Search

Giroud hits double as Arsenal beat Sunderland and keep up pursuit of Chelsea

16:56 22 February 2014

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring against Sunderland. Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring against Sunderland. Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

2014 Getty Images

Premier League: Arsenal 4 Sunderland 1

Olivier Giroud scored twice on his return to the side as Arsenal demolished Sunderland to maintain the pressure on league leaders Chelsea.

The Gunners’ top scorer, surprisingly omitted in favour of Yaya Sanogo for their midweek defeat by Bayern Munich, netted a first-half brace before Tomas Rosicky made it 3-0 at half-time.

Sunderland, who appeared to have one eye on their Wembley appearance next weekend, improved after the break but conceded a fourth goal to Laurent Koscielny before Emmanuele Giaccherini hit a late consolation.

Giroud marked his comeback with a goal after just five minutes as Jack Wilshere played a one-two with Rosicky and set up the Frenchman to stroke home a first-time finish.

Apart from a rare break, when Ki Sung-Yeung set up Marcos Alonso for a cross-shot that almost caught Wojciech Szczesny out, Sunderland never looked like getting into the game.

The Gunners dominated possession without extending the lead as their former goalkeeper Vito Mannone denied Rosicky and Santi Cazorla and also leapt to push a 25-yard bullet from Lukas Podolski over the bar.

When the second goal finally did arrive, just after the half-hour mark, it came courtesy of a Sunderland error as Santiago Vergini, attempting to return the ball to Mannone, instead presented it to Giroud, who tucked it beyond the bemused keeper.

Bacary Sagna and Podolski both went close with efforts from distance, but it was Rosicky who notched Arsenal’s third, applying the finishing touch to an exquisite attacking move three minutes before half-time.

Wilshere and Cazorla laid the foundations with their one-touch passing before Giroud’s flick found Rosicky racing through to dink the ball neatly over the advancing Mannone.

The Black Cats briefly upped their game at the start of the second half and Fabio Borini might have pulled a goal back, firing a shot on the turn that Szczesny beat away.

But normal service was resumed on 58 minutes as the hapless Vergini sliced Sagna’s cross behind and, from Cazorla’s corner, Koscielny rose to send a powerful header into the net.

The Gunners defender went off injured soon afterwards, forcing the home side into a reshuffle of the back four as Sagna moved across to the centre and Mathieu Flamini rolled back the years as left-back.

Ki and Seb Larsson both went close for Sunderland, but the new-look defence was finally breached with nine minutes remaining as Szczesny punched out a Larsson free-kick to substitute Giaccherini, who rifled it back past him and into the bottom corner.

Arsenal substitute Serge Gnabry might also have added his name to the scoresheet after Wilshere teed him up, but fired the chance straight at Mannone.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Flamini 68), Monreal (Jenkinson 45); Wilshere, Arteta; Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski; Giroud.

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Mesut Oezil  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal got back to winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win in the Barclays Premier League over AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium.

Yesterday, 18:42
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits his players are finally starting to believe they can win the Premier League title.

Kieran Trippier celebrates his winning goal against Watford at White Hart Lane

Kieran Trippier scored his first goal for Tottenham as the Lilywhites secured a 1-0 home win over Watford and climbed to second place in the Premier League table.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says there are many ways to run a football club and create a successful team, but the key is to show absolute belief in your plan to inspire confidence around you.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s decision not to sign a striker in January is part of a long-term strategy which will help them through “a very tough period” during the construction of their new £400million stadium.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words when it comes to Tottenham’s title chances.

Tottenham's Dele Alli. Pic: PA

Mauricio Pochettino says Dele Alli will undergo tests in an attempt to discover why he felt dizzy against Norwich on Tuesday – but he expects the 19-year-old to be available to face Watford on Saturday.

Harry Kane (left) and Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld says he wouldn’t swap his Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane for any of the world’s strikers.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe