Result: Olivier Giroud nets in both goals as Arsenal beat Sunderland
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud netted for both sides as the Gunners overcame Sunderland 3-1 to go second in the Premier League this afternoon.
The hosts controlled possession, but Sunderland looked dangerous on the break as Arsenal keeper Petr Cech denier Fabio Borini early on, before Duncan Watmore headed over the bar following a free kick. Sunderland came close to taking the lead after the half-hour mark, as Younes Kaboul picked out Borini in a good position with a cross, only for the Italian striker to head wide.
Arsenal broke the deadlock with their first shot on target as Mesut Ozil played a neat through-ball in the path of Joel Campbell, who placed a finish beyond the reach of Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. The visitors found an equaliser on the stroke of half time, when Giroud connected with a Yann M’Vila free kick to turn the ball into his own net.
After the break both sides pushed forwards to take the lead, as DeAndre Yedlin blazed an effort over the bar, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled a shot wide at the other end of the pitch. Steven Fletcher twice came close to giving Sunderland the lead, as the Scotland international tested Cech from outside the penalty area, before the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man was denied again from close range moments later.
Arsenal took the lead on 63 minutes through Giroud, who made up for his earlier own goal by meeting an Aaron Ramsey cross to head past Pantilimon. The Romanian goalkeeper denied Ramsey moments later from a good position after Ozil had picked out the former Cardiff City man with a through-ball, before Watmore was kept out by Cech at the other end of the pitch.
Arsenal wrapped up the victory on the stroke of full time, as Ramsey poked an effort beyond Pantilimon from close range.