Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1 – Robin Van Persie steals show for Gunners
Arsenal made life difficult for themselves on Sunday afternoon, although Robin Van Persie’s late free-kick landed the Gunners all three points after the Dutchman had earlier given his team an early lead.
October 16th, 2011
Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick on the half hour mark looked as though Sunderland would come away from the Emirates with a hard-earned draw, although the visitors continued to concede free-kicks around the area and were made to pay when Van Persie’s left foot swung the ball into the net.
The Gunners came out of the traps flying, with the Arsenal captain slotting Gervinho’s pass into the net before thirty seconds of the game elapsed. Van Persie then came desperately close to doubling his team’s advantage when a delicate chip looked to be heading into the corner of the net before rebounding off the post instead.
Gervinho wasted another glorious chance before Sunderland came into the game and Lee Cattermole’s point blank header was wonderfully saved by Wojciech Szczesny when it looked certain as though the Black Cats would score and take the lead in the match.
Larsson’s free-kick against his former club in the 31st minute was pure quality and the visitors looked relatively comfortable when defending against an Arsenal team struggling to breach the Sunderland defence, with Arteta, Santos and Walcott all missing the target from free-kicks.
In the end, it was left to captain fantastic to have the final word, with Van Persie stating in his programme notes that he had no intention to leave the Emirates despite speculation linking him with a move.