Arsenal News


Monday, April 20, 2009

Aresenal News 2.0 ... SOON!

After a long absence (1 year and 2 months) to be exact, the blog is coming back at you with a totally new concept and a brand new design that will complement the changes that will happen.

I realize the disappointment many of you had after months of no post updates, and I understand, but I had my personal reasons. Now however, things are going to change!

Keep checking this space as the new layout reveal time is a bit of a surprise!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wenger fury after Eduardo injury

Wenger fury after Eduardo injury
Referee Mike Dean shows a red card to Martin Taylor (out of shot) as Eduardo receives treatment
Martin Taylor (out of shot) is sent off as Eduardo receives treatment
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Martin Taylor should "never play football again" after the Birmingham captain's tackle broke Eduardo's leg.

Eduardo went down in the third minute of the Premier League encounter and Taylor was shown a straight red card.

"The tackle was horrendous and this guy should never play football again," Wenger told BBC Sport.

But Blues boss Alex McLeish responded: "Martin's not a dirty player. He's distraught over Eduardo's injury."

Eduardo, 24, remained lying on the pitch for seven minutes as medical staff attended to him before he was stretchered off and taken to Selly Oak Hospital.

In slow motion these tackles look bad but he's not a malicious player - Eduardo was just too quick for him
McLeish on Taylor

Wenger hit out at the way he feels his team have been targeted by opponents.

"It goes with the idea that to stop Arsenal you have to kick Arsenal and that kind of thing was waiting to happen," he said.

"Many people have got away with too many bad tackles. We've escaped a few times but it's just not acceptable. If that is football it's better to stop it.

"The worst thing you hear after is that 'he's not the kind of guy who usually does that', but you need to only kill one person one time - it's enough."

McLeish, however, sprang to the defence of his player.

Martin Taylor is adamant there was no malicious intent and he is deeply upset by the extent of Eduardo's injury
Birmingham statement
"I've seen the challenge and, yes, the studs land on Eduardo's ankle. In slow motion these tackles always look bad but he's not a malicious player - Eduardo was just too quick for him," he explained.

"The referee's done his job, it's a sending off, but Taylor's not a malicious player."

Birmingham released a statement later on Saturday saying the club were "saddened that such a fantastic game of football has been marred by a serious injury"

It added: "Martin Taylor is adamant there was no malicious intent in the tackle and he is deeply upset by the extent of Eduardo's injury.

"Having reviewed the incident, this (no malicious intent) is clearly the case. The club and Martin Taylor would like to send their very best wishes to the player for a speedy recovery."

The minimum is his season is over and we are scared that it is much longer
Wenger on Eduardo
The seriousness of the injury was apparent as both sets of players and medical staff looked shocked while Eduardo was treated on the pitch.

The Brazilian-born striker now looks certain to miss out on Croatia's participation at Euro 2008 in June.

"It was a massive shock for the team. They've seen what kind of state he was in," Wenger added.

"He's a fantastic guy and to see him in such pain and the shape of his leg was very difficult for the players.

"We hope he comes back quickly but the minimum is his season is over and we are scared that it is much longer."

Wigan boss Steve Bruce, who signed Taylor from Blackburn when he was Blues boss in February 2004, said his former player would never intentionally hurt anyone.

"Martin Taylor is the biggest, gentlest man," said Bruce. "There will be nobody more upset and sickened than him, there is not a bad bone in his body.

"He would never, ever do anything malicious. He has mis-timed the tackle, and I've seen it. Some would say it is not even a yellow card."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

B'Ham 2 - 2 Arsenal

Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
By Saj Chowdhury

Eduardo breaks leg
The injury to Eduardo stunned everybody on the pitch
James McFadden salvaged a point for Birmingham with an injury-time penalty but the game was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Arsenal's Eduardo.

The striker suffered a broken leg in the third minute after a tackle by Martin Taylor, who was sent off.

McFadden gave the Blues the lead with a 20-yard free-kick before Theo Walcott poked in his first Premier League goal.

Walcott made it 2-1 with a mazy run and shot before McFadden equalised after Gael Clichy fouled Stuart Parnaby.

It was a dramatic end to an incident-packed match that began with a sickening injury to Croatia international Eduardo which shocked players and officials in the immediate vicinity.

