Arsenal left their fans disappointed once again this past Sunday afternoon, with a poor performance against relegation candidates Sunderland ending in a goalless draw.
Not only did the Gunners look toothless in attack, but they also looked vulnerable at the back. It wouldn’t at all have been a surprise to see Sunderland nick a win, as they certainly had some decent chances to get a goal or two.
The Black Cats and their fans felt they should have been given a penalty during the first half, with Per Mertesacker handling the ball in the area. A poor headed clearance from Hector Bellerin fell straight to Jermain Defoe, who struck a fierce shot goalwards. The shot was blocked by the hands of Mertesacker though, who arguably only got away without conceding a penalty due to how close he was to Defoe when the ball was hit.
Arsenal had a penalty shout of their own a few moments later, but there was perhaps even less of a case this time around – with the ball striking DeAndre Yedlin’s hand after a big deflection.
The Gunners dominated the game pretty much from start to finish, but apart from a few glimpses of quality they rarely looked like scoring. A few of their best chances fell to Alex Iwobi, but one great opportunity came about thanks to the work-rate of Danny Welbeck.
The ex-Manchester United man put pressure on an advancing Vito Mannone, with his headed clearance going back towards his own goal. Younes Kaboul gave Welbeck a shove in the back to prevent him getting under the ball though, and Arsenal couldn’t believe they weren’t at the very least given a free kick, and potentially a red card for Kaboul as he was the last man too.
The one positive Arsenal can take from the game was that Jack Wilshere was finally able to make his season debut, as the 24-year-old has been out injured for the entire campaign. He made a cameo appearance after replacing Mesut Özil, and looked good during the few moments he was on the pitch.
The point earned puts them level with Manchester City in third, but the Citizens have a vastly superior goal difference. It looks like it’s going to come down to who wins when the two sides meet, which could prove to be a massive game.
Sunderland meanwhile, earned a really valuable point, and are now out of the relegation zone at Norwich’s expense. It looks set to go right down to the wire, but it’s not looking good for Newcastle.