English Premiership

Arsenal power past Sunderland

2014-02-22 22:26
Olivier Giroud (AP Photo)
London - Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal move on from their frustrating defeat to Bayern Munich and drew a line under his own difficult week with two goals in the Gunners' 4-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

French striker Giroud, who last weekend issued a public apology following lurid reports about his private life, struck twice in the first half at the Emirates Stadium to set up the win that keeps Arsene Wenger's side within one point of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Tomas Rosicky added an outstanding third shortly before half time and Laurent Koscielny gave the home side an unassailable lead with a 56th minute header.

Sunderland were hoping to boost their confidence ahead of next weekend's League cup final meeting with Manchester City.

But there were few positives to draw from a woeful display with Emmanuele Giaccherini's 81st minute strike providing a late consolation.

Wenger made five changes to his starting line-up from Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with the most notable omission being Mesut Ozil, the club's £42 million record signing who came in for heavy criticism for his missed penalty and poor performance against the German champions.

The Arsenal manager defended his player ahead of this game, insisting that like Dennis Bergkamp -- honoured before the game with the unveiling of a statue outside the stadium -- Ozil might one day be regarded as a club legend.

But Wenger's changes clearly had the desired effect and there were few signs of a post-Bayern hangover as Arsenal set about attempting to match Chelsea's win over Everton earlier in the day.

It helped their cause that Sunderland's focus appeared to be elsewhere but Wenger's side were clearly intent on moving on from the midweek disappointment.

And it took them just five minutes to expose the visitors' alarmingly vulnerable defence and establish a lead they never looked likely to lose.

Lukas Podolski started the move, finding Rosicky with a crisp pass that the Czech international flicked on to Jack Wilshere.

Wilshere drove into the box where he was challenged by Phil Bardsley, but the Sunderland right back's tackle succeeded only in pushing the ball into the path of Giroud, who slotted home from 10 yards out.

The relief for both the striker and his team-mates was apparent and the move set the tone for a one-sided first half.

Marcos Alonso almost caught out Wojciech Szczesny with a low cross after a rare break but that was the only time the Arsenal goalkeeper was troubled before the break.

In contrast, Vito Mannone was under steady pressure and the Sunderland keeper did well to tip over Podolski's shot.

He was left hopelessly exposed in the 31st minute, though, when Santiago Vergini directed an underhit backpass towards his keeper, allowing Giroud to nip in and claim his second.

The striker still had lots to do, despite being clear on goal and his finish was expertly placed between Mannone's legs.

But the way in which Sunderland had given away the goal so cheaply summed up their plight and did nothing to boost Vergini's hopes of claiming a place in Gus Poyet's Wembley line-up next weekend.

There was more to come from Arsenal before the interval with Rosicky capping an impressive all-round display with the goal of the game.

Like the opener, the goal was the product of a slick passing move although this time the one-touch exchange between Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Wilshere and Giroud before Rosicky rounded things off with an exceptional dinked finish.

Poyet made two changes at half time and, briefly, Sunderland showed some fight.

But another Vergini slip gifted Arsenal a 57th corner and allowed an unmarked Koscielny to head home from Cazorla's cross.

Giaccherini at least gave Sunderland supporters something to cheer with a long-range goal nine minutes from time.

Read more on:    arsenal  |  sunderland  |  english premiership  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

United confirm Blind signing

2014-09-01 22:29

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
13 September 2014
Arsenal v Manchester City, Emirates Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Leicester City, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Burnley, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Newcastle United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadium of Light 16:00
Chelsea v Swansea City, Stamford Bridge 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Everton, The Hawthorns 16:00
Liverpool v Aston Villa, Anfield 18:30
14 September 2014
Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers, Old Trafford 17:00
15 September 2014
Hull City v West Ham United, The KC Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Is Louis van Gaal the right man to restore the glory days at United?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.