Date: 19th August 2012 at 11:38am
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Black Cats’ boss Martin O’Neill was understandably pleased with his side after they secured a goalless draw at Arsenal on the opening day of the season.

Despite Arsene Wenger’s side lining up with new faces in Santi Cazorla and Lukasz Podolski, as well as bringing Olivier Giroud on, Sunderland stood firm.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was in excellent form, making a couple of superb stops to deny the Gunners tantalizing from four.

Not that Sunderland were without chances themselves, James McClean having the best of them when he half-volleyed at Woijiech Szczesny from close-range.

Speaking afterwords to safc.com, O’Neill praised the defensive solidity of his side as they held firm in the capital:

“Obviously as you`re under pressure you get tired and things are going to open up for the opposition,’ said O’Neill.

“I thought Craig Gardner was outstanding as was Kieran Richardson and the two central defenders.

“It was a terrific performance by the team, considering that after about 60-odd minutes we were out on our feet.

“It was a very warm day, we were away from home and we had to soak up pressure. I thought we were really excellent; it was a brilliant effort.

Sunderland host Premier League new-boys Reading next, in their first home fixture of the new campaign.

 

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