Injury-plagued Arsenal simply couldn't score despite multiple opportunities against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were denied many chances to get on the board, particularly in the final 20 minutes, but simply couldn't find the back of the net, thanks to some fine goalkeeping and perhaps poor officiating.

In stoppage time, Nicolas Bendtner received a fine ball in the air that he couldn't head into the net.

A questionable off-sides call against Andrei Arhsavin kept the game scoreless in the 87th minute. Arshavin was alone in the box off a run, and put the ball in, but the flag was up, though replays indicated that he was probably on-side.

In the 84th minute, Sunderland had a pair of solid chances. Danny Welbeck struck the ball on a spin move, but Wojciech Szczesny made an amazing save to keep the Black Cats off the scoring sheet. The ensuing corner kick tested the young goalkeeper again, but he blocked the effort.

In the 80th minute, Nasri delievered a nearly perfect pass to Arshavin who was streaking to the box, but a push by defender Titus Bramble went undetected and the Russian's shot was off balance and he angled the ball wide of the post, and no penalty was called.

A left-footed cross by midfielder Jack Wilshere to forward Marouane Chamakh was headed into the post in the 75th minute.

Minutes earlier, Samir Nasri's free kick in the 72nd minute just outside the box was curled on goal, but a spectacular save from Simon Mignolet prevented the goal. Mignolet might have been the most effective player on the field on the afternoon.

Chamakh entered the game for Denilson, and quickly made his presence felt in the 62nd minute. He delivered a fine ball to Arshavin who ripped the ball at Mignolet.

Off a broken play in the 10th minute, Bacary Sagna easily found Samir Nasri who curled a left-footed ball that went directly to Mignolet.

Nasri, as he usually does, has picked up the slack for the Gunners with Cesc Farbregas and Robin van Persie inactive. The French midfielder made a dazzling run in the 35th minute, weaving through the Sunderland defense and all the way to the goal line, where he earned a corner kick.

Bendtner did a bicycle kick on the ensuing corner kick that went directly at Mignolet.

The Sunderland goalkeeper denied Bendtner in the 40th minute by blocking a powerful shot. Though they had their chances, Sunderland appeared to be content with their performance.

The Black Cats had three corner kicks in the first half, but few real opportunities to score. Stephane Sessegnon ripped a right-footed shot that Szczesny blocked in the 17th minute, but that was basically the extent of attack.

With the draw, the Gunners are three points behind Manchester United, who are idle today and play Sunday against Liverpool at Anfield.

 

STARTING LINEUPS:

Arsenal:

G: Szczesny

D: Clichy, Koscielny, Djourou, Sagna

M:Denilson, Wilshere, Arshavin, Diaby, Nasri

F: Bendtner

Sunderland:

G: Mignolet

D: Bardsley, Bramble, Mensah, Ferdinand

M: Malbranque, Muntari, Richardson, Henderson, Sessegnon

F: Gyan