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Aresnal and Sunderland share Points !

Sam Allardyce's men earned a crucial point
as they continue to fight for survival in the
Premier League as Sunday's visitors
underwhelmed in front of goal at the
Stadium of Light

Sunderland climbed out of the Premier
League relegation zone after holding Arsenal
to a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Sam Allardyce's men have moved above
Norwich City into 17th place on goal
difference after a spirited performance
against the Gunners in which they created
the better chances to win.

Arsenal, for whom Jack Wilshere made a
first appearance of the season, started
strongly, but struggled to break down a
resilient home side who were happy to sit
deep for much of the first half.
It was Sunderland who came closest to
breaking the deadlock as Patrick van
Aanholt hit the woodwork with a free-kick,
before Per Mertesacker and DeAndre Yedlin
both escaped conceding a penalty for
blocking the ball with a raised arm inside
the area.

Sunderland sensed a potential upset and
showed more attacking intent in the second
half, with Petr Cech saving well from Wahbi
Khazri and Jermain Defoe in particular,
before Arsene Wenger introduced Theo
Walcott and Danny Welbeck in a bid to find
a winner that would have gone a long way
towards guaranteeing a top-four finish.
Arsenal controlled the early stages and Alex
Iwobi came close to an opener with just four
minutes played, firing narrowly wide of Vito
Mannone's right-hand post after combining
well with Alexis Sanchez.

Sunderland seemed to have shaken off some
early nerves and came inches from taking
the lead, with Van Aanholt clipping the
crossbar with a curling free-kick.
Sanchez had Mannone at full stretch from a
similar distance and the former Arsenal
goalkeeper denied Iwobi from the resulting
corner, clawing the ball away from goal as
the Nigeria forward looked to turn home.
Defoe, left isolated for much of the half,
saw his frustrations increase as he fired
Hector Bellerin's poor clearance straight into
Mertesacker's raised arm, only for referee
Mike Dean to wave away his appeals for a
penalty.

And Iwobi was aggrieved not to earn a spot-
kick for Arsenal just before the break after
his shot struck the arm of the sliding Yedlin
following Olivier Giroud's superb lay-off.
Sunderland came to life after the break,
with Cech denying the home side three times
in just a couple of minutes. First, he parried
Defoe's fierce half-volley before turning
Yann M'Vila's deflected rebound past the
post, and the Arsenal keeper had to be at
full stretch to keep Khazri's low shot from
creeping into his bottom-right corner.
The home side continued to press, but
Arsenal's threat on the counter kept the
game very much open. Iwobi sliced horribly
wide after Giroud had picked him out at the
far post with Mannone off his line, before
Defoe lobbed the ball over Cech and narrowly
past the far post.

Arsenal threw on Walcott and Welbeck in
pursuit of a winner. And the latter was
frustrated not to win a free-kick from a
clumsy Younes Kaboul challenge after
Mannone misjudged a charge off his line.
Mannone responded to keep out a crisp
Sanchez strike with just four minutes to
play, and Sunderland held firm for a
deserved draw that gives them real hope of
beating the drop. The Gunners, meanwhile,
must continue to look nervously over their
shoulder towards Manchester United in fifth.