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Arsenal opened their Premier League campaign with a goalless draw against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon. Amid all the talk of Robin Van Persieâ€™s departure, Arsene Wenger hoped his side would brush the doubters aside with a home victory but that was not to be.
In a game that started quite well in terms of open play, Arsenal could not turn their share of possession to goals. The gameâ€™s best chance fell to Olivier Giroud in the 82nd minute but he rushed his shot and missed the target. Sunderland defended stoutly throughout the second period having themselves created a couple of decent openings early on. The gameâ€™s notable performance, from an Arsenal point of view, came from Santi Cazorla who displayed good feet and vision, providing the pass to Giroud that might have fetched three points. (Full Match Report)
Wojciech SzczÄ™sny : 5/10
Quiet afternoon for the Arsenal goalkeeper, got down well to an effort in the first half, spectator in the second.
Carl Jenkinson : 6/10
The youngster did well enough, not allowing many attacks on his side and came forward to help his teammates in attack.
Per Mertesacker : 5/10
An easy outing for the defender. Played McLean onside early in the game but Szczesny saved his blushes. Kept moving the ball around as his side was dominant in possession.
Thomas Vermaelen : 5/10
The new captain looked assured on the ball as ever. Again, an easy outing as Sunderland sat deep in their own half.
Gibbs : 5/10
Had to deal with most of Sunderlandâ€™s attacks in the first half. He got forward as the game wore on.
Abou Diaby : 6/10
The midfielder tried setting the tempo in the early stages of the game and made some decent plays. Taken off for Ramsey in the second half as Arsenal looked for the delicate pass.
Mikel Arteta : 4/10
Another midfielder who struggled to be incisive as the game wore on. Arteta linked well with Cazorla a couple of times and their partnership should improve over time. However, he was caught in possession uncharacteristically and looked a little short on match fitness.
Santi Cazorla : 7/10
A solid show from the Spaniard; good run and shot in the first half and came close in the second period too. Touches of skill and composure on the ball on display.
Theo Walcott : 4/10
Not much enterprise from the winger. He had a few half chances at best and a cut back that Podolski could not find the target from. Substituted in the latter stages.
Gervinho : 6/10
Arsenalâ€™s most involved attacker on the day. He worked on both flanks and drew players to him. Heavy touches let him down in the crucial moments as did his inability to find an end product to his play.
Lukas Podolski : 4/10
Not much happened for the German today. He could not place a Walcott cross in the first half though he was under pressure. Came off midway through the second half.
Aaron Ramsey : 4/10
On for Diaby at 69 mins, he tried to push forward but to no avail. Skied an effort high when options were available.
Andrei Arshavin : 4/10
Could not do enough for the breakthrough goal. The Russian made a few good passes, but typically gave the ball away too often late in the game, allowing Sunderland to run down the clock.
Olivier Giroud : 3/10
Best chance of the game fell to Giroud from a Cazorla through ball but he missed the target.
Unused Subs: Mannone Djourou Coquelin Santos
Simon Mignolet : 7/10
Top save from Diaby in the first half, was kept on his toes the entire afternoon. Good handling of crosses.
Craig Gardner : 4/10
Playing out of position at right back, Gardner made a few errors but showed determination and came through with a well-earned clean sheet.
Kieran Richardson : 7/10
Strong performance from the versatile player, he made blocks, tackled well, read the danger and played an outstanding ball to McLean early on.
John O'Shea : 6/10
Solid show again, busy throughout but unyielding on Podolski and the other forwards.
Carlos Cuellar : 6/10
Another who defended commendably to get a point from the Emirates. Soaked up all the pressure.
Sebastian Larsson : 5/10
Playing through the middle today, Larsson almost put his back line in danger by playing risky passes. Had little by way of attacking threat
James McClean : 5/10
Mainly restricted to helping out the defence apart from the early chance he had.
Lee Cattermole : 7/10
Gritty show from the captain. Marshalled the defence and held the midfield, he was infallible.
Jack Colback : 5/10
Positive forward runs in the first half but had to defend deep all through the second.
Stephane Sessegnon : 5/10
Caused a few problems in the opening period by linking up with Colback, gradually sidelined as Arsenal held possession. Taken off in the 63rd min.
Frazier Campbell : 4/10
Anonymous today, Campbell did not get any service and failed to create anything either.
Louis Saha : 5/10
Lone figure as the rest of his team were camped defending. Won a few good fouls to break Arsenalâ€™s tempo.
David Meyler : 5/10
Primarily on to see off the Arsenal threat, did well in that respect.
Ahmed Elmohamady : 5/10
Not in the game. Barely a few touches, mainly nullified the opposition wing-back.
Unused Subs: Bramble, Wickham, Kilgallon, Westwood
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