Sam Allardyce believes the lack of cutting edge condemned Sunderland to defeat at Arsenal on Saturday (5 December). The former West Ham United boss nevertheless believes it was the best performance of the Black Cats since he replaced Dick Advocaat in early October.

Sunderland cancelled out Joel Campbell's opener via a Olivier Giroud own goal just before half-time. However, the France international striker headed home before Aaron Ramsey secured the three points late on for the Gunners.

"We didn't get in front like we should have done; when you create an opportunity against Arsenal you need to take it," Allardyce said. "We missed a very good chance inside the first 15 minutes and when those appear you need to grab them. We managed to pull back to 1-1 after going behind and I thought that was deserved."

"At that point we should have capitalised and took the lead. I thought we played well but we just didn't take our chances and to come away having lost 3-1 after creating those chances is disappointing."

Allardyce had won three of his seven games in charge since replacing Advocaat. However, he believes the performance at the Emirates Stadium was better than the ones they produced in victories over Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Stoke City.

"It was a good performance; I can't knock the players for their efforts," he admitted. "It's the best performance I've seen since I've been at the club.

"The players are improving, each week they're performing better and better, it's just unfortunate that it didn't get us a result today and I think we deserved to. I am disappointed with the result, but in terms of performance I'm satisfied with how the team played against Arsenal, who are a side that always provide a tough test."