Live Commentary: Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal - as it happened
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the Premier League clash between Sunderland and Arsenal.
By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 14:00 UK
Last Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 23:51 UK
Arsenal travelled to Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon knowing that they could move to the top of the table with a win.
The Gunners, who handed a debut to record signing Mesut Ozil, went into the match off the back of a four-match winning streak in all competitions, while the Black Cats would move out of the relegation zone with a victory at the Stadium of Light.
However, Arsenal prevailed in an entertaining match to secure the win.
Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary below.
2.01pmGood afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary from the Stadium of Light where Sunderland host Arsenal in the Premier League.
2.04pmAfter what seems like an eternity, following the international break, the Premier League is back and this match is a huge fixture for both sides. Sunderland, who are 19th in the table, are desperate to move themselves out of the bottom three after a poor start to the campaign. The Gunners, having been unfortunate in their defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, have won their last four in all competitions. They come into this match off the back of a win over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and have smashed their transfer record on one of the world's finest playmakers in Mesut Ozil. They can go top with a comfortable victory this afternoon.
2.06pmSunderland, who made a ton of signings during the transfer window, started their season with a home defeat to Fulham, before earning a creditable 1-1 draw at Southampton. However, they suffered a 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace last time out, and Paolo Di Canio will be desperate to fire up his side and propel them up the table.
2.09pmArsenal began their campaign with the worst start possible after being beaten 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium by Aston Villa. However, they have since responded with an away win at Fulham before taking the bragging rights away from the North London derby at the Emirates. Arsenal have also beaten Fenerbahce in the Champions League home and away during that period, and have only lost once since March.
2.10pmRight we've got the team news in. Let's start with the hosts.
2.15pmA big shuffle in terms of team selection from Paolo Di Canio, who makes five changes to the starting lineup who were beaten by Crystal Palace in their last match. Larsson, Giaccherini, Wickham, Ji and O'Shea are all missing from the first XI for the Black Cats this afternoon. Roberge, Mavrias, Ki, Fletcher, Altidore all come into the starting lineup.
2.17pmKi, who is on loan from Swansea City, makes his debut for Sunderland this afternoon while Fabio Borini will have to wait before making his first Black Cats appearance. He is on the bench.
2.23pmThere's only one place to start at this is with Mesut Ozil, who makes his Arsenal debut today. The £42.5m record signing comes in on the left wing for the injured Santi Cazorla.
2.25pmAltogether, Arsene Wenger has made three changes to the side that beat Spurs a few weeks back. Per Mertesacker is ill, so Bacary Sagna comes into the starting lineup at centre-back and captains the team. Tomas Rosicky is absent after picking up a problem on international duty, while Cazorla has a minor ankle injury. Ozil and Mathieu Flamini come into the starting lineup.
2.26pmFlamini starts for the first time since rejoining the club, having been brought on during the North London derby. Mertesacker and Cazorla should both be available for the Champions League fixture against Marseille on Wednesday.
2.29pmThe big news of the bench for the Gunners is that captain Thomas Vermaelen is in the squad for the first time this season having recovered from a back injury. Young striker Chuba Akpom is promoted to the bench in place of the injured Yaya Sanogo. Teenage wingers Ryo Miyaichi and Serge Gnabry are also in the squad.
2.36pmAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Abou Diaby are all long-term injuries for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is a fortnight away from a return at most.
2.37pmIf Sunderland are to win today, then they are the right place. Their only win in their last 19 league meetings with Arsenal came at the Stadium of Light in November 2009, when Darren Bent scored the decisive goal.
2.37pmThe Black Cats have only scored two first-half goals in the 24 Premier League meetings between the clubs and have never been ahead at the interval. However, they did beat Arsenal 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February 2012.
2.41pmThe Black Cats won two of their first three games under Paolo Di Canio, but since then have claimed three points from seven league matches having lost four of them.
2.42pmIf you thought Sunderland's match today was tough, have a bit of sympathy for them with their home run after today. Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham will all make their way to the Stadium of Light in the near future.
2.44pmMeanwhile, Arsenal have recently won six successive Premier League away games for only the second time in their history. It is their best form since winning their final eight away matches in the 2001-02 season, during which they won both the league title and the FA Cup.
2.46pmDespite having netted in all three of Arsenal's Premier League games this season, Olivier Giroud is still yet to score outside of London for the Gunners. 12 of his 14 goals have come at the Emirates.
2.50pmSome reports are claiming that Jack Wilshere will in fact play on the left wing today, while Ozil could play in the middle. Wilshere did used to play their for the reserves, and had a pretty decent return rate in terms of goals.
2.54pmAaron Ramsey could also be a contender to play out on the wing, as he did a few times last season. However, given his current brilliant form, I'd be surprised to see him there.
2.57pmThe teams are in the tunnel and are ready to go.
