Sunderland held Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday evening to secure its English Premier League safety for another season. It was a frustrating opening period for the hosts as they bossed possession in the Black Cats’ half but still had nothing to show for it. The visitors sat incredibly deep and defended extremely well to keep the determined home side at bay.
Dick Advocaat threw on Steven Fletcher at half-time and he almost made an immediate impact only to be denied by David Ospina. At the other end Costel Pantillimon saved well from Kieran Gibbs before Fletcher wasted two more great chances to score. The Gunners had the best of the late chances but after Sebastian Coates cleared Aaron Ramsey’s effort off the line and Billy Jones cleared in similar fashion it looked like it would be one of those nights for the London club.
Theo Walcott had the home side’s final chance but again Pantillimon was equal to it and a tearful Advocaat escaped with a well earned point to secure his side’s top-flight status for another season. For Arsene Wenger the result means second place is now unattainable and they will finish in third position securing automatic entry into next seasons Champions League provided they avoid disaster on the final day where they need to lose, Manchester United must win and a seven goal swing in favour of the Red Devils would need to take place. As for the Wearsiders, they are safe for another year and the final relegation spot will befall either bitter rivals Newcastle United or Hull City on Sunday.