Sunday, 16 October 2011

Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland - 16 October 2011

Arsenal welcome Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on Sunday with the hopes to win and move up the premier league table. Both teams have had a patchy start to the season having won only 2 matches from their past 7 league games and are currently at 15th and 16th places respectively.

Robin van Persie celebrates his first goal with Theo Walcott
Sagna for Arsenal picked up an injury in the derby defeat at Tottenham and will be out for atleast three months. Rosicky was suffering with groin problem but he is expected to play today at Emirates.

Nicklas Bendtner for Sunderland will be missing against his former club as he is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement with the Arsenal. Craig Gordon and Fraizer Campbell are sufferinf from knee injury and will miss this clash today.Two classy finishes from Robin van Persie earned Arsenal victory over Sunderland at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners' captain opened the scoring after just 29 seconds - the fastest goal of the Premier League season.

Sunderland drew level on the half-hour thanks to a stunning free-kick from former Gunner Sebastian Larsson.

But Van Persie had the final say when he fired in a free-kick of his own eight minutes from time to give Arsene Wenger's men victory.

Van Persie declared his commitment to the club in the matchday programme following reports he was planning to join Manchester City - and then backed that up with his match-winning display on the pitch.

Sunderland kicked the game off, and were stunned to find themselves behind within 30 seconds as the Gunners worked the ball down the left flank and Gervinho picked out Van Persie - who was given far too much space by Wes Brown - and he fired the ball low past Simon Mignolet.

The Dutchman almost doubled the lead after 12 minutes with a sublime piece of skill, turning efortlessly on the edge of the box before spotting Mignolet off his line but his chipped effort hit the post.

The visitors were finding it impossible to shackle Van Persie and he caused more alarm with a left-footed effort which went wide of the target.

Sunderland began to settle down and created an opportunity in the 27th minute.

Wojciech Szczesny raced wide out of his penalty area to collect the ball and was beaten to it by Kieran Richardson but no-one could get on the end of his cross.

But it was still against the run of play when the Black Cats levelled through Larsson's third goal of the season.

Mikel Arteta was penalised for handball and Larsson curled in the resulting free-kick from 25 yards into the top corner.

And it was Sunderland who could have led at the break but for a brilliant save from Szczesny as he kept out Lee Cattermole's close-range header.

The visitors set their stall out to defend after the interval, and four quick-fire yellow cards were the stand-out moments, although the Gunners were frustrated with Alex Song's attempt to find Theo Walcott as one of several attacks broke down.

Andrey Arshavin wriggled free to create a chance but his weak shot was off target.

Just as it was looking like being another frustrating afternoon for Wenger's side, Van Persie intervened in style, curling in a fine free-kick from 25 yards.

The Gunners did have a late scare when Sunderland subsitute Ji Dong-won had the ball in the back of the net but it was rightly ruled offside as the Gunners held on for a win which takes them into the top half of the Premier League.

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