2.58pmSunderland are wearing their red and white striped home kit with black shorts and socks. Arsenal are sporting their yellow away strip with blue shorts and mixed-coloured socks.
2.58pmNo rain at the Stadium of Light at the moment, but a thick cloud has popped itself above the ground.
3pmBoth sides are out on the field and have already done the pre-match handshakes.
1 minKICKOFF! Sunderland get the game underway and will shoot from left to right.
1 minEarly free kick for Sunderland in the middle of the Arsenal half as Flamini commits a foul. Ki blasts it into the Arsenal wall.
2 minArsenal's away support are in fine voice at the start of this match.
3 minArsenal come forward with Wilshere going on a lovely run. He glides past Diakite on the turn and floats into the box, but is outnumbered by four Sunderland players.
4 minArsenal a little hesitant at the back as Vaughan floats a cross into the box. Jenkinson fails to deal with the ball and heads it up but not away. Sagna can help it on before Gibbs hacks the ball clear.
5 minDiakite tries to shield the ball away from Giroud at the byline, but the Frenchman uses his strength and skill to win the corner.
6 minOzil curls in the corner from the left where Walcott is lurking at the far post. The winger meets it on the volley, but Sunderland are able to block well and clear the danger.
8 minArsenal on top at the moment, but no real chances as of yet.
11 minGOAL! Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud)
11 minIt's a great goal from Arsenal and Mesut Ozil is involved. The Gunners hit Sunderland on the break, as Gibbs sprays a long ball down the left to Ozil, whose first touch is immaculate. He brings it down and plays a pass across the penalty area towards Giroud, who side-foots it first time into the near corner. No chance for Westwood, great goal for Arsenal.
13 minIt took Ozil all of 11 minutes to get his first assist for his new club, having racked up 72 in his past five seasons. Giroud is four in four now as well.
14 minOFF THE BAR! Almost an instant leveller for Sunderland. Mavrias floats in a corner from the left towards the near post. Diakite rises above Giroud and heads it on towards goal, but can only watch as it crashes off the bar.
15 minSAVE! End-to-end stuff here as Walcott should make it 2-0. Ozil again plays a lovely ball from the middle out to the right which Walcott runs onto. He takes a touch and tries to slot it past Westwood in the box. However the keeper rushes out and can make the save. That could be a very important stop.
16 minAlso, that earlier Giroud goal was his first outside of London.
17 minDespite the Diakite header, it's been all Arsenal. Sunderland sitting very deep, but they are being forced to.
18 minSAVE! As I say that, Sunderland come forward with Altidore, who has a lot of time and space in the middle of the Arsenal half. Koscielny starts to close him down, so the American has a go from range and forces Szczesny to parry the ball.
20 minArsenal have a corner and they are just recycling the ball until they get a shooting opportunity. This time Wilshere is on the left of the box and slips in Ramsey, but his shot is blocked by Vaughan and flies out for a corner. Koscielny is then penalised for a shove as the ball comes in.
23 minGiroud kicks the ball out of play as Fletcher is on the deck for the Black Cats. He is the last man that Paolo Di Canio would want to be down. Fortunately, he is back to his feet.
24 minSunderland just cannot get the ball, they might have to go to the club shop and get their own. Arsenal are not in a sharing mood.
26 minFree kick to Arsenal slightly right of centre from about 25 yards out following an Altidore handball. Ozil is over this, and the fans want him to take it.
26 minOzil takes it, and gets it up and down past the wall, but there is not enough power on it to beat Westwood.
28 minSAVE! Another crucial stop from Westwood, as Ozil slides another fabulous pass into Walcott on the right once more. Westwood stays on his line, and saves the shot well.
30 minArsenal have had 70% of the possession in this opening half an hour, and it is no surprise at all.
30 minWalcott has a free kick on the left which he tries to curl into a busy box, but Sunderland can clear their lines.
33 minSunderland now having a spell forward, but they can't seem to break down Arsenal at the moment. Flamini is everywhere.
34 minThe crowd are really urging on the home side, but Gibbs can clear off his marker to win the throw and relieve the pressure.
36 minArsenal, despite their dominance, could really do with a second goal before half time to make things easier for themselves after the break. While it's only a one-goal lead, Sunderland will still believe that they can get something from this contest.
37 minWhile Ozil has grabbed all the attention in this half, Flamini has been superb for Arsenal. His stamina has been top notch, and is always willing to join up with the attack after pressuring Sunderland when in possession.
40 minNice fluid play from Arsenal, in particular from Wilshere. Jenkinson fizzes in a low cross which goes behind for a corner.
42 minRamsey makes a really good tackle in his own half and comes away with the ball, before being chopped down by Altidore. No card though.
43 minCHANCE! Another Arsenal chance, and again it's Walcott. Wilshere plays a lovely one-two with Giroud before clipping a ball over the top to the right of the box to Walcott. The winger opts to head it first time, which isn't his specialty, but it goes just wide of the right post.
