Arsenal survive early scare, secure 3 points vs Sunderland

Arsenal survive early scare, secure 3 points vs Sunderland

Wikimedia - Markus Unger

With the possibility of topping the Premier League table with a win at home against 17th place Sunderland, Arsenal went out looking for an early lead with many of their injured stars sitting out.

The Gunners were sloppy early in the game leading Sunderland to look the more dangerous team for the first 30 minutes. Petr Cech kept Arsenal in the game early after Arsenal’s defense left Fabio Borini open with an eye at goal.

The home team soon began finding their rhythm as Mesut Ozil laid a perfect through ball to Joel Campbell which caught right wing-back DeAndre Yedlin sleeping. Campbell one-touched the ball to the back of the net. It appears that Campbell, who is finally seeing the pitch more often than not thanks to constant injury woes to the first team, is coming into form as this was easily one of his best games in a Gunners shirt.

Ozil was man of the match (Cech a close second place) as he dribbled and drove his way through the Sunderland midfield and defense throughout the game and looked the most dangerous playmaker yet again. He extended his Premier League-leading assist tally against a Sunderland defense, which showed a heightened effort than earlier in the season.

Olivier Giroud made the most of another chance to start in place of the unfit Theo Walcott by scoring two goals on the day. The problem for Giroud is one of the goals was the tying goal for the opposing team just before half time. Sunderland whipped in a free kick late in the first half which skipped just in front of the six-yard box. Giroud attempted to clear the cross but miss played the ball and hit it just passed Cech in goal.

Giroud made amends for his earlier mistake in the 63rd minute when an energetic Aaron Ramsey crossed the ball in the area directly into a powerful Giroud header which Sunderland keeper Pantilimon had no chance of saving.

Ramsey finished off the scoring late in the game with a well-deserved goal in the 93rd minute. The Welschman was busy all game and looked to be coming into form after missing a chunk of the season with injury.

While Leicester City, which took the top spot with a 3-0 drubbing of Swansea City, kept the Gunners from taking the outright led in the League, Arsenal secured 2nd place, just two points back. With players returning from injury and coming into form, Arsenal look to be hitting their stride at the perfect time to make a 2nd half push in League play.