Arsenal – Sunderland, 0-0 only a complete disaster can keep us away from 3rd place.

By Walter Broeckx

For the first time since ancient times we had a few changes in the starting line up for Arsenal. Hence all bloggers, journalists and anyone involved typing till their fingers bleeding to write about the massive overhoul of the team. Well massive…. 2 changes in fact.

That means that Koscielny recovered from his flu misery so it will have been a mild virus not really the flu. But on to the changes. Le Coq gets a rest after having done all the hard work in the last weeks or months. No Coq can keep on performing and performing without a rest I think.  Jack Wilshere coming in to the team. The other change was Kieran Gibbs coming in the place of  Monreal.

So the midfield will be a bit different this time. Will it be Santi-Ramsey staying a bit more behind and Jack more upfront or on the wing? That is what I think will happen.

Alexis making his 50th appearance for Arsenal in his first season and if Theo comes on he will make his 300th appearance.

The starting team was: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.

On the bench we had:  Szczesny, Gabriel,  Monreal, Coquelin, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott.

Ospina was well awake as he had to come out in the first minute after a long ball saw Graham almost in with a chance for Sunderland. Arsenal reacted with some pressure and a low cross from Bellerin but a defender could clear before Giroud.  A few minutes later another cross from Bellerin but Giroud came a bit short to touch the ball.  Cazorla getting a kick on this achilles from causing him some pain and trouble for a few minutes it seems.  Alexis then feeds Wilshere who tries to go pass the keeper who blocks the ball and looks in pain from the contact. But he seems to be able to continue. Manone warming up and the Gooners appreciate him still.  Ospina again being quick to a long ball to smother any danger from Sunderland. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

Ramsey being booked for a foul on the side line against Larsson.  Arsenal then with a nice move going from left to right and ending up in the cenger but Wilshere shoots wide over the crossbar. Sunderland players looking very tired as they have to take a long time to take a throw in each time. Another good attack from Arsenal with Alexis trying a volley that us cleared and the follow up was for Cazorla with a low shot that was saved by the keeper.  Sunderland really starting to waste time with imaginary injuries.  Again Alexis almost gives a shooting chance to Wilshere but a defender can do enough to disturb Jack when he wanted to shoot. Ramsey very angry when he is being puled back just outside the Sunderland penalty area but Taylor had his eyes closed I think.  Özil getting a great ball from Wilshere but he shoots over with his right foot. 0-0 after half an hour.

Wilshere again with a lovely ball to Giroud this time but his shot goes wide at the far post. Defoe pulling Bellerin by his shirt but again Taylor lets it go.  Cattermole kicking at Özil at every opportunity.  Sunderland defending with all the players around their penalty box and it was difficult to find some space.  Cattermore making his umpteenth foul, still no card. Arsenla trying to shoot from distance a bit more but Özil shooting over and Alexis straight at the keeper. After 41 minutes the first real shot from Sunderland but well over.  Each time just another leg or foot in the way when Arsenal try to shoot.  0-0 at half time after a very one sided match but nothing to show for it on the score board.

Arsenal again attacking and Sunderland trying to counter. Koscielny with a possible handball outside the penalty area but Taylor didn’t see it but it was his upper arm so correct to not give it. But then Ospina had to make two excellent stops one when Fletcher suddenly was in space and again when Van Aanholt was in space on the other side. Giroud with a cross that ends up on top of the crossbar was the answer from Arsenal.  A good cross from Bellerin to Giroud and a great save this time was needed from the Sunderland keeper.  Another cross from Bellerin and a header from Gibbs but again a good stop from the keeper.  Özil with some space to Alexis but his shot is blocked. Sunderland on the counter and Fletcher on his own but Ospina can stop the attempted lob at the expense of a corner. 0-0 after 60 minutes.w

A cross from Özil ends up at the head of Alexis and he heads wide. Jack Wilshere comes off and Walcott enters the field after 66 minutes.  But at the other end a bad shot turns in to a cross but Fletcher fires wide but he was offside. The assistant not giving a corner to Arsenal … how could he miss that? Walcott away but he couldn’t direct his shot at goal and it went wide. A cross from Ramsey hits a defender and it ends up against his own crossbar.  All Sunderland players around their own penalty area in this period. 0-0 after 75 minutes.

Rosicky coming in with 10 minutes to and Özil went off. Rosicky immedialtey with a 1-2 with Walcott but his left footed shot went wide.  Walcott then with a low shot but Pantillon saves and Sunderland can clear. Ramsey with a shot but again the keeper.  Walcott again with a good shot but again the keeper with a great save.  Only 3 minutes extra time gave the official after all that time wasting?   Taylor letting some fouls go against Sunderland in the extra time.  It was a one sided match but we just couldn’t score. But at least we didn’t concede like we did against Swansea.

