Arsenal crush winless Sunderland

Arsenal maintained the pressure at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

  • Sunderland 4 Arsenal 1 
  • Sanchez heads in the opener
  • Gunners miss host of chances
  • Defoe equalises from the spot
  • Giroud brace puts Arsenal ahead
  • Sanchez grabs a second to make it 4-1

Match summary

The first half was totally one-sided, with Arsenal having nine shots at goal and looking like scoring with every attack, although the score remained 1-0 at the break thanks to an Alexis Sanchez opener.

The second half produced four more goals, with Sunderland equalising from the spot through Jermaine Defoe, before Olivier Giroud's brace put the Gunners ahead a few minutes later.

And the win was put beyond any doubt in the 78th minute as Sanchez notched his second of the game with a close-range finish.

What a good start to the weekend ? #SFCvAFC #Arsenal ???

A video posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on

Full report

The first half was total domination from Arsenal while the Black Cats' performance had relegation form written all over it.

With over 60% possession and nine shots at goal, to David Moyes side's zero shots on target – the gulf in class was evident. The home side's only saving grace was the poor finishing from the Gunners' forwards early on.

However, there was nothing poor about their 19th minute opener from Alexis Sanchez.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain skinned his marker Duncan Watmore on the right flank before his excellent cross found Sanchez – who managed to steal space in front of Lamine Kone and score the perfect diving header beyond goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Alexis celebrates opening the scoring #SFCvAFC #Arsenal #Gunners

A photo posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on

Arsenal were toying with Sunderland after the opening goal and despite a few half chances, Mesut Ozil was guilty of a terrible miss when sent through one on one with Pickford.

The Germany international tried to lob the English youngster, who managed to get a hand on to the poorly directed effort and keep the scoreline at 1-0.

Just before the break things got worse for David Moyes as his captain and veteran defender John O'Shea limped off to be replaced by Papy Djilobodji.

After the hour mark, the game really sprung into life, with the Stadium of Light finding it's full voice.

Just after Arsenal had a legitimate penalty appeal turned down when Kone looked to have tripped Sanchez inside the area, Sunderland went on to earn themselves a penalty a few seconds later as they went on a rare surge forward.

Duncan Watmore pounced on the ball in Arsenal's defensive third and bore down on goal before being brought to ground by the onrushing Petr Cech, who was luck to only received a yellow card for his troubles.

Defoe converted the resulting spot-kick to get the most unlikely of equalisers against the run of play, but that was at good as it got for Moyes and his men.

Within seconds of coming on Olivier Giroud, with his first touch of the game, restored Arsenal's lead as he converted an inviting Kieran Gibbs cross.

Five minutes later, from a routine corner, the France international completed his brace with a looping header at the near post that Jordan Pickford had no chance of saving.

A minute later, the win was completed as Alexis Sanchez profited from shambolic defending to tuck home his side's fourth of the afternoon from close range.