Arsenal continued their fascinating run in the Premier League as they dispatched a hapless Sunderland 4-1 at the Stadium of Light.
It was an ideal result for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side that were building up to a key Champions League fixture in mid-week against Ludogorets. Despite having that game at the back of his mind, the Frenchman opted to go for his best possible eleven, and the decision proved to reap high benefits.
The Gunners looked hungry and eager to make things happen from the opening whistle and managed to take the ascendancy in the 31st minute. Due to an injury to Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade Chamberlian began the game down Arsenal’s right wing and played a peach of a ball into the head of Alexis Sanchez who guided the ball into the back of the net to open his side’s account.
Despite the Arsenal onslaught, it was the home side that managed to score the game’s second goal. Early in the second half, Gunners keeper Petr Cech made a needless challenge on Jermaine Defoe which handed the Black Cats a chance to bring the game back on level terms through the penalty spot. The English striker duly stepped up and coolly hit the ball past the former Czech international to level things.
But, Arsenal continued to attack and managed to grab three quick-fire goals between the 71st and 78th minute to put the result beyond all doubts. Super-sub Olivier Giroud grabbed a brace while Alexis Sanchez netted his 50th goal for the club to put the final nail on David Moyes’ coffin.
After the match, Arsene Wenger praised his side’s character as they managed to recover from the setback they faced early in the second half. As per ESPN, the Arsenal boss said:
“In the Premier League at 1-1 you have as well many chances to lose the game. And we were questioned. It was, how do we respond to that?
“Do we panic, or do we give up, or do we feel sorry for ourselves? Or do we go again for it? And we responded well. We have shown great strength to bounce back.
Prior to the game, Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror stated that Wenger sees Alexis Sanchez as an out-and-out striker, and will continue to start him regardless of Giroud’s comeback from injury. Wenger will be spoiled for choices now, and will be happy that he has most of his key first-team players back in good shape.