Sunderland saved themselves and can continue to bore us next season. Arsenal had enough shots and chances but couldn’t score.  Their keeper saved them and that was it in fact.

I hope that Arsenal is saving up the goals for the cup final.







41 Replies to “Arsenal – Sunderland, 0-0 only a complete disaster can keep us away from 3rd place.”

  1. Can’t blame Sunderland, Arsenal lacked urgency in their play. Shit 1st half, Walcott made a big impact again just a shame he couldn’t get the winner

  2. I don’t care if you play both Ronaldo and Messi against a team fighting for league survival and more than committed to park it’s own stadium at goal; your chances of scoring against such are next to nothing. What you do instead of relentless attacking is to give them the ball and have them think they can come forward and attack. Intercept and pounce on the CO

  3. 3rd place sealed. In reality, the is 0,05% chance,that MU will gain that 7 goals and Arsenal will lose againts WBA. Not with their away form this term.
    Arsenal have scored the same number of goals but conceded 6 less, when not counting the WBA home game.
    Really poor offensive performace at Emirates for 3rd time running straight after the brillant Liverpool demolition.
    Dribble into the crowd, passed to tripple marked players, no width form wide men, passes waay overhit. Still moments of brilliance, but overall painful to watch.
    I really hope some players go back to form, otherwise the bench warmers should fight for the FA cup, not poor starters.

  4. There is not a lot wrong with our play in general. All those who are saying we do not know how to penetrate these park the bus teams are wrong, in the last three games we have had 63 attempts on goal. We didn’t score against Swansea and Sunderland because their keepers played very well and our shooting was by and large crap. We created plenty of chances but didn’t convert, it’s as simple as that.

  5. Well I would give our guys more than 10 out of 10 for effort and general play. They deserved better – Sunderland really packed the bus – and were fortunate on a number of occasions – a bit like Swansea.

    While it means we cannot be second and that is disappointing, I was however pleased with the team effort – well done guys.

    Next time we will stuff the bus companies and their PGMO guardians.

  6. I am so sick of the bore teams this league is breeding. Still we will be third, that’s what mattered this evening.
    Seems at the moment our energy levels are a bit low to counter the bus packers but that can be remedied in time for the final

  7. Whilst we have grounds to complain about that ref , time wasting, and time keeping this evening, think by the weekend, either Hull or Newcastle may have stronger grounds, possibly to the tune of a hundred million. Taylor turning a blind eye may have cost us the remote possibility of second…..but as for those two teams…..

  8. If the PGMO dorks would call fouls properly, a person could have a chance at many free kicks reasonably close to the goal playing against a team like Sunderland. And then having a player like Podolski is useful (is Gnabry developing the same power?). Get a free kick, just hammer the ball at head height (or a little below waist height). Chances are, eventually someone will flinch, and then the ball is through on goal giving the keeper no time to respond.

    Here’s to a better game on Sunday. Not a better game, a better result. The team is fine.

  9. Arsenal needed a point to finish third and they got it. Arsenal needed fresh and uninjured players for FA Cup final and they got it. Sunderland will fight for the survival point by hook or by crook and they got it. The official wanted to screw Arsenal and they got it as well. The AAA wanted a shit result so they can breath fire and they got it. The media needed a scoreless game so they can keep the transfer news and they got it. Untold needed a boring and irritating play by Sunderland to report and you got it. It’s like kingdom happily ever after. I’m pretty sure AW will rest most first team players against WBA and hell will break lose again. The FA will cock up the seatings for the final and the referee will criminally win the cup for Villa because he bet against Arsenal. The world has become such an evil that it’s so predictable.

  10. I too am satisfied with the work rate and passion showed by our players , but of course disappointed that we were not able to penetrate their defence and score . Do hope that we will buck up and have a turkey soot at WBA .No more black cats crossing .
    Sunderland in turn did what they had to do to save themselves and stay up. Good luck to them .

  11. It’s amazing!
    People are claiming that an extra two or three minutes would have made a significant difference, not just to us, but to other teams. An extra two or three minutes would have made no difference at all and blaming Anthony Taylor, PGMO, FA etc will not deflect from another frustrating result.

  12. There were no surprises last night…not even the fact that I downed half a bottle of scotch!!

    They parked the buses and anchored them there – just in front of their goal-mouth.

    The ref was…well just running around.

