Allardyce: Sunderland must start taking advantage of creative flair after Arsenal defeat

Sunderland equalise against Arsenal through a Olivier Giroud own goal
Sunderland equalise against Arsenal through a Olivier Giroud own goal
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In all of Sam Allardyce's previous visits to Arsenal, never has one of his teams created more chances than Sunderland.

Arsene Wenger's side eventually ran out 3-1 winners but the scoreline was far more comfortable than the match itself for Arsenal.

The Black Cats carved out 11 chances at the Emirates, with four attempts on target, as Sunderland's forward line took the game to a nervy and edgy Arsenal defence.

Ex-Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle United and West Ham boss Allardyce was impressed with the amount of chances created, less so with the poor finishing, however.

Fabio Borini missing a fourth minute one-on-one, while Duncan Watmore and Steven Fletcher also missed good chances in the second half.

Allardyce remained upbeat though despite the loss, which saw Sunderland drop back into the Premier League bottom three.

"The spirit is getting better and the lads are understanding more," said Allardyce.

"We exploited the weaknesses of Arsenal very well, aside from putting the ball in the net.

"I have been here with Bolton, West Ham, Blackburn and Newcastle but never created as many chances with a team as we did.

"Unfortunately we still lost 3-1."

Despite the defeat, a result which saw Sunderland slip into the bottom three thanks to Bournemouth's impressive 1-0 win at Chelsea, Allardyce took plenty of positives away from North London.

And he says the players have set their own benchmark ahead of the visit of Watford to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Allardyce added: "We must continue to perform at that level, no matter who we play, and try and better it.

"The only thing that let us down, we slipped up for the first.

"Our real failing was not scoring at the times we created those chances.

"Borini could have scored and two more after that.

"Even at 1-1 we had Fletcher on the far post, who could have tapped it in to go 2-1 up.

"We didn't take those chances.

"If we had gone in front, we'd have made Arsenal that little bit more nervous.

"They hadn't won in three and we failed to do that and failed to get a result.

"Our fault, nobody else's."