You can only beat what is put in front of you, of course, and there was something ominous about the way Arsenal moved through the gears, after Jermain Defoe had equalised for Sunderland midway through the second half from the penalty spot.
The Gunners responded to that setback with three goals in just six minutes and 20 seconds as Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score twice and Alexis Sanchez added a second after he had opened the scoring in the first half.
“I am happy with the performance, with the result,” said a pristine looking Wenger. “At some stage, we were questioned with our spirit as well, because we missed many chances.
“At 1-1, of course, you are thinking you have a chance now to lose a game which should be over. But we kept going again and had another go and won in the end in a comfortable way.
Sunderland’s lack of quality is obvious. Their next two games, away at Bournemoutayers are ready for the start of the campaign after a tough preseason.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino likened the pre-season schedule to the Champions League ter City’s defeat at Burnley has been revealed.The Daily Mail says the pair have been fined by their Leicester team-mates for turning up late to training. Both men were left out of the Foxes side that lost 2-1 against Burnley but Brendan Rodgers insiand having faced Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Inter provide thh and at home to Hull City, look crucial if they are going to have any hope of turning things around.
Lose both and manager David Moyes’ future will have to be questioned, no matter how much the club want to give him time. It still seems ridiculous to sack him, because they brought him to do a long term job, but Sunderland have already equalled the worst start to a Premier League season – Manchester City in 1995/6 – and it is not showing any sign of ending.
Sunderland are in the same division – for the time being at least – as Arsenal, but this had the feel of a cup tie against lower league opposition. Having survived more by luck than judgement for the last four years, it seems the Black Cats have used up all their lives.
They began brightly, trying to take the game to Arsenal, but there was little they could do to hurt the visiting defence, who just soaked it all up and waited for the confidence to drain from the home team.
It did not take long as Arsenal scored at the end of a 22-pass move. This Sunderland defence make mistakes and when Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain skipped around van Patrick Aanholt and sent over a delicious cross, the danger should have been cleared.
Sunderland had three defenders inside the area. Arsenal had just one attacker, but Lamine Kone had no idea where Sanchez was, did not check on him once and then waited to head the ball clear. Sanchez was like a spider waiting for a fly, poised, but unseen.
As the cross left his teammate’s boot, he pounced, dashing in front of the static centre back to glance a header into the top corner. A good goal from an Arsenal point of view A dreadful one from Sunderland’s. That is why they are bottom of the league.
It felt like the game was already over as a contest, but Arsenal did not manage to get the second goal they needed to kill the contest before half-time.
There is always a danger, when you have looked so comfortable, but failed to build a two goal lead that you will be punished. Arsenal were playing in third, possibly second, gear, but they did not create enough going forward.
Sanchez felt he should have had a penalty when he was tugged back by Kone, but he could have run on instead of throwing himself to the floor.
Minutes later, Sunderland were awarded a spot kick after Shkodran Mustafi lost the ball to Duncan Watmore, who was then brought down by Petr Cech. Defoe converted from the spot.
Sunderland’s foothold in the game lasted just six minutes as Arsenal moved back through the gears, Sanchez sent Kieran Gibbs away down the left and his cross was swept in by Olivier Giroud.
The natural order restored, Arsenal flexed their muscles as Giroud headed in a third off the back of his head and Sanchez was able to tap the ball past Jordan Pickford as the Sunderland defence disintegrated.
“I’ll keep doing what I do,” said Moyes. “I’m an experienced manager, I’m not experienced of being quite in this sort of position before, but I’ve had lots o United boss David Moyes is ready to introduce a new disciplined culture at the club.Moyes has declared there will be “zero tolerance” of bad behaviour under his new regime at West Ham.“I’ve come in today and it nearly feels like deja vu,” said tf games in the Premier League and I’ll keep working them.
“You might not see it, but we had to stick in the game, Arsenal were fantastic, a team of better quality than us. We grew in the game, got back into it, but the players they can bring on, the gap was too big in the end.”
I really don’t like managers being chopped so often but David Moyes has a real job on to deal with the mounting pressure. His team looks lost.
The Stadium of Light is basically the stadium of empty at the moment. Coquelin comes off to give Maitland-Niles some Premier League experience. It genuinely looks like there are more empty seats than spectators left in the ground.
