Sunderland pay for missed chances at The Emirates

20 February 2010 04:59
FABIO CAPELLO was at The Emirates to see an Englishman stake his claim for a place the World Cup squad with a stunning display of attacking football.[LNB] Sadly for Sunderland supporters it wasn't Darren Bent who fluffed a great second half chance to put the Wearsiders level when he fired against Manuel Almunia from close range. But Arsenal's Theo Walcott is sure to have caught Capello's eye after a stunning display on the righnt wing[LNB] Both teams had key players missing. Lee Cattermole, Andy Reid and Jordan Henderson forced Bruce to restructure his midfield with Anton Ferdinand starting the game in a makeshift holding role. Arsene Wenger meanwhile had to manage without the likes of Abou Diaby, William Gallas and Andrey Arshavin.[LNB] The Gunners boss had some quality replacements to call on but the crucial difference between the two sides was that the home side played to a tried and tested plan. At times, especially during the first half, Bruce's team were poorly organised lacking shape and purpose.[LNB] Midway though the first half Bruce threw George McCartney into midfield and tasked Ferdinand with a left back role. With Darren Bent operating as a left winger the Gunners mounted a succession of attacks down that flank.[LNB] After Walcott had failed to breach the deadlock with a series of surging runs down that side of the pitch, Sunderland were caught napping when Emmanuel Eboue threaded a ball to Nicklas Bendtner to tap home.[LNB] The only surprise was that Arsenal failed to finish the game off in the first half. As is often the case the Gunners' penchant for a flowing passing move prevented them from making more of their dominant possession.[LNB] Kenwyne Jones wasted a superb chance to level, firing a lolw shot wide from ten yards after being put through by Kieran Richardson.[LNB] It took Cesc Fabregas's injury time penalty to finally put the game beyond doubt.[LNB] Sunderland (4-5-1): Gordon; Hutton, Turner, Mensah, McCartney (Bardsley 85); Campbell, Ferdinand, Cana, Richardson (Zenden 75); Jones (Benjani 79), Bent.[LNB] Subs (not used):Carson (gk),Da Silva, Kilgallon, Malbranque.[LNB] Arsenal (4-5-1): Almunia; Eboue Denilson (90), Vermaelen, Silvestre, Clichy; Walcott (Sagna 79), Ramsey, Fabregas, Nasri (Rosicky 73); Bendtner.[LNB] Subs(not used): Fabianski (gk), Campbell, Traore, Denilson, Vela.[LNB] Attendance: 60,083[LNB] Referee: Steve Bennet (Fanborough)[LNB] ** READ A FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS OF TODAY'S GAME IN MONDAY'S NORTHERN ECHO **[LNB]

Source: Northern_Echo