Referee Mike Dean summoned Arsenal physio Gary Lewin and the St John's Ambulance volunteers to attend to the striker and issued a straight red to Taylor.

The on-pitch treatment for the 24-year-old lasted seven minutes before he was given oxygen, stretchered off and rushed to hospital in Birmingham.


Both sides did their best to get their minds refocused after the restart but it took until the 28th minute before there was a major goalmouth incident, resulting in the opening goal for Birmingham.

The marauding McFadden, who was playing on his own in attack after Mikael Forssell was sacrificed for defender Stuart Parnaby following the red card, was brought down by Mathieu Flamini.

The Scotland forward dusted himself off before delicately placing his 20-yard free-kick into Manuel Almunia's top-left corner, despite the Spaniard getting a hand to the ball.

James McFadden
McFadden was on form at St Andrew's

McFadden should have doubled the home side's lead in the fifth of nine minutes of stoppage time but allowed Phillippe Senderos to tackle him after finding himself one-on-one with Almunia.

The Premier League leaders appeared shell-shocked during the first 45 minutes following the injury to their team-mate and needed a spark after the break to haul them back into the match.

That spark was provided by wunderkind Walcott, making his 30th league appearance for Arsenal.

The sprightly 18-year-old, in for the suspended Emmanuel Eboue, was first to pounce on a loose ball, from a challenge between keeper Taylor and Emmanuel Adebayor, and stabbed in from eight yards.

And five minutes later he put Arsenal in the lead after seizing on a mistake from Liam Ridgewell, drifting past two City defenders and rifling his low effort past the reach of Taylor.

Arsenal could have added to their lead, but first Adebayor was foiled by the hand of Taylor and then Bendtner smacked a low angled shot just wide of the Birmingham right-hand upright.

The Gunners seemed guaranteed to take all three points back to north London, before their hopes were shattered by an inexplicable mistake from full-back Clichy.

The French defender delivered a pass into no-man's land inside the Arsenal area and allowed Parnaby to seize on the ball before bringing the former Middlesbrough player down.

Referee Dean pointed to the spot and McFadden stepped up to smash the ball to Almunia's left.

The final whistle sounded seconds after the restart - Arsenal were left stunned, in particular defender William Gallas who sat down on the pitch for about two minutes before manager Wenger called him to his feet.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:
"Taking the lead was unexpected but what a great goal it was and we looked comfortable up to half-time.

"We got a bit casual. I thought it's going to be a long second half.

"We were prepared to lose it by a heavier margin but boldness, I think, got us a point."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
"It was a dodgy penalty for their equaliser and they should not have been given a free-kick that led to the first goal.

"A minute before they got their penalty I was 100% certain that Emmanuel Adebayor should have won a spot-kick.

And on William Gallas' full-time protest: "He was frustrated."

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Martin Taylor, Ridgewell, Murphy, Larsson (Nafti 66), Johnson, Muamba, Kapo (Zarate 59), McFadden, Forssell (Parnaby 15).
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Jerome.

Sent Off: Martin Taylor (3).

Goals: McFadden 28, 90 pen.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Walcott (Denilson 89), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb (Silva 89), Eduardo (Bendtner 8), Adebayor.
Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Justin Hoyte.

Booked: Sagna, Gallas.

Goals: Walcott 50, 55.

Att: 27,195

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Birmingham's James McFadden 7.50 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Man Utd 4 - 0 Arsenal

Man Utd 4-0 Arsenal
Wayne Rooney is congratulated by Nani after United's opening goal
Wayne Rooney is congratulated by Nani after United's opening goal
Wayne Rooney delivered a virtuoso solo display as Manchester United outclassed Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round.

Rooney headed United in front from close range after 16 minutes and Darren Fletcher provided another headed finish from Nani's cross four minutes later.

Michael Carrick set up Nani for a third as United turned on the style.

Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue was sent off after 48 minutes for a foul on Patrice Evra before Nani was the creator again as Fletcher headed United's fourth.

Red Mik

England coach Fabio Capello was in attendance at Old Trafford and showed his appreciation for Rooney's brilliance by applauding his England striker when he was substituted with 20 minutes left.

United left Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs out of their line-up, while Arsenal kept Emmanuel Adebayor and Mathieu Flamini on the bench - and the Gunners suffered most from the changes.