    Sunderland saved themselves yet again but the PL has to put up with yet another season of negative football displayed by teams such as them. Do they have a choice? possibly not. I feel sorry for their supporters!

  13. Walter
    Are you sure about the handball rule? The upper arm is part of the whole arm, so counts as far as I’m aware
    Or were you being a bit snarky there?

  14. keep calm Gooners, Arsene is lulling Tim Sherwood into a false sense of security…

  15. A Russian went for an eye check up . The Doctor showed the letters on the board : CZWXNQSTAZY.
    Doctor : Can you read this ?
    Russian : Read it ? I even know this guy .., he’s my cousin !

  16. And the thus hereto unknown player that AW will probably sign during the transfer window will most definitely have a tongue twister of a name like that of the above !
    You have been warned !

  17. @Tailgunner,


    Its not about extra minutes. Its about the rules of the game being applied. Whats your say about shirt pulling that went on all game?? Inside and out side the penalty box. Not one deemed foul!!

  18. I hope the display by the Mackems doesn’t give Villa any ideas…

  19. Hey 13, dont we all know that the refs in the BPL are shameless and an absolute disgrace? They turn the game into a joke and force it down our poor throats. Shame on them.

  20. Arsenal 13
    True , but most referees completly ignore theses sort of low level offenses. I saw Giroud pushing in their box and on our corners both teams were wrestling & shirt pulling. It happens all the time and because we seem to do less of it than most we are perceived as victims.
    I thought another three minutes would have been appropriate but this would have benefitted Sunderland equally as they had the better second half chances and could easily have won the match but for our excellent keeper, so I was more pleased with not losing than the award of extra minutes.

  21. @Kenneth Widmerpool
    May 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I am sure all of these ‘lesser’ teams will have the same idea (park the buss, kill the game and HOPE for a fluke of a goal).

    They can not NOT play football against us!

  22. apo Armani,you’re right there! I’m sure Villa will play it like that in the final, the old Wembley pitch meant that it was difficult to play that sort of game, but the new one leans towards supporting parked bus attitude.Its all a bit sterile really.I seem to recall Chelsea playing those tactics against us at ours too!
    The Mackems were lucky last night though, and Im sure they know it…

  23. A couple of years ago teams used not to park against us as we are witnessing recently. This shows Arsenal is being feared by other teams these days. IMHO that is a big improvement.

  24. We seem to be getting undone by teams that play park the football. We need to be able to counter this next season. Maybe party wide, get crosses in, but we need to have someone who can cross the ball really well

  25. Tail Gunner

    The inference you make in your haste was not made above.

    I look forward to your explanation and defence as to why an official who is paid as a part of his job to use a stopwatch is incapable of using said stopwatch. Because that not been acheived above. Even more remarkable is that the official as you clearly saw, he kept pointing to his watch during Goal Kicks. Did he have trouble finding te buttons. Does Apprentice Taylor lack opposable thumbs? Even more intriguing was the spectacle of an arsenal player counting down time on behalf of the official. I’m sure that you saw that too, even if it wasn’t shown on any broadcasts.

    It’s a simple question: if an arsenal player can insinuate in front of fifty of thousand people and the watching millions that the official is simply a cheat then why is “tail gunner” choosing to fail in his efforts to excuse this transparent bungler?

    Why would anyone choose to do that?
    Dear reader please bear in mind that for all the teams that come to N5 and play this game that we have seen a card shown for time wasting this season: to an AFC player of course! 😉

    It is, what it is.

    This failed effort at defending this bungler is actually ludicrous.
    To repeat: how hard can be for someone to use a stopwatch. When that is part of their job?

    To ignore this is to ignore an exhibition of undeniable bias. This is not an option but an easy to make observation.

    Last but not least people who pay their money deserve to get their money’s worth. What kind of football fan would argue against such logic? 😉

  26. We need to stop complaining about teams who park the bus. It is a valid way of playing football. What we have to do is to develop more ways of breaking them down. That is Arsenal’s task.

    We are all agreeing that teams fear us that is why they do park the bus, which is a natural reaction really. But it is up to us to create more ways of breaking them down, cos if we don’t we will be stuck again next season.

    Mick, what i’ve noticed though, is when Arsenal are firing, that is, playing sharp and focused and QUICK, we do and can break through any wall but when we’re not we just keep running against the wall in the same place and keep rebounding without making a mark in the wall.

  27. @ Gouresh

    “we need to be able to counter this next season”. Seriously? In the last two home games where the bus has been parked, we have had 51 shots and goalkeepers have been man of the match……….I think we know perfectly well how to counter this!

