Two goals from Alexis Sanchez helped out Arsenal find a hard earned victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, walking away with the 2-0 win, while another frustrating day for Mario Balotelli was part of another disappointing home match for Liverpool, finishing in a 0-0 draw with Hull City.
It’s only the third league win this season for the Gunners, but with the entire table so close and tight, each victory makes you rise at least three or four spots at a time. After the win, with two close range goals from Sanchez, undoubtedly the team’s best player so far this season, Arsenal rise to fifth in the Premier League, overcoming another day in which they weren’t the better team on the pitch for most of the afternoon.
Sunderland can feel slightly hard done by, testing Wojciech Szczesny five times and taking an overall of 13 shots at goal. Jozy Altidore, John O’Shea and especially Jack Rodwell found themselves quite often with comfortable situations inside the penalty box, but their scoring struggles this season (8 goals in 9 matches) continue, suffering their first home defeat.
For Liverpool, only one point, which makes it the third home match out of five so far this season without a win. Mario Balotelli took plenty of shots and wasn’t so bad or off the mark, but an excellent day at goal for Eldin Jakupovic once again signaled out how difficult it is for the Reds without Luis Suarez this season.
The first half football was some of the poorest we’ve seen from any team this season, but bringing on Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson in the second half worked wonders for Liverpool. Still, without Daniel Sturridge or anyone consistent when it comes to scoring, all that possession and keeping the ball around the box had no meaning.
The ability remains disappointing, the finishing remains abysmal. For some reason, it seems Brendan Rodgers keeps starting with the wrong lineups only to understand what’s wrong later on in the match. It’s still enough to be better than most of the league and remain in the hunt for the top 4, but with every match that goes by and no progress is shown, it’s becoming more and more evident that this season might not be filled with happy moments.