Before this 3rd round FA cup clash Arsene Wenger had urged his Arsenal players not to take the visitors Sunderland too lightly and expressed the need for Arsenal to start well, so the Frenchman must have been wondering what was going on when the Gunners presented the Black Cats with a real gift for the opening goal in the 17th minute.
Even more frustrating was the fact it was our best defender Laurent Koscielny that was caught napping. At least it did not take long for Arsenal to draw level and it was a very nice finish from Joel Campbell after good work from young Iwobi and Theo Walcott in the 26th minute.
We probably should have been ahead at the break and we had been better after the goal but Sunderland were making it very hard and had a couple of chances of their own. Wenger clearly had a word at halftime because we came out with a lot more intensity and desire in the second half and pushed Sunderland deeper and deeper and really should have taken the lead in the first 10 minutes.
When the Ox hit the post in the 57th minute you started to wonder what else we needed to do and then when they headed against the bar with their first attack of the half I really started to get nervous. Their young keeper Pickford them made another save, point blank from Campbell, as we continued to turn the screw.
The ref clearly felt sorry for Sunderland because he gave them some awful free kick decisions for them and nothing for us. But with 25 minutes left the scores were still level and Wenger turned to Ramsey and Arteta in the middle and it nearly paid off instantly.
We did not have to wait too long though, as a few minutes after Walcott had shot straight at the keeper, Campbell fed Bellerin down the right and the right back crossed for Ramsey to fire us into the lead. Bellerin was the provider again a few minutes later as he ran rampage against the tiring defence and played a peach of a ball for Giroud to tap in.
The Frenchman was then denied a clear penalty and we needed Cech to keep our two goal cushion but that is what he does. After that Arsenal were in total control and we move smoothly into the next round with no more injury problems and plenty of confidence.