Premier League: Sunderland Safe as Arsenal seal third spot

Premier League: Sunderland Safe as Arsenal seal third spot

Sunderland ensured their Premier League Status was kept intact after grinding out a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher had the best chance against Arsenal at the Emirates
Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher had the best chance against Arsenal at the Emirates

Sunderland needed a point to survive relegation and they defended extremely well to earn a point which moved them up to 15th, four points clear of Hull City in the final relegation place.

The battle to avoid relegation is now is between Hull City and 17th-placed Newcastle United, who are two points better off heading into Sunday’s final round.

Hull will play at home against Manchester United while Newcastle hosts West Ham.

On the other hand, Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sunderland made them seal third place and book a place in the Champions League group stage.

Arsene Wenger’s side suffered another frustrating night failing to put the ball in the back of the net though having much of the possession.

Sunderland’s game plan was designed to frustrate Arsenal by defending deep and heating on the break which was executed perfectly.

The black cats had the best chance of the night through a counter attack but Steven Fletcher failed to beat David Ospina from Patrick van Aanholt’s cross from six metres.

Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon had a great game denying the likes of Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.

Oliver Giroud shot was being saved by Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon
Oliver Giroud shot was being saved by Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon

Arsenal’s best chance fell on Theo Walcott,who beat Pantilimon but his goal-bound effort was cleared by Sebastian Coates.

Sunderland survived a scare when Billy Jones had directed a ball on his own post but luckily enough the ball never went into his net.

The draw means the Gunners are now unable to catch Manchester City in second but are three points clear of fourth placed Manchester United with a superior goal difference.

Arsenal have now won just one of their last five games and failed to score in three at home which left Arsene Wenger worried ahead of the FA Cup final on 30 May.

He said “We didn’t look like scoring, honestly, even if we had 28 shots. There was something missing,” he continued “We played our 56th game of the season tonight and some players have given a lot. We still have time to recover for Sunday and prepare well for the FA Cup final. But it’s important now that we win on Sunday.”

Dick Advocaat the Sunderland manager said ‘Arsenal were the better side but our organisation was unbelievably good. The emotion was so high,’

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling that we did it by ourselves. The players gave everything to stay up.’

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