45+1 minSAVE! It's that Walcott and Westwood combination again. Walcott drills the ball across goal in a crowded box, but it is saved by Westwood. The ball comes back to Ozil, who skips past two, but his shot is also blocked.
48 minGOAL! Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal (Craig Gardner)
48 minPerfect start to the half for Sunderland. Gardner goes down the right of the box and is brought down by Koscielny. It is dubious, but he gives it. Gardner steps up and sends Szczesny the wrong way to score.
50 minI said earlier that Arsenal might rue not taking more of their chances, and that's exactly what has happened. Plenty of time left, but it's game on.
50 minThe Sunderland fans have come alive now, which will definitely boost their team.
51 minGoing back to the penalty, Koscielny probably didn't need to dive in as Gibbs had it covered. The left-back cut an irritated figure with the Frenchman once the spot kick was awarded.
52 minYELLOW CARD Gardner goes into the book for deliberately trying to knock Ozil off the ball.
54 minHow the mood has changed at the Stadium of Light. The home fans are deafening at the moment, and that is rubbing off on the Sunderland players when they come forward.
58 minArsenal have had a couple of half-chances in the past few minutes, but have been unable to get a meaningful shot away.
59 minSunderland think they have taken the lead as Johnson turns Gibbs inside out before putting a low cross along the six-yard box. Fletcher is on hand to tap in from all of two yards out, but the flag is up on the far side. Correct call.
62 minIt's been all Sunderland this half. Arsenal just cannot seem to get into it, and the hosts look the more likely to score at the moment.
64 minCLOSE! Johnson works an opening from range on the right and fires a low shot across the face of goal but wide of the far post.
64 minArsenal just need to keep the ball at the moment, and Walcott must be thinking about those chances he missed.
65 minYELLOW CARD Flamini picks up his second yellow card in successive games for Arsenal.
66 minArsenal have had possession of the ball around the Sunderland box for the last few minutes, but the hosts are pressing brilliantly.
68 minBrilliant goal from Ramsey. Jenkinson chips a pass from the byline back to the edge of the box, and Ramsey meets it with a superb volley that powers into the back of the net. He has been immense so far this season, and puts the Gunners back in front.
69 minFabio Borini is about to come on for Sunderland.
70 minHow will that goal affect both sides I wonder. The noise is till high at the Stadium of Light.
70 minConfusion in the Arsenal box as Altidore thinks that he has scored. The referee blows up after Sagna and Altidore appear to be pulling each others shirts on the edge of the box. The striker then goes on to slot past Szczesny, although it is unclear whether or not Koscielny cleared the danger. Sunderland have a free kick right on the edge of the box.
72 minGardner skies the free kick, and I can imagine that Di Canio will have a few things to say at full time. The ball was over the line from Altidore.
73 minTwo things to bring amid all the commotion. Sagna was booked, and Borini has come on for Mavrias.
74 minCLOSE! Gardner shoots just wide from the right as he comes inside the box. The shots whistles past the far post.
76 minWhat a wonderful goal for Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey has surely killed the game off now. The Gunners enjoy some lovely passing around the box, before Ozil plays it into Giroud inside the area. His first touch is out of this world as he flicks it to the left to Ramsey, who finishes well by slotting the ball into the far corner.
77 minArsenal have a free kick centrally from 25 yards out.
78 minGiroud blasts it into the wall, and then Jenkinson's cross is caught by Westwood.
78 minSUNDERLAND CHANGE Fletcher is replaced by Wickham.
80 minARSENAL CHANGE Mesut Ozil, who has enjoyed a great debut, comes off to a standing ovation. Thomas Vermaelen is on for his first appearance of the season, which has delighted the Arsenal fans.
81 minVermaelen appears to have put himself in the holding role in midfield for now.
82 minCLOSE! Sunderland whip in a corner from the right, and Altidore rises highest at the far post. It comes off the back of the striker's head, but his effort goes over. He's played well today.
84 minA lot Sunderland fans begin to leave the stadium. They feel that the match is up.
85 minMonreal looks as if he is about to come on for Arsenal.
87 minArsenal have a chance to add a fourth as they hit Sunderland on the break. Wilshere feeds in Jenkinson who races to the byline. He has Giroud on the far side unmarked, but his cross is too close to Westwood, who catches.
88 minARSENAL CHANGE Theo Walcott comes off, while Nacho Monreal comes on.
89 minSAVE! Nice move from Sunderland as Colback keeps the ball in play on the left of the box. He cuts its back to Wickham, who gets a low shot away through a number of bodies. Szczesny makes the save.
90 minCLOSE! Ramsey superbly beats two players on the right touchline and makes his way into the box. He cuts it back for Giroud, who catches it awkwardly and sends it wide.
90+1 minGiroud is down in some pain, and this is not what Arsenal want to see. They have had so many injuries already this season, and light enough as it is in the striker department.