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Played
August 18, 2012 3:00 PM BST
Emirates Stadium — London
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 60078‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Santi Cazorla was the pick of the bunch for the Gunners as Arsene Wenger's side struggled to break down a defensively-minded Black Cats in their opening Premier League fixture

By Josh Clarke

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    194
    13
    3.50

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Sharp saves from McClean and Colback within the first 10 minutes helped to steady any Arsenal nerves. Had barely anything to do after that.

  • Per Mertesacker
    124
    36
    3.00

    Per Mertesacker

    Questionable positioning allowed McClean to breach the Gunners defence early on but the giant centre-half quickly settled into the game afterwards.

  • Thomas Vermaelen
    194
    14
    3.50

    Thomas Vermaelen

    An assured first start as Gunners captain though Sunderland’s willingness to soak up pressure meant he was caused few headaches defensively.

  • Carl Jenkinson
    78
    109
    3.00

    Carl Jenkinson

    Afforded a chance at right-back, with Sagna out for another month or so. Untroubled defensively but should have used that opportunity to gun further forward to allow Walcott to come in off the wing.

  • Kieran Gibbs
    129
    26
    3.00

    Kieran Gibbs

    Advanced forward when possible but could have done more to aid Gervinho down the left flank, especially given Campbell’s brief to contain trouble in that area of the pitch.

  • A. Diaby
    121
    51
    3.00

    A. Diaby

    Showed glimpses of why he could be a more than adequate replacement for the departing Alex Song with some powerful bursts back and forth, with one ending in a fine save from Mignolet.

  • Mikel Arteta
    157
    25
    3.00

    Mikel Arteta

    Ticked over in the middle of the park without ever really exerting himself in the first half. Controlled rhythm through the game, without gunning forward to aid an attack that was sometimes short of ideas.

  • Santi Cazorla
    482
    14
    4.00

    Santi Cazorla Top of the Match

    Despite travelling back from a Spanish international game in Puerto Rico midweek, was the spark of the first half. A couple of efforts on goal proved Arsenal’s most productive output, with the midfielder constantly getting himself into probing positions. Much the same after the break though was unable to drag team-mates up to his own standard.

  • Theo Walcott
    76
    110
    3.00

    Theo Walcott

    Much of what we have come to expect from the winger on what was his 150th Premier League appearance. Bursts down the right flank constantly kept Sunderland on their back foot, though an end product – without usual recipient Van Persie – proved unfruitful.

  • Gervinho
    181
    55
    3.00

    Gervinho

    Enjoyed a lively and direct first half even if the end product was not always outstanding. Faded in influence in the second.

  • Lukas Podolski
    125
    145
    2.50

    Lukas Podolski Flop of the Match

    Struggled to make too much of an impact early on and was forced to drop deep in order to receive the ball. A quiet debut all-in-all and one that would suggest the task of replacing Van Persie will take time, at the very least.

Substitutions

  • Aaron Ramsey
    62
    119
    3.00

    Aaron Ramsey

    Helped to continue Arsenal's drive for the winner though could not craft any clear-cut chances during his short spell on the pitch.

  • Andrey Arshavin
    143
    41
    3.00

    Andrey Arshavin

    Given a short cameo and was unable to produce anything of note.

  • Olivier Giroud
    91
    136
    2.00

    Olivier Giroud

    Missed a golden opportunity to score on his debut and make himself an instant Gunners hero when slid through by Cazorla though his effort went shamefully wide of the post.

  • Simon Mignolet
    37
    9
    3.50

    Simon Mignolet

    Fantastic low stop from Diaby kept Arsenal at bay in the first half. Arsenal’s failure to produce many efforts on target after the break meant his second half was a little easier.

  • John O'Shea
    32
    13
    4.00

    John O'Shea

    Absolute rock at the back for his side as they faced an onslaught for the entirety of the second half. Did not put a foot wrong.

  • Carlos Javier Cuéllar
    31
    12
    4.00

    Carlos Javier Cuéllar

    Bedded in well to the heart of the Sunderland defence, though this may have been aided by a somewhat new-look and dishevelled Arsenal attack.

  • Lee Cattermole
    20
    16
    3.50

    Lee Cattermole

    Game largely passed him by as Arsenal seemed to enjoy progressively more possession as the game drew on. Normally aggressive and disruptive, this part of his game was not so clearly on display today.

  • Sebastian Larsson
    22
    13
    3.00

    Sebastian Larsson

    First half was characterised by a few careless passes and was largely anonymous throughout

  • Craig Gardner
    17
    14
    4.00

    Craig Gardner

    Gervinho’s relentless attacking nature whenever on the ball caused the left-back plenty of problems, though he stood up admirably to the test, particularly as his side faced significantly increased pressure in the last half hour.

  • Kieran Richardson
    31
    12
    4.00

    Kieran Richardson

    Outstanding performance to keep Arsenal's switching wingers at bay. Was forced further and further into his own half as the game wore on but defended stoutly throughout

  • Jack Colback
    18
    11
    3.50

    Jack Colback

    Broke late into the box with great effect when given the rare opportunity but otherwise busied himself with trying to disrupt Arsenal’s rhythm on the ball.

  • James McClean
    12
    18
    3.00

    James McClean

    Could have opened the scoring in the first five minutes though his roaming in off the left flank was the main feature of Sunderland’s counterattacking style.

  • Stéphane Sessegnon
    11
    18
    3.00

    Stéphane Sessegnon

    Was not quite the front man that his side could have done with, as holding the ball up seemed to prove difficult at times. Replaced by Saha after a virtually non-existent second half.

  • Fraizer Campbell
    9
    23
    3.00

    Fraizer Campbell

    Deployed wide right as Martin O’Neill set about stultifying Arsenal. Struggled to influence the game in any manner at all, especially as the Gunners flowed forward after the interval.

Substitutions

  • David Meyler
    13
    11
    3.00

    David Meyler

    Brought on in the middle of the pitch as a fresh pair of legs to keep Arsenal at bay.

  • Ahmed El Mohamady
    28
    9
    3.00

    Ahmed El Mohamady

    Given a short stint at the end of the game but barely got a touch of the ball.

  • Louis Saha
    20
    10
    3.00

    Louis Saha

    Had no chance to get into the game as Sunderland tried to repel wave after wave of Gunners attacks.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
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
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0