That should have been a lot easier than it actually was, or looked like on paper, for those neutrals looking at their phones, papers, etc, on a Sunday morning and seeing how the match panned out. The truth behind the result is – as often is the case – a little different from what transpired at The Emirates.

Arsenal were, as I monologued my way through a Stefan Schwarz interview at half time with Tom morning for the most part, distinctly average in the first 45 minutes and it’s hard to argue that Sunderland didn’t deserve their equaliser just before halftime. They looked organised, sat up to defend well, got a bit of fortune with the own goal but had put us under a bit of pressure before they equalised. Borini will be having nightmares about his one-on-one hash up in the early exchanges. Had we been going toe-to-toe with one of the teams at the top of the table, you wonder if we’d have found ourselves behind earlier in the match, such was the apparent simplicity of the opportunity he was presented with due to our defensive lapse.

In that first half we rarely troubled the time-wasting Pantillimon, where as in contrast we saw Cech called to action at least once, yet we found ourselves ahead with a well crafted and smart goal.

I must tip my cap to Joel Campbell for the finish, because up until that point, I had bemoaned his clear limitations as a forward player. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate his endeavour, but at this moment in time he looks more like a mid to lower Premier League team player, rather than one that will make it at The Arsenal. Perhaps that is indicative of his status as fourth or fifth choice winger at the club – I forget which position he occupies given the interchangeability of players – coupled with the fact we never have everybody fit at any one time. So maybe I’m being harsh because of our fourth choice winger can pop up with goals at important times, we should be grateful.

His goal was well taken, ably assisted by Özil and perhaps you can argue that it is that sort of quality ball from the German, that is the reason he’s one of the best in the world and the reason teams like Arsenal can play poorly and still be winning.

The reply from Sunderland was to rely on a classic Arsenal being Arsenal situation, in that we made a rod for own own backs through a cock-up entirely of our own making. Without a Sunderland player near Giroud, his shinned, wild lash was comical, if it wasn’t so frustrating. The Frenchman had a torrid first half and couldn’t seem to keep anything at his feet, let alone flicked on to an Arsenal player, so perhaps it’s the least we could have expected was for his afternoon to seem to get worse with a minute to go before halftime.

But as all good players do – and despite what some fans say, he is still a good player – Giroud kept at it and he got his reward with a deft near-post flick to put us ahead again in the second half. Isn’t it so very Giroud though? Play poorly, sometimes even miss easier chances, but pop up with an important and quite difficult-to-execute goal that set us on the way to victory. The mans an enigma I tells ya!

weirdly, after we scored, we looked like we had more urgency than before we’d regained the lead. There was a five minute spell after Giroud’s goal in which I thought it was only a matter of time before we’d extend out lead, but this is The Arsenal after all, so letting Sunderland back in was as inevitable as an Arsène Wenger zip malfunction. A goal line stop from Cech and a blazed attempt over the bar from van Aanhelt made sure we kept our noses in front, but it felt a little bit ‘skin-of-the-teeth’ at times.

Ultimately I guess it doesn’t matter, because we got the points, but it does make you nervous for when better teams rock up at The Emirates. And Ramsey added a bit of gloss to the score line with a late and scrappy goal in injury time. The partnership of Flamini and Ramsey is nowhere near as cultured as Coquelin and Cazorla, but it has a different role to play and if Rambo keeps cropping up in those positions with goals, it may yet prove to be just as effective. They weren’t really troubled too much, but they did what was required and that’s all we can ask for really.

We’ve arrested the poor November form. We have a win under our belts and in midweek we face a make-or-break European game against the Greeks. The result today will help frame some confidence for that game, but the most important thing is that we’re back on track for the league and just a point off the league leaders. With other teams dropping points, it’s been a good day for us. 

It’s a happy Sunday today, so let’s just be pleased we’re back to winning ways, ahead of a make-or-break game against Olympiacos on Wednesday.