In a new series inspired by an old series at Black and Red United, our sister blog dedicated to MLS club D.C. United, we're going to start bringing you a roundup of match reports from here and there across the internet. On offer for our first entry? Well, it's not great, Bob - Arsenal's extremely frustrating road draw to Sunderland. We'll start with thoughts from SBN's Sunderland Blog, Roker Report, and end with our own thoughts. Might as well get to it...
The game finished 0-0, and it was a well earned point for Sunderland who now climb out of the bottom three ahead of Norwich on goal difference. Allardyce may well feel his side deserved to win the game, but on reflection it's fair to say that a point was probably a fair result.
Sunderland climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone after holding Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light. Sam Allardyce's men have moved above Norwich City into 17th place on goal difference after a spirited performance against the Gunners in which they created the better chances to win. Arsenal, for whom Jack Wilshere made a first appearance of the season, started strongly, but struggled to break down a resilient home side who were happy to sit deep for much of the first half.
Sunderland’s manager looked equally dismayed at Sunday’s final whistle but in reality this hard-won point proved sufficient to lift his side out of the bottom three on goal difference and leave them in control of their destiny. Arsène Wenger’s future seems slightly less certain right now and arguably he had greater reason to be disappointed with a draw which leaves Manchester United with genuine hopes of capturing a top-four place at Arsenal’s expense. As Wenger zipped his club anorak tightly to the neck at the end he may have been insulating himself against rather more than the chill Wearside breeze apparently drifting down from the Arctic.
Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal - Match report | Arsenal first team, ladies and academy results and fixtures | Arsenal.com | Arsenal.com
Sunderland came closest to winning it - Patrick van Aanholt’s first-half free-kick striking the post - though Arsenal made plenty of chances too, with the best of them falling to Alex Iwobi. Both sides had penalty appeals for handball waved away before the break and both would continue to make chances after the interval, though were denied by a mixture of inprecise passing and some good saves by Petr Cech and Vito Mannone. Wilshere came on for the final seven minutes and looked sharp but ultimately couldn’t inspire Arsène Wenger’s side to what would have been an important victory. At the end of it, a point probably suited the hosts more. Sunderland are out of the relegation zone now, but are level on points with 17th-placed Norwich. Arsenal meanwhile, remain in fourth ahead of next weekend’s visit of the Canaries.
You can only improvise properly if you know how to play your instruments, and we look like men that have never played together before. And then you throw on Theo Walcott to blunder around with his rusty trumpet. It’s sad, it’s as boring as it’s ever been under Arsene Wenger, and it’s impossible not to be worried that he still can’t produce any kind of cohesive football. They look like they’ve switched off. I don’t doubt they want to win, and Ozil’s frustration was clear at one point, but psychologically they’re on holidays already. Bizarre moments like Laurent Koscielny ducking out of the way of a corner when he had no idea who was behind him are indicative of a group of players who just want this season over and done with. And in some ways that’s something to connect with because that’s pretty much how I feel. If I could take fourth now and just switch off that would be enough. As it is, with the way we’re playing, I worry that there’s a sting in the tail of this campaign.
Arsenal's "title challenge" is officially over following a 0-0 draw at Sunderland, and Leicester's (thus far) 3-0 lead over Swansea City. With the point, Arsenal are now firmly in 4th place, level on 64 points with Manchester City, who Arsenal play in two weeks in Manchester. The draw extends Arsenal's lead over Manchester United, in 5th place, to 5 points; United have a game in hand. Perhaps this is a result to get angry about. Arsenal, aside from the first 10 minutes, where they played some fairly enterprising and fluid stuff, were awful. The final ball on show from both sides was fairly substandard, despite some classic Premier League tryhard running.
0-0 against relegation battlers Sunderland. My opinion: Welp.