Report: Arsenal 4-1 Sunderland (inc. goals)

Olivier Giroud - Sunderland

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Rosicky, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry, Sanogo, Bendtner

Arsenal closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to just a point with a 4-1 win over Sunderland at the Emirates this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger made a number of changes from the team that faced Bayern, bringing back Giroud, Podolski, Arteta, Rosicky and Monreal to the starting line-up. Mesut Ozil didn’t make the squad because of a ‘thigh injury’.

After a difficult night on Wednesday, Arsenal need a bright start and they got it, Olivier Giroud opening the scoring after just five minutes. It began with lovely midfield play by Arsenal, Jack Wilshere got into the box, he played it square to Giroud and he couldn’t miss from around the penalty spot, sliding it past former Gunner Vito Mannone. 1-0.

Despite dominating Arsenal had to be alert and Wojceich Szczesny got down well to claim a low cross which deflected as Sunderland broke from an Arsenal corner.

Lukas Podolski hit a 21st minute screamer with his left foot which Mannone saved well, while Koscielny had to head away a dangerous Adam Johnson free kick at the other end.

It was a first half of little decisive action, with Sunderland sitting deep and Arsenal struggling to find space or create real openings. Tomas Rosicky tred his luck from distance, and then Sunderland gifted Arsenal a second goal.

A terrible back pass from Vergini played in Giroud, who rolled it past Mannone from close range to make it 2-0.

Arsenal were confident, Bacary Sagna shot from 35 yards and saw his effort deflect wide, while Lukas Podolski saw a low free kick deflect out from a good position, and that confidence was apparent in Arsenal’s third which came in the 42nd minute.

It was similar to the goal against Norwich. A series of one-touch passes got Arsenal to the edge of the box. Rosicky played it to Giroud who flicked it back to the Czech, and as Mannone came out, Rosicky dinked it over him to make it. A truly fantastic team goal to make it 3-0, and Arsenal took that lead into the break.

Arsenal made a half-time change, bringing on Carl Jenkinson for Nacho Monreal with Bacary Sagna moving to left back, while the visitors made a double change as Larsson and Giaccherini came on.

It made a difference as Sunderland played with much more purpose and desire. Szczesny had to make a good save from Borini, and Arsenal’s defence was put under some genuine pressure for the first time in the game.

Giaccherini got a yellow card for hauling down Giroud, and in the 57th minute Arsenal scored again. Vergini hacked a routine clearance just wide of his far post which gave Arsenal a corner. From the set-piece Cazorla’s kick found Koscielny unmarked and the centre-half planted a downward header into the net to make it 4-0.

When Sunderland did get forward they found Sagna and Mertesacker in irresistible form but in the 67th minute Arsenal were forced into another change when Koscielny picked up a knock and was replaced by Mathieu Flamini.

The visitors tried to take advantage of the defensive reshuffle, Larsson heading back across goal to Ki who forced Szczesny into a good save down low at his near post.

Serge Gnabry came on for Tomas Rosicky as Arsene Wenger made his final change of the day, and the young German had a great chance to make it five, but slipped when he took the shot after a good Jack Wilshere pass.

Moments later Seb Larsson fired a free kick just wide of the far post after Jenkinson had given away a free kick in a dangerous area, and when Giroud gave away a free kick out wide Sunderland punished Arsenal. Szczesny punched the free kick out, it fell to Giaccherini and he lashed home a low shot from 30 yards. 4-1.

It was the first Premier League goal Arsenal have conceded at home since the 1-1 draw with Everton back in December.

Serge Gnabry tested Mannone with a left footed drive, while Jack Wilshere looked to pick up a strain towards the final stages of the game.

In the end it was a comfortable, impressive won for the Gunners, but if there’s a downside to such a win it’ll be the worries over the injuries. Hopefully there’s nothing too serious going on.

In the meantime, enjoy the three points!


