SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after more individual mistakes proved fatal to the Black Cats’ hopes against Arsenal.
Mannone 5 - Looked anxious and ended Sunderland’s hopes of a point after failing to clear first-time Buckley’s admittedly awful back pass. Under real pressure from Pantilimon now.
Vergini 6 - Far more assured than against Southampton and produced a crowd-pleasing dribble during the second half. Never got forward sufficiently to support Johnson though.
O’Shea 6 - Bailed Sunderland’s defence out on a couple of occasions early on, but made several sloppy giveaways in the wake of Brown’s howler.
Brown 4 - Poor decision to pass back to Mannone from the centre-circle, but horrible execution left Sunderland facing an uphill battle. Almost got caught out in similar fashion during the second half.
VAN AANHOLT 7 - Had a few suspect moments in the first half, yet in the final 20 minutes, he was by some distance Sunderland’s most threatening player.
Cattermole 6 - Clumsy challenge on Oxlade-Chamberlain leaves him with walking a disciplinary tight-rope on four yellow cards. Sprayed a couple of nice passes around in the second half.
Larsson 7 - Pressed Arsenal’s defence well and delivered a couple of excellent crosses during the second half which Sunderland didn’t make the most of.
Rodwell 7 - Noticeably put the work in after returning to the starting XI and was more aggression in his play too. However, needed to bridge the gap with the central striker better. (Gomez 6 - couple of nice through-balls and produced a well-weighted pass over the top which Altidore wasted)
Johnson 6 - Threatened to get the better of Gibbs at times during the first half, but never materialised into any concrete threat. (Altidore 5 - Dreadful execution on volley to Gomez ball over the top. Never looked comfortable).
Buckley 5 - Woeful back pass to Mannone earned a rollicking from the keeper. Spent large portions of the match on the left, yet looks more threatening on the right.
Fletcher 6 - Worked hard despite feeding on scraps and always looked to create something out of nothing, before exiting prematurely due to injury. (Wickham 5 - Unable to make an impression after being dropped from the starting XI for the first time this season).
ARSENAL: Szczesny 6, Chambers 7, Mertesacker 8, Monreal 7, Gibbs 8 (Bellerin 7), Flamini 7, Arteta 6, Cazorla 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Sanchez 9, Welbeck 6