Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Gunners held at home

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal were left frustrated in their quest to close the gap on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United as Sunderland battled to a goalless draw at Emirates Stadium.

The visitors, who had lost four straight league games, started well and Stephane Sessegnon forced a good stop from Wojciech Szczesny.

However, the Gunners slowly came into the game, with Nicklas Bendtner's angled shot tipped over while Marouane Chamakh struck the bar in the second half and Andrey Arshavin had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Arsenal suddenly burst to life after 10 minutes as Bendtner was inches away from connecting with Clichy's low centre across the six-yard box, before Samir Nasri's curling effort was well held by Simon Mignolet.

Substitute Marouane Chamakh almost had an instant impact just after the hour as he burst down the right and squared for Arshavin, but his first-time shot was saved.

Arsenal had a free-kick just outside the area when Jack Wilshere was tripped by Sessegnon. Nasri lifted it over the wall, but Mignolet touched the ball onto the crossbar.

The same woodwork saved Sunderland again when Chamakh crashed in his header from Wilshere's cross.

Arshavin darted onto Samir Nasri's throughball ahead of Titus Bramble, but just as he was about to pull the trigger, the Russian was pushed in the back by the stumbling defender and yet no penalty was given.

Sunderland almost snatched the lead when Danny Welbeck's shot on the turn was saved by Szczesny.

Arshavin looked to have beaten the offside trap as he rounded the keeper, but the assistant flagged incorrectly.

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