  1. Great display from the boys today, great recovery after Bayern.

    Seeing a lot of support for ozil which is nice to see, but also seeing a lot of abuse for anyone who doesn’t praise him, which includes me. Seen people on the live blog call those who criticise ozil “cunts” and plastic fans. Just because I don’t agree with you on a player doesn’t make me a cunt or a plastic fan.
    To people saying criticism of ozil is like criticising giroud and ramsey, It really isn’t. I criticise ozil because in most games it appears as if he isn’t trying ( in my personal opinion which could be wrong). Where as Ramsey and Giroud both run their guts out for this team and never have to be told by their team mates to applaud the fans or do their defensive job ( Flamini to ozil vs bayern). I have also realised that Ozil ran the 3rd most on the pitch that day which means I am wrong about his work rate for the night, but again, that doesn’t make me a cunt or a fucking plastic fan. So before you dish out shit like that, accept that criticism is a part of the game, especially when it’s for effort and work rate rather than skill level.

    Just think what if bendtner is the one who refused to applaud the fans against City, wouldn’t everyone be abusing him for weeks and months after?

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      • “type text into pre – exisiting article comment section, copy, refresh arseblog looking for match report, paste”

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    • Big difference between criticism and abuse, and the kid is getting an undeserved lot of the latter.

      When tempers are high, its hard to tell the difference sometimes, and there is an element out there that like to scapegoat: –Sell Ramsey he’ll never make it, Per is too slow, Giroud isn’t good enough, Who is that French center back from League 2 etc etc.

      People are drawing conclusions about Özil after 20 odd games in a new league when other Arsenal legends have taken 2 seasons to adapt.

      His big pric tag means people don’t cut him any slack, is it fair to jump on his back, just because he cost a lot of money and doesn’t settle straight away.

      By the way, great game

      And John Terry IS a cunt.

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      • never said any of that, He IS a great player, Best we’ve had at the club for a fair while. But I get a hint of Arrogance from him from little things such as pushing Per away when he tells him to applaud the fans and such, that’s all.

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    • Glad you’re humble enough to admit you were wrong, but then again that’s the whole problems isn’t it, people are quick to criticizing without the facts or common sense to bag it up. Just for the sake of “I’m entitled to my opinion” & stuff.

      Well deserve rest for Ozil today btw. Comfortable win. Great job by our boys.

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    • Positive criticism is always welcome, but then there is such a thing as hounding a player after a poor game or two. Ozil didn’t play today, and yet the bulk of your message is about Ozil – that is hounding a player. Get over it. Today was a Bergkamp special, and remember how in his first season he was branded a falilure too by impatient fans (such as you I may add). See how that worked out. Every player will go through poor runs and it is important to let them have their space and replenish…which was the whole point of leaving Ozil out today.

      So quit hounding him, especially after a class performance like todays

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      • Ozil is world class. It is not for no reason that the Real Madrid fans were furious when news broke of Ozil’s exit. He is THAT good. He needs maybe a season to settle in to a completely new country, new style of play, greater physicality and higher tempo. Not saying anything against Arsenal, but he was spoiled for choice at Real Madrid when it came to setting up assists. He had the likes of Ronaldo, Benzema and Di Maria. All world class players making darting runs forward all the time. Our best players, Walcott and Ramsey are currently out and not quite at the level of Ronaldo to put it mildly.
        He is being asked to play a completely different role at Arsenal by not only being a provider, but to contribute far more in scoring goals.
        I ask the fans to be patient because when he comes good next season or even later this season, every naysayer will be eating their words.

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  2. Nice to see Szczesny cleaning everything up (that Borini take out was nice), Get some rest, boys, we’ll need every bit of it later for deathrun II

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    • Better still the players protect each other. Borini elbows Santi, Szczesny takes him out not too much later. A bit later Per nicks the ball of him and Arteta just happens to be in the way to flatten the guy afterwards.

      And that is before Flamini came on…..

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  3. Quick draw mcblogs!
    Solid win, worrying about the knocks we might have, monreal wilshere kosser…lets hope nothing too serious we need as many bodies as possible for whats shaping up to be crunch time.

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  4. What a game, what a day.It started with the return of an arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, and ended with a great victory against sunderland. Congrats to giroud after the week he had, its nice to see him score again.Lets support the team no matter what.Keep the faith gooners!COYG!

