Writer: Paul Wallis
Date:Saturday March 5 2011
SAFC held on to record another 0-0 draw with Arsenal in a much improved performance in North London today.
Going in to the game, Sunderland had lost four games on the bounce and with Liverpool and Man City to come, a point had to be found from somewhere to stop a blip becoming a crisis.
Steve Bruce started with Steed Malbranque in midfield, instead of Elmohamady, with Simon Mignolet continuing in goal in place of an injured Craig Gordon. Danny Welbeck returned from injury to take his place on the bench.
The away side started the brighter, taking the game to Arsenal in the first quarter of the game with our best chance coming with Sessegnon producing a shot from nothing, which was well saved by Szczesny.
Arsenal began to come in to the game more and a brilliant save from the impressive Mignolet tipping over a Bendtner shot as half time approached.
In the second period, Arsenal dominated in the main but some fine saves from Sunderland's Belgian goalkeeper and a bit of luck from the officials helped stop Arsenal from taking the lead.
Arshavin looked to have been pushed by Titus Bramble in the box when preparing to shoot and Arshavin again looked to have been harshly treated when a tight offside decision was given in Sunderland's favour.
That said though, the Red and Whites could have won the game when Danny Welbeck, on as a late substitute, controlled brilliantly before turning on the edge of the box and firing for the far corner. Szczesny, though, was equal to it and saved well.
Sunderland, just about held out in a nervy finish but deserved a point in a solid defensive performance which looked a world away from last weeks Goodison showing. Bruce's men will be looking to build on this when Liverpool visit the Stadium of Light in a fortnight and a certain Mr Carroll may make a first start for the Reds.
Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0
Date:Saturday March 5 2011
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