The match details for Arsenal were:
Arsenal: Fabianski, Song Billong, Senderos, Djourou, Clichy, Eboue (Randall 81), Denilson, Silva, Walcott, Adebayor, Bendtner (Traore 81). Subs Not Used: Mannone, Nordtveit, Barazite.
It was a good start for Sunderland, with a long range effort from Carlos Edwards testing Fabianski early on. But moments later, suprise, suprise, Eboue was found in a heap on the floor. If we hate his antics, then surely non Arsenal fans hate the player even more! Eboue was stretchered off, but soon rejoined seemingly unaffected.
Ade had the first real chance of the game in the sixth minute, but reserve goalkeeper, Marton Fulup blocked well. Walcott started to show a few glimpses of magic and Bendtner was playing well. A good move saw Bendtner have a shot and a header moments later, but failed to test Fulup.
The breakthrough came on the 24th minute when Gilberto sent through a wonderful ball, to split the Sunderland defence and put Theo through on goal. An excellent finish into the bottom right hand side made it one-nil to the Arsenal.
Sunderland 0 – 1 Arsenal
After the goal, it was pretty much even stevens, a good game, but nothing worthy of note, with our makshift defence playing particularly well.
Two chances in the first half fell to Arsenal, with Senderos blazing just over from 35 yards and Walcott missing from 6 yards after Ade had squared the ball.
Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones had been a threat in the first half, so it was a blow for the home team when he was replaced at half time.
Half time: Sunderland 0 – 1 Arsenal
The second half started well for Sunderland with Jones replacement, O’Dononvan almost equalising after the restart, but his header looping just over.
In a moment of controversy on the 57th minute, we were awarded an indirect free kick after Whitehead seemingly hadled in the box from Theo Walcott cross. Surely a pen, but the ref deemed it a indirect free kick from 6 yards out. Gilberto shooting wide.
The home side had a few chances and a potential penalty claim, but you always thought Arsenal were playing in second gear.
Mark Randall made a rare premier league appearence and played well, having a shot saved shortly after a disallowed goal. His contribution, albeit for ten minutes was good.
Full time: Sunderland 0 – 1 Arsenal
The future looks bright with first team players such as Hleb, Rosicky, Van Persie, Eduardo, Diaby, Gallas, Toure and Sagna all to come back into this side.
Good final day, and let’s bring on the summer…]]>