Rooney returned from suspension after missing the defeat to Manchester City - and made up for lost time by destroying Arsenal with a blistering first-half display.

He was on the mark after 16 minutes when a Nani corner was only half-cleared, and when Anderson headed the ball back into the danger area Rooney was perfectly placed to divert a close-range finish past Jens Lehmann.

Fletcher deservedly doubled the lead four minutes later when Nani opened up Arsenal on the left flank and crossed for the Scot to head in at the near post.

Rooney continued to terrorise the Arsenal defence and could have added to his goals tally before United made it three seven minutes before the interval.

Carrick split the Arsenal defence wide open, leaving Nani to control and calmly shoot past Lehmann.

Rooney had already tested Lehmann again before Arsenal's misery increased after 48 minutes when Eboue was rightly sent off for a raised boot in a tackle on Evra.

The Arsenal defender seemed reluctant to leave the pitch after referee Alan Wiley brandished the red card, but he had no excuses because it was an horrendous challenge.

Rooney was in almost unstoppable form, tearing the Arsenal defence apart almost at will, shooting wide after beating Kolo Toure and then bringing a fine save from Lehmann - all in the space of seconds.

And with 16 minutes left, United got the fourth goal their dazzling football deserved when Nani floated up a perfect far post cross for Fletcher to head in at the far post.

Arsenal, who have enjoyed taunting outclassed teams in the past, were not enjoying getting a taste of their own medicine and William Gallas was lucky to escape punishment for an ill-disciplined kick at Nani.

Substitute Louis Saha almost added a fifth with two minutes left but keeper Lehmann - who had been blameless in the defeat - saved well again.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson (Scholes 72), Park, Rooney (Saha 71), Nani.
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, O'Shea, Tevez.

Booked: Ferdinand, Rooney, Fletcher.

Goals: Rooney 16, Fletcher 20, Nani 38, Fletcher 74.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Justin Hoyte, Gallas, Toure, Traore, Eboue, Fabregas (Flamini 70), Silva, Hleb (Adebayor 70), Eduardo (Senderos 71), Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Clichy.

Sent Off: Eboue (49).

Booked: Eduardo, Silva, Adebayor.

Att: 76,000

Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney 8.61 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

  • Sunday, February 03, 2008

    Capello keeps Agbonlahor in squad

    Capello keeps Agbonlahor in squad
    Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor
    Agbonlahor has been retained in the trimmed squad
    Uncapped Gabriel Agbonlahor stayed in Fabio Capello's first England squad for Wednesday's friendly with Switzerland after the 30-man party became 23.

    Striker Emile Heskey had to withdraw after earlier suffering a nerve problem in Wigan's 1-0 win over West Ham and Ledley King is also unfit to feature.

    Stewart Downing and Michael Carrick were among the five players dropped, along with the uncapped Curtis Davies.

    Nicky Shorey and Glenn Johnson are the others who have missed the cut.

    David Beckham was left out of the initial squad, leaving him stuck on 99 international appearances, because of doubts over his match fitness.

    I don't expect to appoint a permanent captain until we start the qualifying games
    Fabio Capello

    Capello, who also omitted Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson, said: "I want to be clear that the players who have not made the squad this time are still part of my plans.

    "We will be monitoring the form of everyone very closely as we work towards the competitive matches which start in September.

    "It is of course a blow to lose Ledley King from the squad. He is a very good player who has impressed me a lot when I have seen him play.

    "I am fully aware of his injury status after speaking with Juande Ramos on Friday.

    "Emile Heskey's injury is disappointing too, but we have to concentrate on the players who are in the squad."

    Villa striker Agbonlahor, 21, is one of only four forwards in the squad, so stands a reasonable chance of making his debut on Wednesday.

    606: DEBATE

    His club-mate Ashley Young could also feature at some stage, to earn only his second cap.

    Capello revealed he will announce his choice for captain on Tuesday but added: "I don't expect to appoint a permanent captain until we start the qualifying games.

    "I want to work closely with the players before deciding on this.

    "I'm looking forward to working with them on the training ground. There is a lot of work to do but I am ready for the challenge.

    "We have seven months to prepare for our first competitive match, but the work really starts now."

    The England squad will gather on Sunday afternoon at the team hotel in Watford.

