Full-time: Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal

  • Sunderland move out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
  • Arsenal five points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United.
  • Jack Wilshere makes his first-team return for the Gunners.
  • Patrick van Aanholt hit the post from a freekick.
Patrick van Aanholt hits the post
Patrick van Aanholt hits the post Getty Images

Full-time: Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal

All over at the Stadium of Light and neither side really knows what to make of that result. It does, at least, move Sunderland outside the relegation zone.

For Arsenal, they are now five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, although they have played an extra game.


Four minutes of added time to be played.


Alexis lets fly from distance but Mannone is able to get down to push the ball wide of the posts. In truth, the Chilean has been miles short of his brilliant best this afternoon.

Sam Allardyce is urging his players to push up the pitch, away from their own goal, as they are inviting pressure on themselves. There are lots of nervous supporters at the Stadium of Light. Everyone is aware how big these next few minutes could be.


Five minutes left now - just enough time for a Sunderland player to make themselves a hero. Will anyone step forward?

Sam Allardyce barks instructions
Sam Allardyce barks instructions Getty Images


A huge moment Arsenal and England fans now. Jack Wilshere has just put his shirt on and is preparing for his introduction. A downbeat-looking Mesut Ozil is the man to make way.


A long ball goes flying over the top of the Sunderland defence and Mannone gets to it fractionally before Danny Welbeck and just gets a little nick on the ball. A narrow escape for the hosts.


Another Sunderland switch is imminent. I wonder if Sam Allardyce would accept a point if he was offered it now? Anyway, Seb Larsson replaces Jan Kirchhoff.

Arsene Wenger looks frustrated
Arsene Wenger looks frustrated Getty Images


Sunderland are making a switch of their own...


Arsene Wenger has seen enough of this. He makes a double switch, with Welbeck and Walcott both being introduced. Giroud and Iwobi make way.


The Mackems spurn another golden chance to open the scoring! This time, Defoe and Borini have a two-on-one situation, only for the former England man to missplace his pass at the critical moment.

From the subsequent corner, the ball flashes across the face of the six-yard box - no-one can get on the end of it, though.


Sunderland are on top for the time being, hustling Arsenal into mistake after mistake. The Stadium of Light crowd are certainly enthused by what they are watching at the moment.

Lee Cattermole shoots at goal
Lee Cattermole shoots at goal Getty Images


Jermain Defoe goes close once again. The former England man latches on to a through-pass, and he looks to lob Cech from distance. Unfortunately for Defoe, his instinctive effort goes just wide of the post.


An hour gone and still no change of a change from Arsene Wenger. Remember, he has the likes of Welbeck and Walcott on the bench.

The Arsenal bench look on
The Arsenal bench look on Getty Images


Arsenal launch their first meaningful attack of the half now. Giroud crosses the ball towards Alex Iwobi but the youngster - who is about ten yards from goal - gets it all wrong. He should have done better from such a good position.


A minute later, and Cech is the Gunners' hero again - this time he stops Khazri's effort from outside the box. Sunderland have started the second half on the front foot.

Sunderland are up for the fight
Sunderland are up for the fight Getty Images


Petr Cech comes to Arsenal's rescue, saving an impressive volley from Jermain Defoe and then getting back to his feet to push the follow-up effort around the post.

Sam Allardyce rues the missed chance
Sam Allardyce rues the missed chance Getty Images


Hector Berllerin goes into the book for a late tackle. He'll need to watch his step for the next 40-odd minutes now.


We're back under way. No changes from either side at the break.


Half-time: Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal

So, we go into the break without there being any goals, but the game really came to life in the last 20 minutes of the half following Patrick van Aanholt's spectacular effort.

The next 45 minutes could be crucial in Sunderland's history...

Mesut Ozil struggled to make an impression
Mesut Ozil struggled to make an impression Getty Images


One minute of added time to be played.


Giroud lays the ball back to Iwobi, but the midfielder's effort is expertly blocked by Sunderland's defence. Arsenal still can't find a way through.

The ball actually struck DeAndre Yedlin's arm, but it bounced up off his knee, meaning a penalty would have been incredible harsh.

Yann M\'Vila passes the ball for Sunderland
Yann M\'Vila passes the ball for Sunderland Getty Images


We're five minutes from half-time and despite it still being goalless, this match is bubbling up nicely. Arsenal are in control for the most part, but Sunderland are posing a threat on the break.

Sam Allardyce will be pretty content with how things stand, I fancy.

The Sunderland boss watches on
The Sunderland boss watches on Getty Images


A huge moment of controversy at the Stadium of Light, as a goal-bound effort from Jermain Defoe is block by the arm of Per Mertesacker. Was it deliberate? The replay is inconclusive.

Either way, the ref had no doubts - he rejects the penalty appeals.

Alex Iwobi battles for the ball
Alex Iwobi battles for the ball Getty Images


Alexis almost breaks the deadlock with a well-directed freekick from distance. But Mannone gets down to his right side to clear the ball.

Arsenal are awarded a corner and after a monumental scrap in the middle of the six-yard box, Sunderland manage to hack the ball clear. The hosts survive - but only just.

Arsene Wenger watches on from the sidelines
Arsene Wenger watches on from the sidelines Getty Images