English FA Cup

February 18, 2012

Full-time

Sunderland

2 - 0

Arsenal

English FA Cup

17:15 +00:00, February 18, 2012

Stadium of Light, England

Referee: Howard Webb

  •  

    In reality, this week leaves Arsenal with nothing but the league to focus on, so they really need to make sure they reach the top four. They'll really hope Chelsea's struggles continue

  •  

    It extends Martin O'Neill's superb start at Sunderland as well as Arsenal's woes. It's also a result that perhaps makes Liverpool favourites for the FA Cup

  •  

    A poor game to watch, to be honest.

  • 90'

    Full-time: Sunderland 2-0 Arsenal

  • 90'

    Van Persie's free-kick is straight at Sunderland's wall. They could have another 100 of those free-kicks but they still wouldn't score today.

  • 90'

    Arteta fires over. This must be increasingly painful for an Arsenal fan to watch. Full-time cannot come soon enough

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time to be played...

  • 89'

    More misplaced passing from Arsenal. This really has been a disastrous afternoon for them

  • 89'

    Sessegnon on, Campbell on

  • 88'

    Arsenal have a corner after Turner heads clear

  • 86'

    Could have been a goal, that

  • 86'

    Nice pass there by Rosicky but Van Persie practically tripped over the ball; truly emblematic of Arsenal's afternoon

  • 84'

    Probably the wrong decision, Walcott looked onside, but the lack of complaint is perhaps telling

  • 84'

    Walcott caught offside after Oxlade-Chamberlain's through-ball

  • 82'

    Larsson's free-kick is cleared by Song, which was crucial because Fabianski was well out of position there

  • 81'

    Free-kick to Sunderland after Sagna's foul. He's probably lucky to still be on the pitch after that, as he already has a yellow card

  • 78'

    Sunderland hit Arsenal on the counter and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did very well to chase back, was just unfortunate in that the ball hit him after coming off the post and trickled over the line for Sunderland's second (most likely the winning goal)

  • 77'

    GOAL Sunderland 2-0 Arsenal! Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal!

  • 75'

    Vermaelen heads at Mignolet! Decent save by the 'keeper. Seems like the only sort of goal they're likely to score

  • 73'

    Poor cross from Gervinho - the ball goes straight out for a goal-kick

  • 71'

    Richardson did exceptionally well then to prevent a corner. Throw-in to Arsenal, deep into Sunderland's half

  • 70'

    That was a rare moment of action in what has been a dull, scrappy match

  • 70'

    Gardner shoots harmlessly wide for Sunderland!

  • 69'

    ...they've also worked extremely hard; both the wingers are tracking back, while Sessegnon is pressuring the back four

  • 68'

    Those three have been crucial for Sunderland today. While their three central midfielders have worked hard to stifle Arsenal, Larsson, Sessegnon and McLean have provided their attacking threat.

  • 67'

    Sunderland now countering down the right, with Larsson

  • 66'

    Which Mignolet has collected. The moment has passed now for Arsenal

  • 64'

    His shot is deflected wide for a corner but the striker will also take that...

  • 64'

    Arsenal free-kick, Van Persie to take...

  • 63'

    There's lots of Arsenal playing the ball from side to side but without any real progress made

  • 62'

    When they're at the Emirates and the football suits them it's fine, but here Sunderland are happy for them to take the ball wide and cross for the ball because they know they'll continue to win the aerial battles

  • 61'

    It's during fixtures like this where Arsenal's need for a target man becomes more obvious

  • 59'

    Oxlade-Chamberlain again gives the ball away! This really is sloppy stuff from the Londoners

  • 58'

    Turner heads over, however. Arsenal goal-kick

  • 57'

    Free-kick to Sunderland near the corner spot. ONce again, it's a good opportunity to cross

  • 54'

    ...and a third central defensive partnership

  • 54'

    Both players looked to have been carrying injuries, so that's all three subs used by Arsenal

  • 53'

    Squillaci off, Walcott on

  • 53'

    Ramsey off, Rosicky on

  • 52'

    ...as is Theo Walcott

  • 52'

    Rosicky's getting ready to come on...

  • 51'

    Of course, there's also the possibility that Sunderland could tire if they continue to press and play with such pace

  • 50'

    A suitable final ball is missing, as is some aggression but Arsenal look a bit more comfortable now

  • 49'

    Better from Arsenal; more composure there (at last)

  • 48'

    Good effort from Larsson but he's curled the ball just over the top left corner. Nice idea

  • 47'

    Sagna booked for the foul

  • 47'

    Sagna with a blatant foul on McLean! Very good scoring chance for Sunderland, it's shooting range

  • 46'

    It's very early indeed but it's already looking bad for Arsenal. No, not the Djourou-Squillaci axis at the back; Oxlade-Chamberlain's touch has evaded him and he's given the ball away

  • 46'

    Sunderland kick-off...

  •  

    The teams are back out for the second-half...

