Sanchez double seals Arsenal success at Sunderland
PUBLISHED: 16:56 25 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:56 25 October 2014
Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2
Alexis Sanchez struck both goals as Arsenal triumphed at the Stadium of Light to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Sanchez capitalised on a dreadful slip from Sunderland defender Wes Brown on the half-hour mark to net his seventh goal in 11 games and earn three points for the Gunners.
And Arsenal’s top scorer made certain with his second of the game – and his eighth overall – tapping home in injury time after another Sunderland defensive error.
Arsenal made most of the early running, although their attempts on goal were optimistic rather than menacing, with Kieran Gibbs and Sanchez both well off target.
The Black Cats’ main attacking outlet was Will Buckley, who caused Calum Chambers some problems on the flank, but overall there was little for the returning Wojciech Szczesny to do.
The Gunners gradually got closer as Vito Mannone fumbled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross-shot, but John O’Shea was there to tidy up, and then Danny Welbeck cut inside to thump a shot that scorched the top of the net.
And the breakthrough came courtesy of Brown’s howler just inside his own half as the Sunderland defender presented the ball to Sanchez, who sped through, drew Mannone and deftly chipped over the keeper.
Arsenal grew in confidence and might have extended their lead when Cazorla rifled a left-foot drive just wide of the post, while Mannone had to make the block after Chambers got round the back to reach a lofted Sanchez pass.
Szczesny was called into action at the start of the second half, when Seb Larsson’s cross found the head of Jack Rodwell and the Gunners’ keeper leapt to his left to push the ball clear.
Larsson also tested Szczesny from the edge of the box while, at the other end, Patrick Van Aanholt carelessly yielded possession to Sanchez, but this time the Chilean fired straight at Mannone.
Van Aanholt almost made up for that mistake when he got away inside the Arsenal penalty area and picked out Jozy Altidore, but the substitute could not get enough purchase on his header to trouble Szczesny.
However, the visitors should really have wrapped up the game 10 minutes from time when Welbeck headed Nacho Monreal’s cross over at the near post.
And three further opportunities went begging as the clock ticked down – all for Cazorla, who struck one tamely at Mannone and walloped the second high into the stand after Welbeck had set him up.
But the Gunners continued their recent habit of late goals as Sanchez snatched his second two minutes into added time, stabbing home after a mix-up between Mannone and Santiago Vergini.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs (Bellerin 73); Arteta (Ramsey 88), Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Rosicky 90), Sanchez, Cazorla; Welbeck.
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