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Played
August 18, 2012 10:00 AM EDT
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 60078‎
 
Top of the Match
Santi Cazorla
Santi Cazorla
Arsenal
Santi Cazorla
Santi Cazorla
Arsenal
Flop of the Match
Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski
Arsenal
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Arsenal

Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland: Defiant Black Cats frustrate new boys Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud

Gunners held to draw by Martin O'Neill's side at the Emirates Stadium as they can't find a way through a stubborn defensive effort.

By Simon Sinclair

Arsenal started life without Robin van Persie with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland as the Gunners couldn't find a breakthrough against a resolute Black Cats defense.

Arsene Wenger's sides's best chances of the game fell to new boy Olivier Giroud who somehow fired an effort past the post with only Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet to beat from inside the box. Santi Cazorla also had a few decent efforts but couldn’t find a way past the Belgian international.

The Wearsiders best opportunity fell to James McClean in the opening minutes but he was denied by a good save from Wojciech Szczesny. Arsene Wenger’s side pressed late on but couldn’t force a winner as both sides settled for a point.

Wenger handed Premier League debuts to summer signings Podolski and Cazorla. The German international was part of a three pronged attack alongside Gervinho and Theo Walcott while the Spaniard joined Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta in the center of midfield.

Alex Song wasn’t named in the squad while Thomas Vermaelen took the captain’s armband replacing Van Persie as the Gunners' third captain in three years.

The visitors started the game in confident fashion and could have taken the lead through McClean in the opening minutes as he was played through one-on-one with Wojciech Szczesny but the Irishman couldn’t beat the Gunners keeper who made a good save with his feet.

Arsenal went straight on the counter attack and Cazorla jinked past several Black Cat defenders before firing a vicious left-footed shot at goal which was turned away brilliantly by Simon Mignolet as the ball was swerving away from him.

Brilliance from Gervinho nearly carved out a goal for the Gunners, as he beat Gardner with a swift turn and jinked past O’Shea before crossing for Cazorla whose left-footed shot went just past the post of Mignolet.

Arsenal was becoming more threatening as the half progressed and Mignolet had to be at his best to deny it as Diaby raided forward from midfield and looked to place the ball in the bottom corner but the 24-year-old stopper was there to turn the effort past the post at full stretch.

The second half started in the same way as the first ended as the Gunners dominated possession but struggled to break down a resolute Sunderland defense with O’Shea in particular good form at the heart of the rearguard action.

The Gunners kept knocking at the door and pressing forward and thought they’d had found their way through at last when Cazorla found Giroud in the box with a lovely pass leaving him one-on-one with Mignolet but he somehow blazed his effort past the post.

Arsenal continued to press but couldn't find a breakthough as Sunderland held onto the claim a point at the Emirates Stadium.

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Arsenal

1
Wojciech Szczesny
Goalkeeper
3.50
4
Per Mertesacker
Defender
3.00
5
3.50
25
Carl Jenkinson
Defender
3.00
28
Kieran Gibbs
Defender
3.00
24
A. Diaby
Midfielder
69′
3.00
8
Mikel Arteta
Midfielder
3.00
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
4.00
14
Theo Walcott
Striker
76′
3.00
27
Gervinho
Striker
3.00
9
2.50

Sunderland

3.50
22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
4.00
16
John O'Shea
Defender
4.00
24
3.50
33
Lee Cattermole
Midfielder
3.00
7
4.00
8
Craig Gardner
Midfielder
4.00
15
3.50
14
Jack Colback
Midfielder
3.00
-
James McClean
Midfielder
3.00
28
3.00
10

Substitutes

25
Vito Mannone
Goalkeeper
 - 
27
 - 
5
 - 
16
Aaron Ramsey
Midfielder
69′
3.00
20
 - 
10
3.00
12
2.00

Substitutes

 - 
20
 - 
27
 - 
19
3.00
7
David Meyler
Midfielder
79′
3.00
27
 - 
10
3.00
8
Louis Saha
Striker
64′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2