Sunderland left the capital empty handed on Saturday as goals from Joel Campbell, Oliver Giroud and Aaron Ramsey sealed a 3-1 win for the Gunners.
The Black Cats levelled just before half time after Giroud put the ball in his own net, but he made amends for this as Arsenal went on to ensure all three points stayed in North London.
Despite the defeat, their were plenty of positives for Sunderland to take from the game though, following a good display from the visitors.
Defence impressive despite goals conceded
Costel Pantilimon (6):
The Romanian international couldn’t do anything for the three goals, albeit the Sunderland shotstopper had a quiet afternoon. Arsenal were restricted to very few chances on goal as the visiting back line proved tough to break down.
DeAndre Yedlin (6):
The wing-back switched off for the opening goal, allowing Campbell to get in front of him to give Arsenal the lead. However, Yedlin offered a threat going forward and produced a goal-line clearance following a corner in the second half.
Sebastian Coates (8):
Coates’ best game in a Sunderland shirt since he re-joined the side in the summer. The latter won everything that was thrown at him and didn’t put a foot wrong all afternoon. Sam Allardyce will be hoping to see more of this from the defender.
John O’Shea (7):
A steady game from the skipper and like Coates not much got past him. It was another good display from a Sunderland defender.
Younes Kaboul (7):
This man can’t put a foot wrong at the minute. It was another assured performance by the Frenchman, with him offering fantastic cover for his wing-backs, clearing away the danger on a number of occasions. Kaboul has also demonstrated since his arrival that he isn’t afraid to take the ball out from the back and is clearly a confident player at present.
Patrick Van Aanholt (7):
Similar to Coates in regards of a massive improvement since Big Sam’s arrival. Van Aanholt picked up from where he left off last week and produced another good defensive display. The Dutchman got forward well too, although wasted a good opportunity to claw the game back with the score at 2-1.
Good attacking threat from the Black Cats
Fabio Borini (5):
The Italian squandered a wonderful opportunity in the first five minutes, hitting the ball straight at Petr Cech after racing through on goal. Borini showed some poor touches too, with the player possibly low in confidence having seen himself on the bench in recent weeks.
Yann M’Vila (9):
Man of the match. M’Vila showed exactly why Sunderland brought him in during the summer with some powerful tackles and that fact that he was constantly setting up the Sunderland attacks. The game was played at his pace with the Frenchman clearly confident within his own ability. He has been a joy to watch since his arrival.
Ola Toivonen (7):
Impressive performance from the Swedish international. Tidy in possession and wasn’t scared to put his foot in. It was a big improvement from Toivonen in comparison to what he had produced prior to this match. Didn’t last the whole 90 though.
Duncan Watmore (7):
Wasn’t his best performance in a Sunderland shirt but this isn’t criticism. Watmore had a glorious chance to score in successive games but scuffed his shot, much to the delight of the home crowd. The player continued to make a nuisance of himself, running at the Arsenal backline and looking to cause problems. Played a great ball through to Borini too.
Steven Fletcher (7):
Like the rest of the team, Fletcher had a chance of his own. The Scotland striker thought he had poked the ball over the line only to be denied by Cech. Played a key role in the first chance Sunderland had, teeing up Watmore to find Borini. Substituted off late on in the second half.
Substitutes can't make an impact
Jack Rodwell (6): Came on for the last half hour. Didn’t make an impact bar one nice reverse pass to van Aanholt late on that created a good chance for the left-back.
Adam Johnson (6): Similar to Rodwell, Johnson came off the bench and struggled to get involved. The winger cut in from the flank looking to make something happen but the game was already lost.
Jeremain Lens (6): Didn’t have enough time to influence the game.