on the bright side, here, Arsenal managed an away win, but to look at the not-bright side, one wonders if they can continue to play this way and expect any reasonable return. Today's game had 0-0 written all over it if not for the Black Cats errors, and surely that cannot carry forward. But football is weird, goals don't always connect up with general play, and this is what it is. I, for one, am going to breathe a sigh of relief and just think about how freaking unbelievable Alexis is.
We've got a week until Burnley visits the Emirates. We have eight injured first-teamers. Everyone bundle up!