Arsenal thrashed Sunderland 4-1 as they stay firmly on track in the title race. The Gunners would have expected an in your face and a physical game from the Blackcats but Wenger’s side were allowed to ping passes around without any real pressure. Sunderland put in a lacklustre performance and were hardly in the game.
The game was preceded by the unveiling of the Dennis Bergkamp statue and the great man was a guest at the match. Arsenal made 5 changes to their starting line up and Mesut Ozil was not even in the match day squad. Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla all started in attack. Mikel Arteta replaced Flamini in midfield.
Sunderland set out to show the rest of the league that they are the slowest starters and conceded a goal within 5 minutes. Arsenal crafted a beautiful opening when Podolski drilled a pass to Rosicky who flicked it to Wilshere, he broke into the box, Bardsley crashed onto Jack and the ball squirmed to Giroud who made no mistake and slotted it home.
Lukas Podolski hit a rasping drive that Mannone did well to thwart . The second was laid on the plate after some ferocious closing down by Podolski and Giroud. Vergini’s horribly attempted back pass was intercepted by Giroud and he passed it between Mannone’s legs into the goal. Hard luck Vergini but Arthur Boruc, that Saint guy’s gift was priceless, better luck next time around.
Arsenal then scored a goal that will be talked about for years to come. A series of one touch passes got Rosicky to the edge of box and he slid it to Giroud who guided the ball into Rosicky path and he dinked above Mannone to score one of the greatest ever goals at the Emirates. Half time:Arsenal 3- some yellow shirts 0
Nacho Monreal was replaced by Jenkinson at half time and Sagna moved into the left back position. Vergini made a complete mess of a clearance and from the resulting corner Koscielny headed home a thundering goal. Koscielny then suffered an innocuous looking knock and was substituted by Flamini. We really can’t afford to lose him, Arsene Wenger later quelled fears and confirmed both Monreal and Koscielny will be available next week. Sagna showed his versatility by slotting in as the centre back alongside Mertesacker.
Former Gunner Seb Larsson curled in a free kick inches wide of the far post. Giaccherini scored a wonder goal from the edge of the box and it was just a mere consolation for the away side. Sunderland made it easier for the Gunners than it should have really been, exactly the kind of game we would have hoped for after our midweek exertion. Despite numerous attempts by Vergini, Arsenal scored only four and could have had more were it not for the lack of ruthlessness. Anyway 3 points were essential and we secured them. A good week’s rest ahead of next weekend’s trip to Stoke City Rugby Club sorry Football Club.
FT:ARSENAL 4- SUNDERLAND 1