    England's squad to play Switzerland:

    Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (Liverpool on loan at Aston Villa), Chris Kirkland (Wigan)

    Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham Hotspur)

    Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham Hotspur), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), David Bentley (Blackburn Rovers)

    Forwards: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Michael Owen (Newcastle United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Peter Crouch (Liverpool)

    Man City 1 - 3 Arsenal

    Man City 1-3 Arsenal
    By Owen Phillips

    Eduardo fires home Arsenal's second
    Eduardo rounded off a stunning move for Arsenal's second
    Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as stylish Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League and put an end to Manchester City's unbeaten home record.

    Adebayor set Arsenal on their way, sweeping the ball in from close range.

    And Eduardo's acrobatic turn and volley made it 2-0 from Adebayor's clever header after another glorious move.

    City replied when Vedran Corluka dispossessed Gael Clichy and found Gelson Fernandes but Adebayor sealed the win from close range late on.

    Sven-Goran Eriksson's side had only won one of their last seven Premier League fixtures, and with their confidence looking fragile the last thing they needed was to concede early against an Arsenal team who have lost just once in the league all season.

    606: DEBATE

    But that's exactly what happened as the visitors went ahead on nine minutes following a regulation free-flowing move.

    Some neat first-time passing saw the Gunners work the ball out wide to the marauding Bacary Sagna whose superb first touch allowed him to outpace and out-muscle Michael Ball and get to the byline.

    Adebayor met the cross and his shot crept in despite the best efforts of the sprawling Micah Richards and Joe Hart.

    And another sumptuous move from the Gunners soon made it 2-0.

    Eduardo, Adebayor and Abou Diaby combined to set Clichy free on the left and his deep cross found Adebayor who picked out Eduardo.

    The Croatian controlled the ball brilliantly on his chest and, with his back to goal, volleyed over his shoulder and past Hart.

    City had a strong claim for offside but the visitors thoroughly deserved their lead.

    However, just as Arsenal looked certain to run away with the match, some sloppy defending gifted City a way back.

    Clichy tried to let the ball run out of play and was robbed in possession by Corluka and his pull-back was neatly side-footed home by Fernandes.

    The goal breathed life into the Eastlands crowd but Hart made a fine save from Adebayor's header after another surging Sagna run and skipper William Gallas fired narrowly wide following a corner.

    City could have gone ahead in the opening five minutes when a fantastic chipped pass from Elano almost set Stephen Ireland through on goal.

    Adebayor is outstanding at the moment and we need him in this form
    Arsene Wenger

    And Martin Petrov fired wide from the edge of the box in the closing seconds of the first period.

    But apart from that, Arsenal were in complete control of the opening 45 minutes and although City improved after the break, they rarely looked like getting back on level terms.

    Arsenal continued to create chances and had several chances to make the game safe.

    Cesc Fabregas twice went close from long range, Mathieu Flamini had a shot blocked and Adebayor was denied when Richards and Richard Dunne closed him out as he raced through on goal.

    At the other end Jens Lehmann - deputising for the injured Maneul Almunia - sprinted from his area to prevent City substitute Darius Vassell getting a clean run on goal and Elano's follow-up shot sailed over the bar.

    But Arsenal sealed the win with two minutes to go when a swift counter-attack saw Alexander Hleb and Fabregas find Adebayor and the striker stroked home his 18th league goal of the season.

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
    "We had a good start and went 2-0 up but we then lost concentration and eased up and were punished when they made it 2-1.

    "The game opened up in the last 10 minutes when City went for a second goal but until then they kept good discipline.

    "When the team plays well Adebayor scores and he is outstanding at the moment and we need him in this form.

    "We have good confidence within the side because we know how we want to play."

  • Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson:
    "I am disappointed because we allowed them to go 2-0 up and in the first 20 minutes we gave them too much respect.

    "Maybe we were a bit nervous but early on we did not compete and there was only one team in the match.

    "Once they were two goals up they could take it a bit easy and play on the counter-attack.

    "We have to learn quickly and wake up and do better because we desperately want to play in Europe next season."

    Man City: Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Richards, Ball, Ireland (Mpenza 83), Hamann (Geovanni 75), Gelson, Petrov, Elano, Sturridge (Vassell 55).
    Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Jihai.

