Poor Show From Sunderland At Arsenal
22 February 2014
Arsenal romped home to a 4-1 victory over a Sunderland side that had its mind on not getting injured and missing out on a Wembley appearance next week.
Olivier Giroud helped himself to two goals in his return to the side, Tomas Rosicky got the third and Laurent Koscielny headed the fourth.
As good as Sunderland got was to make sure Arsenal didn't keep yet another clean sheet when Emanuele Giaccherini hammered home a late volley.
Giroud had obviously made the most of the couple of games out resting that Arsene Wenger insisted that he needed as he set about tormenting the Sunderland defence who had little in the way of causing Arsenal any sort of threat.
Before the Black Cats could even get warmed up Arsenal were in front in the fifth minute when Wilshere ran into the box and fired at goal only to see his effort hit Bardsley and roll towards Giroud who quickly drilled the ball past the Sunderland keeper Mannone.
And just as the Black Cats keeper was beginning to regret returning to Arsenal for the first time since his move, he was beaten for a second time after a mistake by Vergini.
The defender attempted to pass the ball back to the keeper but did not manage to spot Giroud in the box and he said thank you very much by sliding the ball past Mannone.
Then just before half time the home side scored again when Rosicky exchanged passes with three other players before clipping the ball over the keeper for 3-0.
Vergini could have rounded off his nightmare when he sliced the ball just wide of his own post, but his relief was short lived as from the corner the ball came over to an unmarked Koscielny who headed home number four.
Arsenal then took their foot off the pedal and this allowed Sunderland to grab a goal back when Ki Sung-Yeung forced a superb save from Wojciech Szczesny, but he could do little to keep out Giaccherini's volley which he sent in after the Arsenal keeper had punched the ball out.
Now Sunderland must get ready for Wembley, let's hope they do better than this.