Arsenal got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win away at the Stadium of Light while Liverpool were held to a frustrating draw at Anfield.
Alexis Sanchez scored a brace which included Arsenal’s 1500th Premier League goal to give them a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light tonight.
The Chilean International gave Arsenal the lead on the half hour mark with a well-taken goal after Wes Brown’s mistake. The goal changed the course of the game and the Gunners were unlucky not to extend their lead before half time. The hosts were better after the break but failed to mount a serious threat on the Arsenal goal. Sunderland continued to push but could not get a clear opening and Arsenal made sure of the victory in the dying seconds when Sanchez capitalized on another mistake from former Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone to seal the three points.
Arsene Wenger spoke to the media after the victory and felt his side were in control of the game for most of the 90 minutes. “We had a different game on Wednesday. Sunderland had a big defeat last week and before the game what we wanted was the three points and we got them,” Wenger told reporters.
“I believe we were quite in control as long as we could scorethe second goal. Of course you [can] concede a goal and drop points but we didn’t do it today – we were focused, maybe we missed some opportunities in the final third and the final ball.”
“Overall we are very happy to get the three points. We won at Anderlecht, we won here today, two and a half days later and that’s never easy.”
In another fixture of Match Week 9 of the Barclays Premier League Liverpool failed to score for the second straight home game as they were held to a 0-0 draw in a lackluster game against Hull City.
The Reds had the lion’s share of possession but failed to penetrate the steady backline of Hull City as their struggles continue after the departure of Luis Suarez and absence of Daniel Sturridge. On a positive note, Liverpool managed their second clean sheet in 19 games but it was another frustrating display from under-fire Italian striker Mario Balotelli who added more pressure on himself after missing the target from three yards. The lack of creativity in the final third must be a worrying sign for Reds manager Brendan Rodgers and he was visibly frustrated with the result.
“I thought it was a great response for us from the game in midweek,” Brendan Rodgers reflected at his post-match press conference.
“We were maybe a bit slow in the first half but in the second half we were outstanding – the energy and effort we put into the game, and we created chances.
“It was a game that we should have had three points from. We had enough chances; I’m frustrated that we didn’t win the game, but performance-wise I’m happy with our reaction to the midweek game.”
Rodgers praised Mario Balotelli’s work ethic in training and determination to get on the score-sheet. “I thought Mario worked very well and very hard. He maybe thought he wasn’t going to play today. You saw that he is working hard and at the moment he’s doing his best.”
“Unfortunately, it’s about confidence sometimes when you don’t get the goal. He kept going and kept getting into the areas, and I thought he and Rickie Lambert worked very well when [the substitutes] came on.”