    Booked: Petrov, Elano.

    Goals: Gelson 28.

    Arsenal: Lehmann, Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb (Justin Hoyte 89), Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby, Adebayor, Eduardo.
    Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Bendtner, Traore, Walcott.

    Goals: Adebayor 9, Eduardo 26, Adebayor 88.

    Att: 46,426

    Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Arsenal's Eduardo 8.11 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.
  • The Blog is back !

    It took almost 3 months, but we are back! First of all I would like to explain to our loyal readers why the site went missing for the past period. It was due to the fact that I was away and couldnt give the task to anyone else, obviously! But what I would like to stress on is that we are going to be back stronger than ever.

    The weekly analysis is back. We will have reports on Arsenal and England games 48 hours before the game, then we would run reports and extensive analysis after the game. Expect more interviews with the lads from the team, exclusive scoops and match pictures.

    Leave your feedback on the site.

    Arsenal all the way!

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    Arsenal 2 - 2 Man U

    William Gallas equalised in injury-time to salvage a draw and keep Arsenal on top of the Premier League after an absorbing clash with Manchester United.

    Gallas turned Wayne Rooney's half-hit effort into his own goal on the stroke of half time to give United the lead.

    Cesc Fabregas' cool finish put Arsenal level two minutes after the break, but Cristiano Ronaldo slid home Patrice Evra's cross nine minutes from time.

    But Gallas then scrambled in Gael Clichy's cross to earn a point.

    The Frenchman's equaliser allowed Arsenal to set a new club record of 25 games unbeaten in all competitions.

    The opening 45 minutes proved an anti-climax until Gallas diverted Rooney's tame shot in on the stroke of half-time.

    Arsenal had reasonable penalty claims ignored by referee Howard Webb after 15 minutes when Nemanja Vidic tugged Alexander Hleb's shirt as they tangled in the area.

    United had a good chance seconds later when Bacary Sagna failed to react to Ronaldo's cross and Ryan Giggs, perhaps caught by surprise, could only turn a close-range effort wide.

    Owen Hargreaves was outstanding in shielding United's defence from Arsenal's attacking threat, but he was powerless as the Gunners almost went ahead after 35 minutes.

    Gallas escaped the attentions of the United rearguard to glance Fabregas' free-kick against the legs of Edwin van der Sar.

    United's Brazilian midfield man Anderson is clearly a talent, but he demonstrated an unsavoury side to his nature that predictably infuriated the crowd.

    He flamboyantly demanded referee Webb show yellow cards to Arsenal players, then rolled in ridiculous fashion after a foul by Fabregas that earned the Spanish youngster a booking.

    United staged a smash-and-grab in first-half stoppage time, Ronaldo crossing for Rooney, who failed to make a proper connection but saw Gallas provide a crucial deflection past Manuel Almunia.

    The gauntlet was thrown down to Arsenal - but they picked it up to equalise two minutes after the restart.

    Emmanuel Eboue played in Emmanuel Adebayor, who was blocked by Van der Sar, but Sagna crossed the loose ball for Fabregas to slide in a composed finish.

    Arsenal had started to dominate possession, but it was United who had the next big chance after 63 minutes.

    Giggs found Rooney in space in the area, but he headed wastefully wide when he should have at least worked keeper Almunia.

    Both managers made changes in the final 15 minutes, Wenger sending on Theo Walcott for Eboue, while Ferguson replaced the subdued Carlos Tevez and Anderson with Louis Saha and

    Michael Carrick.

    The changes worked better for United as they took a vital lead with nine minutes left.
    Walcott failed to track Evra, and when Saha played him in he crossed perfectly for Ronaldo to


    Evra then enjoyed a huge piece of luck when he sliced substitute Eduardo da Silva's cross against his own bar with Van der Sar helpless.

    Arsenal pressed forward and got the draw they deserved when Clichy's cross sparked a goalmouth scramble which ended with a shot from Gallas which, even though Van der Sar clawed it out, had clearly crossed the line.

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott 74), Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Eduardo 80), Hleb (Silva 80), Adebayor.Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Diarra.

    Booked: Fabregas.

    Goals: Fabregas 48, Gallas 90.

    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown (O'Shea 71), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Anderson (Carrick 76), Hargreaves, Giggs, Tevez (Saha 76), Rooney.Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Nani.

