In a not-shocking turn of events, Arsenal performed like their lives did not depend on it and squeaked out a draw with Sunderland today. And I truly mean squeaked. Sunderland had the majority of the good chances on net and if it wasn’t for a generous call from Mike Dean and the goalie skills of Petr Cech, Arsenal probably would have lost to SUNDERLAND. Reminder, this is a team that is on the brink of relegation. Their crowd was really getting into it at points too and it was a very nail biting day for Gooners.
April 24, 2016: English Premier League – Week 35
Sunderland 0-0 Arsenal
- Arsenal actually looked good in the first half, dominating possession and creating a dozen shots on net, half of which were on target. The only problem is, most of the attempts were either right at the keeper or tame. Sunderland for their part, despite barely having the ball, actually had a few good chances early on. Here was there best:
- There was one very close call when Alexis almost broke the deadlock with a perfect free kick. He looped it over the wall and right to the bottom corner but Sunderland’s goalie made a great save to palm the ball away. Imagine someone goes to hand you the last hard-shell taco supreme but drops it and you dive on the ground to catch it. That’s the level of effort of this save.
- Per Mertesacker was lucky to escape the first half without a booking, potentially a red, for a handball directly in front of the Arsenal net. In fairness to Per, he was desperately trying to get not BLASTED in the face by a fierce shot by Sunderland striker Defoe, and stuck his hands up as he turned. Ref Mike Dean waved it off and every Gooner in the world checked their pulse to make sure they weren’t dead and in heaven.
- Almost immediately following that near nightmare Mike Dean waved off another apparent handball in the box from Sunderland ball-scavenger Deandre Yedlin. Yedlin was diving to block an Iwobi shot when the ball looked to took a slight deflection and clearly struck his outstretched arm.
- The second half was a whole lot of nothing from Arsenal and a whole lot of opportunities for Sunderland. Luckily for Arsenal the Sunderland attack could never find a good final ball. Their best chance came on a chip from Defoe which would have evaded Cech but it went wide.
- Giroud, who now has zero goals in his last 13 premier league appearances, looks like a man who just got his beard covered in honey and just can’t believe it.
“The boys just can’t get along anymore, Arsene. Arsene? Don’t turn into an eagle on me.” – Coach Allardyce and Wenger having a chat.