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Arsenal draw a blank against Sunderland

06 Mar 2011, 00:19 IST

Arsenal failed to capitalise on Man United fall this midweek by displaying a below par performance at the Emirates and ending up with a 0-0 draw against a resilient Sunderland team. The Gunners were left unlucky as the crossbar saved Sunderland in the second half, while Andrey Arshavin should have had a penalty and then had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

Nicklas Bendtner had a very frustrating evening

The match had a dull start which went on till the 10th minute when Samir Nasri’s curling effort was well held by Sunderland keeper Mignolet. It required a good save from Wojciech Szczesny to deny Stephane Sessegnon the opener on 17 minutes after the midfielder was left too much space on the right of the Arsenal penalty box. And I sincerely doubt the possibility of that ball not going in the net had it been controlled by a Messi or a David Villa.
Arsenal pushed really hard for a victory towards the end but Sunderland could also have snatched victory in the closing minutes but Szczesny produced two outstanding saves to deny Danny Welbeck and then Jordan Henderson.
There were many nervy moments from the gunners’ defense. But that problem was always there this season. To counter that, Arsenal had an blistering attack which they couldn’t display today. They were clearly missing the likes of Fabregas, Walcott and Van Persie. Yet again, Arsenal are hit by injury setbacks at a crucial point of the season.
If someone asks me why the Gunners haven’t won anything in the past 6 years I would say – INJURIES at the peak time. But it is the management who has to be blamed and not the critics. You are supposed to have a big (and good enough) squad in case of such emergencies. And this is not the first time this situation has cropped up. Rather this is the norm in this Arsenal team! When the team seems to be doing well, some of the players get injured and the whole momentum is lost.

Wenger had opined that winning the league is the primary aim for the club. If they could win today, they could have closed the gap on United to just one point. With 10 more games to go and being only 3 points behind one might think all’s not over.

But no one can deny that the closest they could come to snatch a trophy over the years was last weekend when their hopes were blown away by a misunderstanding the keeper and a defender. Now even the most optimistic of Arsenal fans would think about waiting for one more season to grab one of those coveted trophies.

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