  •  

  •  

    In what was a scrappy, yet lively, half of football, Sunderland deserve to be in front. Arsenal need to regain some composure and start playing as they're capable of doing so. That said, a big fear for them in the second half is Sunderland's potential as a counter-attacking side

  • 45'

    Half-time: Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal

  • 45'

    Arsenal desperately need to get to half-time to regroup, but Sunderland have all of the momentum and won't want this to end

  • 45'

    Two minutes of added time to be played, which is about right

  • 44'

    Close again by Sunderland with a good counter attack! Colback cut Larsson's cross back towards McLean but the winger poked the ball just wide. Could have been a second goal, that

  • 42'

    The ball took a deflection off of Squillaci but Djourou's to blame; he was the one who unnecessarily conceded the free-kick

  • 41'

    Vermaelen headed Larsson's free-kick into Richardson's path who had the space to connect brilliantly with the ball and fire a left-footed shot through the defence and past Fabianski.

  • 40'

    GOAL Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal! Richardson scores for the home side!

  • 40'

    Chance for Larsson to cross into the box...

  • 40'

    Free-kick to Sunderland in a dangerous area

  • 39'

    Djorou booked for fouling Larsson

  • 38'

    There's lots of Arsenal playing the ball from side to side without any real progress being made

  • 37'

    O'Neill really is doing brilliantly at Sunderland. Even putting their good run to one side, he's getting the most out of his side today; less talented individuals like Bardsley, Turner and Golback are being used to unsettle Arsenal and stop them playing and the tactics are working

  • 36'

    Very little space for Ramsey, Song or Arteta to provide the necessary passes for Arsenal's front three

  • 35'

    A familiar pattern is repeating itself here: Arsenal string together several passes together in midfield before Sunderland crowd them out and recover the ball before making little of possession themselves...

  • 33'

    Possibly should have been a penalty after O'Shea's challenge but Howard Webb decided against it. To be fair, there have been many more controversial decisions

  • 31'

    Close penalty shout there for Arsenal!

  • 31'

    Better action in the game now after a scrappy opening, largely because of a crowded midfield

  • 30'

    ...and win a corner of their own. But it also comes to nothing after Larsson's curling cross just evades everyone. Arsenal goal-kick

  • 29'

    ...it comes to nothing and Sunderland counter...

  • 28'

    Gervinho, through on goal, unleashed a powerful, goalbound shot that was saved by Mignolet. Arsenal corner...

  • 27'

    Good effort from Arsenal; that's the closest anyone's yet got to scoring

  • 25'

    Sunderland's intent is obvious; they're pressing Arsenal all over the pitch and won't let them settle. Clearly they're trying to expose Arsenal's vulnerabilities which makes sense given the obvious lack of confidence

  • 23'

    Well collected there by Fabianski; the 'keeper dived low to save McLean's low cross with Sessegnon waiting to convert it into a goal

  • 22'

    That's better from Arsenal; they're now playing more patiently and appear to be thinking more

  • 20'

    Arsenal's composure has gone and they're struggling to get out of their own half. It has to be pointed out that the conditions aren't as they'd wish, though

  • 19'

    Vermaelen defending well there from Larsson with the Swedish winger pressuring and chasing the loose ball

  • 18'

    And now Alex Song is down in discomfort! It's getting a bit comical now...

  • 16'

    Ramsey's back on but he's still in some obvious discomfort. It's still 0-0 but it's been a disastrous start to the game for Arsenal

  • 15'

    Ramsey's now down in some pain...

  • 14'

    ...which is taken quickly and Sessegnon fires wide!

  • 14'

    Ramsey fouls McLean, Sunderland free-kick...

  • 13'

    Arsenal have yet to settle back down since Coquelin's withdrawal when they'd previously looked settled

  • 11'

    Arsenal clear

  • 11'

    Coquelin off, Squillaci on

  • 10'

    Sagna's now down in pain, too...

  • 10'

    Corner to Sunderland after Djorou blocks McLean's cross...

  • 8'

    Coquelin's limped off, and play restarts...

  • 7'

    Coquelin's down in some pain at the moment. He looks set to come off; another defensive injury for Arsenal, it seems

  • 6'

    Good effort by Arteta; his curling effort beats Sunderland's wall but ultimately curls just wide

  • 5'

    Arsenal have had plenty of the ball and now have a free-kick after Van Persie was fouled by Gardner. It's shooting distance, too..

  • 4'

    Decent there from Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing. His cross came to nothing but it showed good intent on his part; he'll surely have had a confidence boost from starting over Walcott

  • 2'

    Good tempo so far in this game, which you would expect from a team managed by O'Neill

  • 1'

    Good start by Arsenal with Gervinho's run. Arsenal have a corner following O'Shea's challenge

  • 1'

    Here we go, then. Arsenal kick-off...

  •  

    As was seen earlier today with Birmingham's five-man midfield stifling a poor Chelsea side, Martin O'Neill has gone for five men across the middle and seems to have a similar intention

  •  

    Laurent Koscielny's injury means Johan Djorou starts and Francis Coquelin is at left-back

  •  

    Theo Walcott is on the bench, meanwhile, as the returning Gervinho starts

  •  

    There are some team selection surprises though. Lukasz Fabianski starts for Arsenal, while Stephane Sessegnon - a link player, if anything - seems to be the lone striker for Sunderland, with Frazier Campbell on the bench

  •  

    This is a big game for Arsenal after the midweek defeat to AC Milan and, given their recent bad luck, it's perhaps no surprise they're facing Sunderland when they've been playing so well