SUNDERLAND brought their worst run of the season to an end today when they took a point off title-chasing Arsenal at the Emirates this afternoon.
The point was fully deserved with Sunderland avoiding the usual footballing lesson from the Londoners and digging in to earn their result.
Steve Bruce’s more than held their own in the first-half as Arsenal felt the loss of players of the calibre of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott.
Sunderland contained their opponents for the early part of the first-half and when Arsenal finally did get on top they found Simon Mignolet in great form between the posts, twice the Belgian keeper denying Nicklas Bendtner from excellent chances.
Sunderland shackled the Gunners in the early part of the second-half and when the Londoners finally did get on top, excellent defending from Titus Bramble and Simon Mignolet in particular thwarted them.
Mignolet made great saves from a Nasri free-kick and a Bendtner header but Arsenal could count themselves somewhat unlucky that Marouane Chamakh’s header hit the crossbar and that Andrey Arshavin got the ball in the back of the net in the 87th minute only for it to be ruled offside on a fractional decision.
Sunderland will not argue about that though, having ended a run of four consecutive defeats and gained an away point from one of the toughest venues in the country to get anything from.
To read the rest of the match report, please see tonight’s Football Echo.