    @ Finsbury

    Very well said that man. I couldn’t agree more.

  28. Walter and friends

    can anyone tell me why wenger did not play Rosicky from the start.

    He should have given ozil or Cazorla a rest and played Rosicky who needs game time to Show what a fine player we have.

  29. I’m pretty sure AW will come up with a strategy to break down these parked buses next season. He always does. Since defensively, the team is much more stronger now, maybe some innovative gameplay for the forwards? Since third place is confirmed so no qualifying rounds next season, pre-season will be massive.

  30. finsbury
    Well put. Most of Tailgunner’s posts will be leaning towards being critical of Wenger. And para of course. They can’t deny it, they’re almost always defending the poor officiating, other underhand tactics used by the other side, etc. Yet the easiest thing would be to demand a level playing field, they can’t seem to understand the importance of this. In any sport, looking to gain any sort of advantage through whatever means is illegal. In athletics if you false start you get disqualified, even though a false start will have give you a few millimetres head start. In cricket ball tampering is illegal. These fine margins are usually what can determine a win from a loss. The official should have added whatever time was due to be added, be it 5 seconds, 30 second or 120 seconds. It matters, after all Utd won the champions league by scoring 2 goals in a matter of 120 seconds. So it matters.

    It sickens me to see some of our so-called fans defending blatant cheating. It’s worse than taking bs from a spud or manc coz that’s what I expect from them. But an Arsenal fan behaving like this, all the time…, what the hell is going on?????

  31. Finsbury
    I’m not defending Taylor at all. Yes he could have quite easily doubled the added time, but he chose not to, (it’s arbitrary anyway) and even if he had the result would have been the same.
    I agree we have some poor referees and something should be done about it but but as your creepy pal Al is always saying “context is the thing” and in the context of this match it didn’t matter

    Doing your usual rotational fouling again I see , and now I’m being critical of Wenger am I?
    You really are an odd person

    But to both of you

  32. Tailgunner
    If seeing blatant cheating for what it is makes me creepy then I’m more than happy to be creepy. Don’t try to twist what I said, I said your comments are always leaning towards being critical of Wenger, and trying to say a ref had a good game when he hasn’t is an indirect way of taking a pop at the manager, and you do that most of the time. There are far too many such occasions for me to list them and you know what I’m talking about.

    The way I see it you’ve no balls, you come on here trying to sound pro Wenger and the team yet 95% of your comments are apologetic towards the cheating refs (I call it cheating if an official who knows he is supposed to add x amount of minutes knowingly does not do so, and adds y instead) or thugs trying to maim our players.

    I prefer someone who doesn’t hesitate to show their hand by declaring that they want Wenger to go, imo they’re not happy about something and while I may not agree with them at least they’re speaking their mind, not this insincere bs that you’re always coming up with.

  33. Al
    Whatever my opinion of referees is just that, an opinion. If I don’t agree with you or Finsbury or anyone else who leaves posts here it doesn’t mean I have an issue with the club or the manager.How on earth can my views on match officials reflect my opinion of Wenger? He rarely mentions them himself these days,, so that’s just BS and you know it .
    What I find creepy about you is not your opinion of referees or whether they cheat or not, but the way you look for opportunities to join in with someone (like Jambug) who’s in disagreement with me over some other issue and get in a few kicks of your own just to ingratiate yourself with them.
    I don’t know what you mean by me “trying to sound pro Wenger” as I try to avoid the AKB stuff and hardly (if ever ) mention him and don’t know what math you’ve used to calculate 95% of my comments, but I will agree that the ones I make about referees tend to be on the neutral side as opposed to your hysterical opinions, but none of them have the default position of being anti club or manager and you can’t use twisted logic to prove that they are.
    God almighty, do you actually read what you write hitting the post comment

  34. Tg
    Hahaha, had to laugh out loud there, accusing me of ganging up on you. In case you may not have noticed; I’m very consistent when it comes to calling out the bs in the media, theit inconsistencies and duplicity, cheating refs etc, unlike you. And I believe so are a few contributors here, including those that you mention. So no sir, you’re not that important that we could form an alliance to point out how weak your arguments are. For instance in this case you can’t even put forward a plausible argument justifying why you feel we didn’t deserve an extra 2 minutes of added time, apart from telling us that your gut feeling tells you Sunderland might have gone on to snatch a winner (despite the stats telling a completely different story) had the ref added more time on.

    And I am supposed to be creepy, says the man with multiple identities. Says it all really.

  35. Apparently the Sunderland keeper damaged his knee in his heroics on Wednesday, his season is done.

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