Faltering Arsenal stay fourth after stalemate at Sunderland

PUBLISHED: 16:03 24 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:03 24 April 2016

Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin (left) battles for the ball with Arsenal's Alex Iwobi

Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin (left) battles for the ball with Arsenal's Alex Iwobi

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sunderland 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal missed their chance to regain third place in the Premier League table as they were held to a scoreless draw at relegation-threatened Sunderland.

Arsene Wenger’s side remain fourth, behind Manchester City on goal difference, following the Stadium of Light stalemate – and they could also face pressure from Manchester United for a Champions League spot.

Sunderland looked uneasy in the first quarter of an hour and the visitors might have taken advantage as Alex Iwobi and Per Mertesacker both went close.

However, the Black Cats responded well, with the lively Wahbi Khazri a particular threat as he motored away from Aaron Ramsey at a throw-in but drilled just wide of Petr Cech’s goal.

Patrick van Aanholt was unlucky not to put the home side ahead midway through the first half, cracking a free-kick against the woodwork after the evergreen Jermain Defoe had been tripped by Laurent Koscielny.

At the other end, former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone was called into action, flinging himself low to his right to push away a curling free-kick from Alexis Sanchez.

Both sides had penalty appeals correctly turned down before half-time, with referee Mike Dean rejecting claims of handball against Mertesacker and then DeAndre Yedlin.

The game remained scoreless at the break – and Arsenal were indebted to Cech for keeping it that way early in the second half as he pulled off vital stops to foil Defoe and Khazri in rapid succession.

However, the keeper could only look on helplessly – and breathe a sigh of relief – as Defoe sped on to Lee Cattermole’s through ball, outpaced Mertesacker and sent a lob drifting just wide of the unguarded goal.

The Gunners’ only opportunity came when Olivier Giroud stole in behind Sunderland’s defence and cut the ball back for Iwobi, who skewed it well off target.

Both players were withdrawn with 20 minutes remaining as Wenger rang the changes, but it was Sunderland who looked the stronger of the sides as the game wore on.

Black Cats substitute Duncan Watmore almost broke the deadlock with a shot on the turn that brought another save from Cech, while Lamine Kone volleyed over in injury time.

And, although Sanchez and Danny Welbeck both tested Mannone before the end, few could have argued that the Gunners – who ushered Jack Wilshere back into the first-team fold late on – deserved a winner.

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Elneny; Sanchez, Ozil (Wilshere 84), Iwobi (Walcott 71); Giroud (Welbeck 71).

Latest Islington Sports News

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Unai Emery has been speaking after Arsenal’s late 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. Read on for what he said about matchwinner Lucas Torreira as the Gunners made it 21 games unbeaten.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arsenal hosted Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s match report

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arsenal hosted Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Friday, December 7, 2018

The 23-year-old earned praise for his inspiration effect on young people’s lives in the local area

Friday, December 7, 2018

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee it has been revealed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Jordan Nobbs, the world class Arsenal and England midfielder will miss the 2019 Women’s World Cup after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee it has been confirmed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Arsenal Football Club have issued a statement saying players will be ‘reminded of their responsibilities’ after a number of the squad were allegedly pictured inhaling nitrous oxide, or ‘hippy crack’, in a central London nightclub.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Finsbury Park head coach Gareth Chapman wants a reaction from his side when they take on the Wasps this weekend.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now