    Booked: Evra, Hargreaves.

    Goals: Gallas 45 og, Ronaldo 82.

    From : BBC Sports
    Att: 60,161
    Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Arsenal 3 - 2 Sunderland

    Arsenal survived a scare before returning to the Premiership summit with a narrow win against Sunderland.

    Robin van Persie's stunning free-kick and Philippe Senderos's finish put Arsenal two up inside 14 minutes.

    But Ross Wallace pulled one back for Sunderland before half-time and Kenwyne Jones headed an equaliser three minutes after the interval to stun Arsenal.

    Van Persie slid home an 80th-minute winner, while Sunderland's Paul McShane saw red for fouling Alexander Hleb.

    Interview: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
    Interview: Sunderland manager Roy Keane

    Arsenal opened in a fashion that suggested it was going to be a harrowing afternoon for Sunderland - but Keane's side showed real reserves of strength.

    The Gunners went ahead in the seventh minute when Grant Leadbitter was penalised for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.

    Arsenal felt hard done by because Abou Diaby curled in a brilliant finish just seconds after referee Rob Styles blew for the free-kick.

    It was only a brief reprieve for Sunderland as Van Persie rifled home an unstoppable free-kick, the ball flying directly over the head of keeper Craig Gordon and in off the crossbar.

    Sunderland were in further trouble after 14 minutes when Senderos took advantage of more hesitant defending to stab Emmanuel Adebayor's cross beyond Gordon.

    The visitors were fortunate not to fall three behind six minutes later when Diaby swept home Hleb's cross, only for the goal to be ruled out for what appeared to be a very debatable offside flag against Mathieu Flamini.

    But Sunderland somehow managed to build on these shaky foundations and pulled a goal back after 25 minutes.

    Manuel Almunia raced out of goal to halt Jones, but the rebound fell kindly for Wallace, who finished in composed fashion.

    Arsenal continued to dominate before the interval and could have restored their two-goal advantage, Gordon doing well to turn over another powerful Van Persie drive and Senderos heading wastefully wide when unmarked.

    Sunderland hung on and were rewarded with an equaliser three minutes after the interval as Jones rose to head Liam Miller's cross past Almunia.

    Arsenal were suddenly in danger of failing to win a game they had dominated, and they were frustrated again after 57 minutes when Kolo Toure's brilliant rising drive from 30 yards rebounded to safety off an upright.

    Sunderland suddenly saw an unlikely point in sight, but survived another scare 13 minutes from time when Hleb's cross found substitute Theo Walcott at the far post only for the youngster to miss his kick horribly.

    Walcott made amends by finally unlocking Sunderland's brave resistance after 80 minutes, sliding in a neat pass for Van Persie to steer a left-foot finish past Gordon.

    Sunderland were still refusing to lie down, with substitute Anthony Stokes bringing a fine save from Almunia and Jones shooting across the face of goal with the Arsenal keeper out of position following a fine run by Miller.

    The visitors then lost McShane for a wild tackle on Hleb before Walcott hit a post in the dying seconds.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:"After 15 minutes, the game looked to be easy and maybe we convinced ourselves of that as well.

    "Part of our mental focus went and when you do that at this level, you pay for it.

    "At the end of the day it was a good lesson for us, because again we still found the resources
    which showed that there is something in the team which is really strong."

    Sunderland boss Roy Keane:"If you get off to a poor start, you think that it could be five or six. But we stayed in the game and got a decent first goal.

    "I keep talking about the attitude and character, and also there was some very good play.

    "The lads gave it their all, but you need a hell of a lot of luck to get positive results at these grounds. We had a bit, but not enough."

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna (Eboue 68), Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby (Walcott 57), Adebayor, Van Persie (Silva 85).Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Bendtner.

    Goals: Van Persie 7, 80, Senderos 14

    Sunderland: Gordon, McShane, Nosworthy, Higginbotham, Collins, Leadbitter, Miller, Wallace (Etuhu 77), Yorke (Harte 90), Chopra (Stokes 77), Jones.Subs Not Used: Ward, O'Donovan.

    Booked: Jones, Chopra.

    Goals: Wallace 25, Jones 48

    Att: 60,098

    Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).

    From : BBC Sports