Arsenal 3 Sunderland 1
( Campbell 33, Giroud 63, Ramsey 90, Giroud og, 45 )

Arsenal got back to winning ways with a hard fought win over a determined Sunderland at the Emirates stadium. Olivier Giroud had the misfortune to level for the visitors just on the stroke of half time after Joel Campbell had given the Gunners a 33rd minute lead. Giroud then headed in at the right end to give the Gunners the lead. The visitors attacking instincts almost got them level when Duncan Watmore and Patrick Van Aanholt threatened. The Gunners nerves however were to be soothed when Aaron Ramsey gave his side a 3-1 scoreline in time added on. The win lifts Arsenal into second spot in the Premier League table, and after their recent sequence of results which yielded just two points from a maximum of nine, this will do wonders for their confidence.

Arsenal welcomed back Theo Walcott and Kirean Gibbs who were both named on the subs bench. After his hip injury scare at Carrow Road, Laurent Koscielny started with Campbell continuing wide and up front. Both Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla will be sidelined for a while with the former due to be back in a matter of weeks, and the latter in a matter of months.

It was Sunderland who had the first sighter on goal. With just three minutes on the clock, Fabio Borini raced in on Petr Cech’s goal, forcing the Arsenal ‘ keepe to save from close in and keep the score at 0-0.

The Gunners fired back through Ramsey who let fly with a shot which flew just wide of Costel Pantilimon’s upright. Sunderland sensed an area of vulnerability in the Arsenal armour and duly prodded. The energetic Watmore has been catching the eye of late, his stock is rising and here it wasn’t hard to see why. Confident and composed on the ball and intelligent to make the penetrative runs which defenders must be alert to.

Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny were warned and on their guard when Watmore headed over in the eighth minute. Moments later and after more good work from Watmore, Cech was forced to make a low relfex save after Mathiu Flamini got the last touch to prevent an early own goal.

Patient in their play, yet unable to find the final telling ball, watching nervously in the stands, the tension amongst the Arsenal faithful seemed to grow. Just past the half hour mark however, Campbell struck for the second time in the Premier League and to huge cheers and a little relief too.

Ramsey fed Giroud. His short instant pass to Mesut Özil allowed the German to put Campbell through. The Costa Rican striker hit low and with his left foot to beat Pantilimon for the game’s opener.

Five minutes later and Arsenal had what looked like a great shout for a penalty when Younes Kaboul impeded Giroud, but play was waved on. Watmore was enjoying too much freedom for Koscielny’s liking. The France defender raced over to stop the Black Cats’ midfielder but his block was deemed to be foul play and Kocielny was shown a yellow card for his endeavours.

With seconds remaining before the break, up stepped Yann M’Vila to take the resultant free kick which seemed to going no where until Giroud struck out a leg to deflect the ball past Cech for Sunderland’s leveller. Ramsey could have grabbed an instant lead re-taking goal after Nacho Monreal regained possession. Ramsey was quick to seize the chance, but hit the side netting. It wasn’t the half time talk Arsene Wenger would have anticipated, but to his and his side’s disappointment, the teams went in level at the break.

You sensed that Giroud was hurting after his putting in Arsenal’s third own goal of the season, and the France striker would be keen to make amends. But Sunderland were not going to lie down and give up that easily as Stephen Fletcher showed with a low shot which Cech had to dive low to save for a corner.

M’ Vila took the resultant corner and courtesy of a flick on, Fletcher reacted to stab at the loose ball, which Cech was able to smother to keep the ball out of his goal.

Özil was enjoying another energetic afternoon and after a move of his own making, his drive and shot was narrowly wide of target. With their next move, Arsenal regained the lead.

Monreal and Ramsey exchanged passes on the left, Ramsey clipped the ball over which Giroud had anticipated to dive low and head past Pantilimon after 63 minutes, for a 2-1 scoreline.

Wenger immediately took off Oxlade-Chamberlain and replaced him with Walcott for his first taste of action in five weeks.

The England striker was quickly into the game with a shot which curled wide, but took a defection en route for a corner.

Özil swung in the corner and Giroud’s powerful header was going in, but Deandre Yedlin headed off the line for the clearance.

Ramsey tried a dropped kick come scissor kick, but Pantilimon held. The visitors were still very much in the game.

Watmore seemed to be yards off side, but no flag was raised. With Cech now in his sights, Watmore could only muster a tame shot which Cech held.

Having netted his first home goal, Campbell had a better afternoon with the type of work rate he’ll need to continue with. He made way for Gibbs who was charged with left midfield duty. Calum Chambers replaced Giroud, with Walcott now in a central role.

Still the Black Cats ventured forward and Van Annholt blasted over when in on goal.
After another Arsenal break, Ramsey fired his shot at Pantilimon from Özil’s cross. At the other end, Monreal’s chest back which Cech calmy collected added to the Emirates stadium faithful’s collective nerves.

Five minutes of time added on was shown by the fourth official, and Ramsey settled the game soon afterwards.

Walcott was forced wide, as he tried to shoot, but he teed up Chambers. The young defender saw his shot comes back into the path of Ramsey to strike on target. Pantilimon managed to get a glove on the ball, but it was too strong for the Sunderland ‘keeper as a third Arsenal goal gave the home side a two goal cushion and deservedly claim all three points.