Premier League
Arsenal0Sunderland0

Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

Steven Fletcher
Arsenal have failed to score in their last three home games
  • Sunderland secure ninth straight top flight season
  • Hull and Newcastle to contest final relegation spot
  • Arsenal stay third in Premier League table
  • Gunners one win in five league games

Sunderland secured Premier League safety with a magnificent display of defensive determination and organisation to get the point they needed at Arsenal.

Arsenal's own point effectively means they will finish third behind champions Chelsea and Manchester City - but the celebrations all belonged to Sunderland as manager Dick Advocaat completed the recovery he has engineered since succeeding the sacked Gus Poyet.

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Wenger frustrated by lack of goals

On a night low on quality but high on the sort of tension these relegation struggles provide, Sunderland missed chances - with striker Steven Fletcher the main culprit - to avoid the desperate closing phase that saw them survive a series of last-ditch penalty box scrambles.

Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was a heroic figure as he produced a series of fine saves and handled with complete assurance in what must have been an excruciating last few minutes for the thousands of Sunderland fans who had travelled to north London.

Last day relegation scenario
Hull, who occupy the last relegation spot, entertain Manchester United while Newcastle host West Ham.
Steve Bruce's Hull must win or they are definitely down; a Newcastle win will send Hull down whatever their result.
If Newcastle draw and Hull win, the Magpies will be relegated on goal difference.
Hull have lost their last three games while Newcastle have one point from a possible 30.

All the worries disappeared at the final whistle as Advocaat joined his joyous players on the pitch in front of their supporters, the veteran former Netherlands coach now a Wearside hero.

And, with survival guaranteed, Sunderland's fans turned up the heat on their Tyneside rivals as they chanted: "Are you watching Newcastle?"

The Magpies, who host West Ham, will fight it out with Hull City, who welcome Manchester United, to avoid relegation on Sunday's final day of the Premier League season.

Sunderland and Advocaat must now decide whether to continue their successful relationship - but whatever happens he is assured of his place in Black Cats' folklore after taking them to safety.

Analysis: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty
"Advocaat's poker face gave nothing away at Arsenal but the sight of [owner Ellis] Short beaming and waving in his manager's direction from high in the directors' box after the final whistle suggested he would happily keep him."
Read more

They only needed a draw to ensure Premier League survival and their first-half mindset reflected their objective as they dug deep defensively to frustrate Arsenal, with Gunners' manager Wenger an increasingly agitated figure.

Jack Wilshere did penetrate the blue wall of defiance but Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were unable to take advantage, both unable to hit the target from presentable positions.

Advocaat made two changes for the start of the second half, sending on Fletcher and Jack Rodwell for Danny Graham and Connor Wickham.

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Emotional Advocaat proud of team

The result was a more positive approach that brought three chances that should have been taken, two for Fletcher and one for Patrick van Aanholt, but Arsenal keeper David Ospina saved to keep the nerves of the travelling thousands from Wearside on edge.

As the game became stretched, Arsenal had opportunities of their own and Pantilimon excelled with saves from Giroud's flick and an athletic stop to save Kieran Gibbs' header.

Fletcher, however, was misfiring badly and was the villain again with two more misses that betrayed his lack of confidence.

The Scot raced clear on to Defoe's flick but his over-elaborate attempted finish made life easy for Ospina, before the striker missed his clearest opportunity yet, scuffing over from six yards when Van Aanholt's mishit cross turned into a perfect pass.

It must have been agonising for the watching Sunderland fans and they survived another scare when Jones, facing his own goal, headed Aaron Ramsey's cross against the bar.

Sunderland survived several scrapes inside their own six-yard area before the final whistle was the signal for wild celebrations among those who had travelled from Wearside.

Sunderland players
Sunderland have kept three straight clean sheets to beat relegation
Steven Fletcher is denied
Sunderland started May in the bottom three of the Premier League table
John O'Shea and Olivier Giroud
Arsenal have won one of their last five Premier League games
Dick Advocaat and Lee Cattermole
Sunderland's final game of the season is away to champions Chelsea on Sunday

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 13Ospina
  • 39Bellerin
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 3Gibbs
  • 19Cazorla
  • 16RamseyBooked at 18mins
  • 10WilshereSubstituted forWalcottat 67'minutes
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forRosickyat 81'minutes
  • 17Sánchez
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 1Szczesny
  • 5Gabriel
  • 7Rosicky
  • 14Walcott
  • 18Monreal
  • 20Flamini
  • 34Coquelin

Sunderland

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 2Jones
  • 22Coates
  • 16O'Shea
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 7Larsson
  • 6Cattermole
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forBuckleyat 75'minutes
  • 10WickhamSubstituted forRodwellat 45'minutes
  • 28Defoe
  • 19GrahamSubstituted forFletcherat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Rodwell
  • 9Fletcher
  • 15Réveillere
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 25Mannone
  • 27Vergini
  • 30Buckley
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
59,987

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home75%
Away25%
Shots
Home28
Away7
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0.

Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jermain Defoe (Sunderland).

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jack Rodwell (Sunderland).

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky.

Offside, Sunderland. Jermain Defoe tries a through ball, but Steven Fletcher is caught offside.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by John O'Shea.

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín.

Attempt saved. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

Attempt missed. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky replaces Mesut Özil.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Sunderland. William Buckley replaces Adam Johnson.

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).

Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Jack Wilshere.

Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Sebastián Coates.

Attempt blocked. Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Wilshere.

Attempt missed. Sebastián Coates (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sebastian Larsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by David Ospina.

Attempt saved. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Jermain Defoe.

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

Attempt saved. Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jermain Defoe.

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 20th May 2015

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea37259370313984
2Man City37237781384376
3Arsenal37219767353272
4Man Utd37209862372569
5Liverpool37188115142962
6Tottenham37187125753461
7Southampton371861354312360
8Swansea37168134648-256
9Stoke37149144244-251
10Everton371211144849-147
11West Ham371211144445-147
12Crystal Palace37129164651-545
13West Brom371111153747-1044
14Leicester37108194154-1338
15Sunderland37717133050-2038
16Aston Villa37108193156-2538
17Newcastle3799193863-2536
18Hull37810193351-1834
19Burnley37612192753-2630
20QPR3786234168-2730
View full Premier League table

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