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Premier League

  • August 18, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 60078
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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.

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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