Arsenal yet again failed to break down a side set up to defend and left the Emirates with another point and no goals scored.
Arsene Wenger made only two changes to the side that drew at Old Trafford, bringing in Jack Wilshere and Keiran Gibbs for Francis Coquelin and Nacho Monreal. There was still no place for Theo Walcott.
The first half, despite Dick Advocaat saying his side wouldn’t come to just defend, saw Arsenal facing up to yet another bus and while they dominated possession and fashioned a number of clear-cut chances, poor finishing once again was our downfall.
It was, however, a clear improvement on the first half against United at the weekend with the players working harder and showing a greater desire to move off the ball. Width was still a problem with Jack and Alexis continuing to move centrally, but the signs there that a breakthrough would come in the second half if we could get Giroud to wake up or Ozil to find his shooting boots.
The second half was simply insane.
Sunderland made two changes and offered more of a threat, getting in behind on a number of occasions yet showing the same incompetence as Arsenal in front of goal. Thankfully.
With both sides only needing a point, the second period was breathless. Arsenal battered the Black Cats but couldn’t find a way through, even Sunderland tried to help out but only managed to hit the bar, denying the Gunners a superb own goal. In typical ‘Arsenal dominating all the play’ fashion, the Gunners left their back door open just enough to make sure none of could forget Swansea.
Theo’s introduction just short of the 70th minute did help and he was by far our most dangerous threat but, once again, Arsenal could not find a way through Sunderland’s big blue bus.
Must do better, it’s not like we haven’t had enough practice at this nonsense.