Arsenal vs Sunderland Player Ratings

Arsenal's first game of the campaign without their talismanic striker Robin Van Persie ended in a goaless draw with Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.

It takes three players to stop Walcott...

Despite losing key players in the previous few seasons, the Gunners still managed to keep their passing philosophy intact. All eyes were on their new signings in this game and Santi Cazorla is looking like one of the buys of the season but poor finishing cost Arsene Wenger's men all three points against the stubborn Sunderland side who were content with just a point.

Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny - 6.5
Two saves in the opening minutes helped Arsenal salvage a point as his side did not look too keen on scoring in the opposite end of the pitch.

Thomas Vermaelen - 7
Arsenal's natural leader on the pitch went forward every opportunity he had to try and grab a goal as Sunderland were happy to sit back and allow the Arsenal players to run at them.

Per Mertesacker - 6
Switched off for a brief moment when he played McClean onside and through on goal in the first half, but his keeper was there to spare him the blushes. Nothing much to do defensively after that.

Kieran Gibbs - 7
Forged an impressive partnership with Gervinho down the left and made Gardner look like a schoolboy at times. Defensively solid and even caused problems going forward.

Carl Jenkinson - 6.5
The hardworking Jenkinson was running up and down the flanks. Nothing wrong with his defensive capabilities but unlike Bacary Sagna, his crosses in the final third were horrible.

Mikel Arteta - 6.5
The entire Arsenal midfield will be on his shoulders from now on. With the departure of players like Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and now Alex Song, Arteta has to step up to the plate and make the decisive pass forward instead of the usual back passes or short passes.

Abou Diaby (70' off) - 6
Not your typical bullish holding midfielder who would dive into tackles, but looked promising going forward. Has plenty of work to do to fill Alex Song's shoes, who is now headed to Barcelona.

Gervinho - 8
Tormented Gardner, and later Richardson in the wider areas. A remarkable improvement from the previous season but should learn to pass to a team mate in a better position instead of taking a shot every opportunity he has.

Theo Walcott (77' off) - 7.5
The source of most of Arsenal's goals from the right picked up where he left off last season. But with no Van Persie to put the ball in the back of the net, Walcott lacked the finished to supply his crosses to.

Santi Cazorla - 9
The former Malaga man had a very bright Arsenal debut. An intelligent footballer who always has an eye for a killer pass just about every time he goes up in attack. It was a pity none of his team mates could apply the finish - especially Giroud, who missed from point-blank range.

Lukas Podolski (64' off) - 6
Not the ideal debut for the man who is supposed to fill Van Persie's shoes as he bumped into his team mates several times, showing that they have not really gelled together yet. It takes time to adjust to life in the Premier League, even for a man who has a hundred caps for his country.

Substitutions

Olivier Giroud (64' on) - 6
Did not see much of the ball but he had a glorious opportunity to give Arsenal the lead in the 82nd minute. 20 million in the bank, is he worth it, Wenger?

Aaron Ramsey (70' on) - 5.5
Could not get his attempts on target and was better off staying on the bench. Get well soon Jack Wilshere.

Andrei Arshavin (77' on)
N/A

Sunderland

Simon Mignolet - 6
Only had a handful of saves to make from an Arsenal team who are still trying to be on the same wavelength. Any other danger in the box was easily hacked away by his trustworthy defenders.

John O'Shea - 6.5
A surprisingly solid display in defence with Cuellar. The Black Cats were well organized at the back and throughly deserved their point.

Carlos Cuellar - 6.5
An impressive debut for the strong centre-back who didn't seem to have any problem fitting in. 

Kieran Richardson - 6.5
Allowed the pacy Arsenal wingers to run at him but was always at the right place at the right time to clear the danger away.

Craig Gardner - 6.5
Struggled against the tricky Gervinho all game, but his resolve to keep a clean sheet was evident in the dying minutes of the match.

Lee Cattermole - 6
Following Cazorla everywhere on the pitch seemed to work well for Sunderland for large periods of the game, but Arsenal's swift passing was too much for one man to take.

Jack Colback - 6
The second Sunderland player to test Szczesny early in the first half, but he was just defending the waves of Arsenal attack after.

James McClean - 6.5
Had the first chance of the game after the flag stayed down but could not squeeze the ball between Szczesny's legs. He was playing with his name on his jersey spelt wrong as well, but that did not affect his work rate nor his tenacity to win the ball back for Sunderland.

Sebastian Larsson (79' off) - 6
The Swede had an impressive Euro competition but just couldn't find his feet in the game. He was too busy defending instead of troubling the likes of Gibbs or Vermaelen.

Stephane Sessegnon (64' off) - 5.5
Could not find a way past the full backs and struggled to have an impact of the game when he could have used his pace to run at defenders.

Fraizer Campbell (69' off) - 5
Nobody knew of his existence on the right side of midfield till his substitution in the 69th minute.

Substitutions

Louis Saha (64' on) - 6
A man who knows exactly what to do, especially when his team doesn't see much of the ball. Didn't trouble the Arsenal defence at all though.

Ahmed Elmohamady (69' on) - 5
A very direct player who would beat his man and bring the ball further up the pitch, but unfortunately for him there was nobody to pass to up there.

David Meyler (79' on)
N/A



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