Sunderland will look to avoid a fifth straight home defeat to Arsenal today.
The Gunners have often found life tough at the Stadium of Light, but they have won on each of their last four league visits, and would have won five in a row but for a last-gasp Darren Bent strike in September, 2010.
2014/15: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2
A brace of defensive howlers scuppered Sunderland’s hopes of bouncing back from humiliation after suffering a self-inflicted 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Sunderland were unable to produce a positive response in response to the previous week’s 8-0 thrashing at Southampton, as the Black Cats suffered their first home Premier League defeat of the season.
But while Arsenal were the better side, Sunderland’s loss was entirely of their own making after they continued the pattern from Southampton with a couple of horrifying mistakes.
In the first half, Wes Brown produced a dreadful back pass which Alexis Sanchez pounced on before running through and beating Vito Mannone.
Sunderland looked shell-shocked after that goal, although they improved in the second half, albeit without ever really threatening for an equaliser.
But Sanchez profited from another clanger in stoppage time, when Mannone was caught in possession from Will Buckley’s awful back pass, before the Arsenal frontman doubled his tally.
2013/14: Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3
Sunderland were rightly left fuming at referee Martin Atkinson today after the official’s shocking decision cost Paolo Di Canio’s side against Arsenal.
The Black Cats were denied a perfectly legitimate second half equaliser against the Gunners, only for Atkinson to bafflingly fail to award Sunderland an advantage when Jozy Altidore’s shot had trickled over the line.
Di Canio’s men had trailed 1-0 at the interval after a one-sided first half when Arsenal spurned a succession of chances, following Olivier Giroud’s opener.
But half-time substitute Craig Gardner drew level from the penalty spot three minutes after the re-start and Sunderland were a changed side until Aaron Ramsey regained the lead against the run of play.
Altidore had the ball in the net three minutes later, but Atkinson decided to bring the play back for a foul by Arsenal skipper Bacary Sagna.
Sunderland’s sense of injustice was then heightened when Ramsey slotted home a third for the Gunners.
Di Canio was understandably infuriated by Atkinson and was sent to the stands in stoppage time after a lengthy head-to-head with the official.
2012/13: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 1
Sunderland were left scratching their heads at a second successive Premier League defeat after somehow failing to find the net during a rousing finale against 10 man Arsenal.
The Black Cats were completely outplayed for the first half and were fortunate to be only one down at the interval, with Santi Cazorla putting the Gunners in front.
But after Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson was sent off just after the hour mark for a second booking, Sunderland spurned several spurned golden opportunities to get at least a point from the game.
Top scorer Steven Fletcher had a hat-trick of chances, while Titus Bramble blazed wide from six yards out.
2011/12: Sunderland 1 Arsenal 2
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill endured his first home defeat in charge of the Red and Whites as Thierry Henry grabbed a stoppage-time winner for the Gunners.
James McClean fired the home side in front, driving an effort past keeper Wojciech Szczesny, capitalising after Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker injured himself in trying to control the ball, and was duly stretchered off.
Sub Aaron Ramsey drew Arsenal level, then Henry, back on a temporary stint with Arsenal on loan from New York Red Bulls, volleyed home Arsenal’s winner past Simon Mignolet.
2010/11: Sunderland 1 Arsenal 1
Darren Bent deservedly secured a poiint for Sunderland against an Arsenal side reduced to 10 men.
The Londoners stormed in front in the most fortunate way when Cesc Fabregas got in a block on an attempted clearance by defender Anton Ferdinand and the ball flew into the net from 35 yards out.
Arsenal had Alex Song dismissed for two bookable offences but they missed the chance to double their lead when Tomas Rosicky drove a penalty over the bar after Samir Nasri was felled by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Sunderland played well throughout and got their reward in stoppage time as prolific marksman Bent capitalised on a missed clearance by Gael Clichy to flash home a fierce shot.