That’s Mr Sanchez celebrating his goal there. Arsenal build up another attack by passing and linking all over the Sunderland half and the defenders clear it away. Arsenal just keep on coming though and any attempts to play in Defoe are utterly pointless – he can’t hold it up on his own or even win headers against those defenders.
Great cross by Oxlade-Chamberlain but what a header that is from Sanchez. An Alan Shearer-esque power drive off the noggin. The ball from the right was perfect – Kone should have done so much better defending it.
Arsenal are made to pass the ball patiently around the Sunderland half in an attempt to get forward. They ping it about quickly and the movement is great.
Sunderland are holding a really high line but have been caught out twice with through-balls already…
Sky Sports are running a very long interview with Petr Cech about that time he had his skull broken and how he likes drumming. His YouTube channel is various videos of him playing drum covers of different songs. The best thing is that you can see him improving over time. Awww.
I cannot believe he’s even considering this, especially with how good Arsenal have looked with Sanchez up front, but Wenger has said he . I do not understand. Giroud is a fine player, scores goals, gets injured, misses all his chances and Arsenal draw 0-0 and finish fourth. He is such a fourth place player, whereas the Sanchez + Ozil partnership is dynamic and exciting.
Today that partnership gets another chance up front. Enjoy it while you can Gunners fans!
This one has a draw written all over it. Sunderland are going to sit deep and keep the doors shut, the windows boarded and the chimney blocked to stop Arsenal getting past them. Without Cazorla pulling the strings Arsenal can become a bit predictable – expect Ozil to drop a lot deeper today to try and influence the passing away from the man marker he’ll have been assigned.
This Premier League match takes place at 12.30pm on Saturday October 29 2016.
At the Stadium of Light..
Oh very much so. has exclusive rights to the match, and you can follow it all here with our live blog.
, and have not won a league match all season. They’ve lost six out of their last seven league matches, and last won a league match in May.
Arsenal by contrast are unbeaten in their last 13 matches and have won eight of their last nine in all competitions.
Sunderland have a dreadful recent record against Arsenal, and have won just one of the last 25 league matches between the two sides ().
They did though earn a 0-0 draw in this equivalent fixture last season, and Arsenal fans will have painful memories of a late Darren Bent equaliser that earned the Black Cats a 1-1 draw in September 2010.
Otherwise though Arsenal have largely been on easy street against Sunderland, and Mesut Ozil will recall fondly making his debut at the Stadium of Light in a 3-1 win three years ago.
Well, how about…
Arsenal have conceded just eight times in 15 visits to Sunderland in the Premier League (including one game at Roker Park). The Gunners have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four at the Stadium of Light.David Moyes has lost 14 Premier League games against Arsene Wenger – the only manager he’s lost to as often is Sir Alex Ferguson.Olivier Giroud has scored five times and assisted two goals in his last six Premier games against Sunderland in all competitions.Jermain Defoe has faced Arsenal 21 times in the Premier League but has only scored twice – once at Highbury for West Ham in January 2003 and again for Spurs in their 5-4 loss to the Gunners in November 2004.Sunderland have made the worst start to a Premier League season (two points after nine games) since Sheffield Wednesday had one point after nine games in 1999/2000.Theo Walcott has had more shots on target this season than any other Premier League player (17). A goal in this game means he would surpass five goals in a Premier League season for the first time since 2012/13 (14).Jack Rodwell hasn’t won any of his last 34 Premier League games he’s started, the longest run ever by a Premier League player.Arsenal are one of two unbeaten Premier League sides away from home this season – the other being North London rivals Tottenham.
Stats provided by Opta
Sunderland are without the injured Sebastian Larsson, Fabio Borini, Jan Kirchhoff, Vito Mannone, AdnanJanuzaj, Jason Denayer and Lee Cattermole.
Arsenal will be missing Lucas Perez (who ), Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck. Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey are doubtful, but Olivier Giroud is fit to play. Granit Xhaka meanwhile is serving the final match of his three-game suspension.
Pickford; Manquillo, Kone, O’Shea, Van Aanholt; Watmore, Pienaar, Ndong, Rodwell, Khazri; Defoe
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez
Ar – 2/5
A 1-1 draw.