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  5. Great performance by the boys. It’s was a disappointing day. Everton and stoke couldn’t hold on. And a few injury concerns with Koscielny, Monreal, and Jack. Otherwise, what a professional performance.

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  6. Excellent first half, with us finishing the half with a very comfortable goal margin. Nonetheless the second half is why teams don’t fear Arsenal the way they fear the likes of Man City. If teams are scared of playing us at the Emirates then that is already half the battle done. It may cause our players to be more tired in the short term, but the long term “fear factor” would be hugely beneficial. As such we should have gone and destroyed Sunderland by 6 goals or so, and offence is always the best defence so it’s likely we wouldn’t have conceded. Admittedly following the recent run of games its easy to see why Arsene opted to sit back in the second half, but I’d really like to watch Arsenal rip apart another team for the full 90 minutes once in a while. Still, a very good scoreline and 3 points in the bag, so all is well.

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    • For a fan, it is exciting to see your team win 6-0 or 8-0 but we need to remember that we don’t really have a big squad. Also, Man City have been ripping teams apart and today they really struggled to win 1-0. So that logic might not work. More important would be to carve out wins when matches might end up as draws. In that sense, if we had taken our chances and been clinical against Chelsea and Man U, teams would probably fear us more because they would know that Arsenal don’t give up.

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  7. 1. Nice comfortable win… for a change.

    2. Sunderland clearly not interested… probably just thinking about the cup final next week

    3. Nice to see Giroud get a couple.. first was an excellent finish.

    4 Szczsney proves get again that he is not a great goalkeeper… he should have caught that ball, and definitely not punched it straight down the pitch into a danger area.

    5. Hope jack is not too badly injured… why didn’t Wenger just pull him off? 10 men for 5 mins at 4-1 up? No problem.

    6. Hope Monreal isn’t injured badly either.. that would give us a problem.

    7. Now comes the tough run of matches… this will decide if we are gonna be champs or chumps.

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    • I dunno, he got plenty of distance on the punch and otherwise played well, Giacherini got a little lucky with the defence opening for him too.

      Not a major error, and one many goalkeepers make, even the best….now the 3 or 4 he made in the space of a month not so long ago means you might have a point, plus he isn’t actually ‘great’, just very good and also one of the best in the league imo but a little bit raw at times.

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    • While Szczsney should have stopped it, the real problem is that when the ball rolls out to a midfielder around 25-30 yards out, nobody chases it down to close it off, and not even one body is positioned just that bit higher so as to close it early. Same with Kroos goal. Yes, we don’t concede much from distance and there is a very low percentage of those chances getting converted, but still we give an awful lot of pops from distance. There’s always a chance of those happening 2-3 times in a quick period like a flash flood.

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      • Down-voted just for point 4.

        Punch it 30 yards well clear of the box, and because Giaccherini manages to fire it back through 7-8 players and Wojciech cannot quite get a hand on it, its Szczesny’s fault and he’s not a great keeper.

        How many goals has he conceded at the EMs this year by the way?

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    • So while all and sundry are talking up Scsez as the best keeper in the league, our own personal football genius says he’s not great…. I guess Hart, or De Gea, or Mignolet, or anybody else who’s not an Arsenal player is better huh? Why oh why do we always slag off our own!! The guy has kept us in more games than all of those others have done for their teams this season but he’s still not good enough. Oh wow!!!

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    • I’m a goalkeeper and I can tell you Szczsney is a very good keeper but he’s a product of a generation where keepers are encouraged to punch the ball away rather that catch it , more than likely with lighter balls that move around more punching is a safer option if you have to suddenly adjust for the ball however I still think an attempt to catch is the better option as you keep in close if you drop it and its easier to smother a dropped ball ,than reposition for a follow up shot.
      Also as said before hes kept us in at least 3 games this season I would swap him with any keeper in the world at the moment

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    • Actually Shezza is statistically the best GK in the EPL by a large distance and one of the top 3 GKs in Europe this season. You could easily make a case for him to be our player of the season, he’s been that good.

