- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

LONDON (AP) - Olivier Giroud made up for an earlier own goal by scoring in the second half to help give Arsenal a 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday and end a three-game winless run in the Premier League.

Giroud met a cross from Aaron Ramsey with a diving header in the 63rd minute and Ramsey added the third in injury time for a much-needed victory that lifts the team into second place, above title rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.

Joel Campbell had given Arsenal the lead in the 33rd minute with a well-taken finish after a perfectly weighted pass from Mesut Ozil, but Sunderland leveled on the stroke of halftime when Giroud tried to clear a free kick only to deflect the ball into his own net.

Arsenal is two points behind surprise leader Leicester, while Sunderland is two points above the relegation zone.

With Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla out injured, Ramsey moved into central midfield while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first start since returning from injury. But it was Ozil dictating play and produced a 12th assist in 14 league games when he angled an inch-perfect pass into the path of Campbell, who slotted a low shot past Costel Pantilimon.

Sunderland had missed an early chance to take the lead when they caught Arsenal on the break and Duncan Watmore fed Fabio Borini only for the former Liverpool forward to shoot straight at Petr Cech.

But they were handed a fortuitous equaliser on the stroke of halftime when Yann M’Vila’s free-kick missed two Sunderland players at the near post but flashed past Cech after being deflected by Giroud.

Cech needed to make another good save to keep out Steven Fletcher’s close-range effort from Ola Toivonen’s flick-on after a corner.

Just as Theo Walcott prepared to come on for his comeback from an injury layoff, Giroud put the Gunners back in front as he stooped to head home Ramsey’s cross. Arsenal was then in control and Giroud went close to adding a third but DeAndre Yedlin cleared his header off the line.

Sunderland were still in it, though, and Watmore hit a tame shot at Cech after beating the offside trap before hitting a tame shot at Cech before Patrick van Aanholt ballooned over late on.

Ramsey then made the result safe when he slotted a deflected shot into the net in injury time.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide