Arsenal kept alive their slim hopes of a top-four finish with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Sunderland at the Emirates.
The Gunners dominated for large periods of the game, but struggled to get past the outstanding Jordan Pickford in the Sunderland goal.
The Black Cats themselves threatened to shock their hosts in the first-half, with Jermain Defoe a thorn in the side of the Gunners’ back-line.
In the second-half, Arsenal upped the tempo, although Nacho Monreal almost scored a bizarre own-goal, an incident which would lead to an equally strange indirect free-kick for Sunderland deep inside the Gunners’ box.
The breakthrough would eventually come on 72 minutes, with the outstanding Mesut Ozil setting up Alexis Sanchez after a superb initial pass from Granit Xhaka.
Nine minutes later, the hosts sealed the deal, Sanchez netting from close-range after an acrobat pass from Olivier Giroud.
The win, which would have been far more comprehensive if not for the heroics of Pickford, sees Arsene Wenger’s side go a point behind fourth place Liverpool, with a Champions League spot still possible.
Arsenal had more shots tonight than Sunderland did in August or September or October or November or January or February or March or May
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) May 16, 2017
As for David Moyes and co., they can take some heart from a hard-working display.
Although one wonders how many of those players on the pitch tonight will be still be there come the start of next season’s Championship campaign.