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  8. Its not a bad thing its a good thing, i mean look what it has done to Giroud… Before people thumb something down make sure you have grasped what i was alluding at. fickles!

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  9. Great game by Arsenal! Simply too fast for Sunderland.

    Chelsea – those diving buggers!!! Did everyone see the Torres dive followed up by yet another Ramires dive? I wonder what Maureen has to say about that.

    I hope Monreal is alright! Also, please sign Sagna; he excelled at 3 positions today!

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    • That was a naive comment. Why should players have any attachment to the club if their own fans abuse them in the stadium. The reason we looked so good was also because we had no pressure on us from Sunderland. In the bay earn match when we were flying out and putting them under the hammer, wasn’t Ozil involved? Didn’t he win the penalty? So stop looking at Ozil as some messiah who will win us the title. He needs excellent teammates around him to bring out best in him. Teams are not built in a season.

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    • I do agree to an extent. I didn’t have to think about someone losing the ball and not bothered about it. We have a habit of making up excuses for our players who aren’t doing enough. Bar the goals handed to him on a platter (as in the Southampton game after which he didn’t score for ages), I also thought Giroud was his usual ordinary self. Dunno what all the jizzing is about.

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  10. A great win & wonderfull goals to show for it. I hope the injuries to some of our guys isn’t to bad.
    And on another note, its a fact of life that John Terry is a cunt.

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  11. Great result. Had mixed feelings about too much goals against Mannone, but it’s the profession. Same goes Giroud, quite a perfomance after his turbulance. COYG

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    • Was actually thinking that the Sunderland keeper has been looking pretty decent recently, and despite the score, got screwed by his own defense on at least 3 of the goals.

      With us probably needing a backup at the end of the season, maybe a cheeky bid is in order.

      Then again; he’s Italian so probably would never settle at Arsenal 🙂 or take far too long to adapt to the club 🙂

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  12. And we’re back.

    Have to say this team is extremely utilitarian. It knows how to grind out the wins…except of course this is more like it, a bit more flash and a much more comfortable scoreline. Will do my heart a lot of good.:D

    Perhaps we are still missing a bit of magic up top, after all this is still a team somewhat in progress and thus far (bar a couple of wins) we have flattered to deceive against the stronger opposition.

    But if Glamour models do the work to get Giroud back on track, I hope Ozil is getting his and the team gets a round of them (Rosicky for sure will offer to pay)

    A bit concern for injuries to Monreal and Koscielny.

    I have a feeling if we beat Stoke next weekend, one of City or Chelsea will drop. But we will have to do the business in Death Run 3 and take points against those two. A win over one and a draw will be very decent for us over that stretch against the rivals.

    We are coming into the business end and need to start hitting form. If this display can patapult us into the sort of form City were in (Note media will probably portray their dull 1 goal win today as the stuff of champions), we can put a devastating run in and have a great opportunity to win on both fronts domestically.


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    • You couldn’t let old Dennis down.

      He took the boat over to the game (or did he walk it?)

      Perhaps the team watched his full repertoire of goals as an inspiration before the game.

      We simply have to rediscover a bit of that panache we had and this (even though against Sunderland) is a good start.

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    • Yeah seems like we are a player (or maybe two) shy of competitive to top top quality.

      OTOH could also in some ways still be a psychological issue.

      I expect if we get a positive result against either of (or preferably both) Chelsea, City during Death Run 3 (seems a bit negative to call them Death Runs, they are more opportunities now), we will be a different team.

      The defeat to Bayern however painful was something for the team to build on both in terms of anger and in the way we could play in the opening 20minutes before the sending off.

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  13. Ozil.

    Perhaps it was the right thing to leave him out for this one considering the high profile miss recently and the stick he is getting from the media.

    With Bergkamp present and the cameras likely to make even more of a meal out of Ozil on the bench, may as well give him the day off and hopefully he will come back with renewed conviction.

    He is an extremely talented footballer who has provided us a load of assists in his maiden season for us but is capable of better. I think the central issue with him is he is a bloke who sees the glass half empty and drops his head too quickly when the going does not fall his way. That is not an issue of capability but simply attitude and is an easy fix. It is also all too commonly symptomatic of a lot of our fan base.

