Match Analysis: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Arsene Wenger
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes a closer look at Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Arsenal have started the new Premier League season with a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland.

The Gunners dominated for huge spells of the match and only failed to get on the scoresheet due to some poor finishing from their frontmen.

In contrast, Sunderland will be happy with their point as they defended solidly to frustrate their opponents in the capital.

Here, Sports Mole breaks down the goalless 90 minutes in North London.

Arsenal statistics:
Shots: 15
On target: 4
Possession: 57%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 12

Sunderland statistics:
Shots: 4
On target: 3
Possession: 43%
Corners: 0
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair:
Not particularly. Arsenal dominated from start to finish and it was only the wayward shooting of their forward players that held them back from starting the new season with a win.

Arsenal's performance:
The Gunners can't be accused of being scared to shoot. Pretty much everyone bar Wojciech Szczesny had a crack at the Black Cats goal, but they lacked the finishing touch. Of the new signings, Santi Cazorla looked the most at home as he hustled about in the midfield in the inimitable Arsenal way.

Sunderland's performance:
They looked dangerous when they had a rare break, but it was their defence that should earn the most praise. Robust and brave, the back four helped the team start the season with a very pleasing clean sheet. They rode their luck at times but they will be very happy with a point.

Sports Mole's man of the match:
Gervinho: The Ivorian was Arsenal's brightest spark in the final third but also dropped off to help the midfield and defence a number of times. He also showed great commitment out wide as he tried to carve out what would have been the winner.

Referee performance:
There were a few tasty challenges flying around as the game threatened to get heated, but Chris Foy dealt with it all admirably.

Biggest gaffe of the game:
With just eight minutes left on the clock, substitute Olivier Giroud was put through by fellow new boy Santi Cazorla. With only Simon Mignolet to beat from eight yards, the French striker somehow put his first-time shot wide. If he had found the target it would have most likely earned his new team the win and put himself firmly in the hearts of the fans.

What next?

The Gunners travel to their old friends at Stoke City next Sunday and will be looking to get a first win under their belts.

The Black Cats will want to build on their point at the Emirates when they host Reading on Saturday.

Lukas Podolski
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Result: Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland
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