Sunderland Vs. Arsenal, 2012 FA Cup: Sunderland Advance With 2-0 Win

Arsenal's rough season has gotten a little bit worse. The Gunners had a very difficult draw in facing an in-form Sunderland team at the Stadium of Light, and it proved too much for a struggling team - they're now out of the FA Cup after a 2-0 loss.

In truth, the visitors started strongly. Arsenal were looking bright and quite dangerous in the early going, but were fatally undermined when Francis Coquelin departed with a hamstring injury, a move which forced professional liability Sebastian Squillaci into the heart of the Gunners defence. As soon as that happened, things started looking ugly, with Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean too much for Arsenal to handle.

The Gunners still had chances, of course - Gervinho had a shot kept out by Simon Mignolet after being played through by a masterful Robin van Persie pass - but Sunderland were looking more or less the better side, and deservedly went ahead just before halftime. Sebastian Larsson swung in a neat free kick, the ball was only half cleared, and Kieran Richardson slammed home past an unsighted Lukasz Fabianski via deflection off Squillaci.

More injuries struck in the second half, with both Aaron Ramsey and Squillaci substituted in the 53rd minute. Arsenal switched to a 4-4-2 at that point, but it didn't seem to help much. The hosts still had the upper hand and would capitalise once more before the game was done, with Sessegnon the catalyst.

The Benninese playmaker led a charge downfield, shrugging off Mikel Arteta and slipping the ball to Sebastian Larsson. The subsequent shot hit the post and bounced towards the middle of the goal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had just made a 70-yard run to try to relieve his defence, was also in the middle of the goal, but instead of clearing it his momentum took it over the line instead. Sunderland led 2-0, and although Arsenal had their chances to make up the deficit, they never really looked that likely to even nab the consolation.

It's another year without a trophy for Arsene Wenger, but for Sunderland, the quarterfinals await.

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