    Now who wants Wenger to spend big again? 😀

    Expect Ozil to come back stronger. He will be hurt by being left out on this one.

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    • Again, why the message about Ozil, he was not involved. Thats just hounding. Leave him be and let him enjoy the break.

      Instead what a great performance it was and lets talk about that.

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  14. Good to see a nice 4 goaler. We’ve not done it often this season. Feels good when that other lot around us really huffed and puffed for a result for a change.
    The third goal really was special. That’s the team goal of the season, easily. City could never do that.
    Hopefully the injuries aren’t too bad because we’re looking pretty thin at the back suddenly. Fingers crossed Monreal was just taken off as a precaution.

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    • Flamini in defense is even more worrying.

      Vermalen chose the wrong time to have a spell on the sideline.

      Hope Koscielny recovers first and foremost.

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      • OTOH great to see both Rosicky and Podolski starting.

        If Wenger is guilty of anything, it may be nor freshening up as efficiently as we could.

        We need this sort of rotation for the team to sustain an effort through 90 minutes.

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  15. Even Dennis would have been proud of that 3rd goal! It was wonderful seeing Bergkamp at the Emirates. The man who made me fall in love with the Arsenal!! Anyways someone was due a paddling since we havnt done that a lot this season. Onwards and upwards.COYG!!

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  16. Great performance guys … well done. I know Sunderland made it easy, but after the recent run, a thumping win was a must and thus excellent. No poor performances today and everyone was stellar. Wilshire ran the show and was one of his more complete performances in recent times. Giroud found his scoring boots again, it was nice to see Podolski start, I think he has been way underutilized this season.

    Two HUGE games up next, no scope of slip ups.

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  17. I can see tomorrows headlines already;

    Brave Chelsea win at the death
    Man City class finally tells
    Lucky Arsenal down struggling Sunderland

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  18. @fatgooner.
    Number 4 in your list? You sure about that mate?
    I seem to remember Szcz pulling off some outstanding saves this season to keep us in games/earn us 3 points.
    And also does he still not hold the most clean sheets this season? (I could be wrong on that one though)

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  19. Our play today without Ozil was quick fluent one touch football, I’m saying this because today I noticed that when ozil plays our players in midfield mostly are looking for him to give him the ball every time, today was very different we were looking for free player and space never mind who is the player that is free for a pass and has a free space, this is a problem that wenger needs to address I’m not a coach but today movement and passing was great and they were not looking to pass the ball only to one player and wait for him to do something magic, we had this problem with Henry in 2005 in the league when players we trying to find him and pass the ball at any cost and we had this problem with the duch skank in his last season. This is a minor thing that wenger needs to be corrected in midfield and we will have the push for the title.

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  20. I’ll take the win/points plus I’ll enjoy re-watching the highlight goals.

    In reality we beat a shit team today. I saw 1% effort from the other team in the 1st half. Only thing to brag about today was the team goal and some awesome saves by Szczesny.

    I thought we played pretty good against Beyer. Other then ozil’s penitly miss nothing to hang our heads in shame about. Only reason we lost was because we were down a player against one of the best teams in the world. Not really understanding the “we needed this easy walk in the park to bounce back”.

    I really hope Giroud gains some goal scoring confidence again after today. Lets see him apply it against some opponents that actually put up a fight.

    thumb downs are found below.

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  21. bacary sagna was amazing. if only he could have put on the gloves for the last 3 minutes, he would have played all four defensive positions. i wish we could sort out his contract. he belongs at the Arsenal.

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  22. Not that it really matters but how come the media are saying Chelsea showed the grit of champions by being shit cunts and cheating themselves a goal and we are going to be 4th?. I’m confused

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  23. Beautiful goal on the third. If TR7 was a cunt like Robben he would have just gone down and gotten a penalty. So glad our boys are made of better stuff than that pile of shit.

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  24. Jeeze. Poor “Previgo” makes a funny comment and gets that many thumbs down! And other reasonable comments too. Sometimes I wonder any of you fickle unhomourous cunts sit next to me.

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