Well it all started wrong didn’t it when Koscielny broke down in the warm up which meant Arsene Wenger was forced into making an early change.
We lined up – including subs:
Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Jenkinson, Monreal, Arteta, Wilshere (Diaby 50), Ramsey, Walcott (Miquel 87), Giroud, Cazorla.
Subs Not Used: Mannone, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Sent Off: Jenkinson (62). Booked: Jenkinson, Walcott.
Within minutes of the start, Sunderland had a chance but N’Diaye headed over the bar, then straight afterwards, Walcott had his first chance of many, but as he did with the rest, he missed. Well, Mignolet saved. Same scenario followed within moments.
Cattermole went into the book for a shocker on Ramsey, many other referee’s would have had no problem in brandishing a red card and rather stupidly, Carl Jenkinson followed him into the book soon after too for a naughty one on Jack Colback!
The next real effort on either goal was from Giroud, his shot was dragged just side of his far post. Soon after, Sessegnon watched on as his shot went wide of the post.
End to end stuff but how wrong was I in suggesting Sunderland would be very much different to Stoke?
Ramsey was the next to have a shot, and from distance which was refreshing and he wasn’t far off either. That one may have been saved but soon after, Cazorla to made it 1-0 with a super finish.
Wilshere had weaved his way through the middle, his pass found Walcott who then laid the ball off to Cazorla. The Spaniard then buried his chance into the back of the net….
Szczesny then saved well from a Danny Rose and Walcott scuffed yet another chance not long before halt-time, he had time though to see another chance saved by Mignolet.
Half time came and went, as did Lee Cattermole!
Within minutes of the restart, Jack was fouled yet again and this was one too many for him to suffer. He was replaced by Abou Diaby. Just like every game these days, our young Englishman seems to be the target of ‘rough treatment’, yesterday he started the game heavily bandaged, he finished it barely walking. Wenger reckons it’s short-term, days in fact and we have to hope he’s right.
Sunderland had a few half chances, Sessegnon saw his shot blocked by Arteta and both Larsson and Johnson had crosses defended well by us.
Giroud saw yet another chance go wide and then up the other end, Fletcher saw a thunderbolt shot miss the target. Cazorlas had a couple of chances in quick succession, both missed the intended target and then a big moment in the match took place.
Carl Jenkinson caught Sessegnon and with it came a second yellow card. We were down to ten. Our already frail defence was even more frail.
Or was it??
We had a couple of chances to kill the game off, Walcott was guilty of finding a post when it appeared easier to find the net and we missed a couple more chances to kill the game off too. Sunderland had the majority of chances once we went down to ten men and my word, did we witness a ‘backs to the wall defending’ display or what?
Szczesny kept goal like a composed goalkeeper and how good was his save from Gardener’s header? Stunning, that’s how good and that wasn’t the only great thing he did when we were being battered!
Mertesacker and Sagna defended like their lives depended on it, Ramsey, Giroud and Cazorla to name just three, were all back helping out too.
That was thirty minutes of do or die stuff, that was thirty minutes of doing our club proud, that was thirty minutes of hanging on in there and making sure we EARNED three points.
And boy didn’t we earn them…..
That’s the kind of display which builds confidence.
That’s the kind of display which might get Kroenke his 4th spot…..
Have a good day all…..