Arsenal started life without Robin van Persie with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland in their Premier League opener at Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s side’s best chance of the game fell to new boy Olivier Giroud who somehow fired an effort past the post with only Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to beat from inside the box.
Santi Cazorla also had decent efforts but could not find a way past the Belgian international.
Visiting Sunderland’s best opportunity fell to James McClean in the opening minutes but he was denied by a good save from Wojciech Szczesny.
Wenger’s men pressed late on but failed to force a winner as both sides settled for a point.
Sunderland started the game in confident fashion and could have taken the lead through McClean in the opening minutes as he was played through one-on-one with Szczesny, but the Irishman could not beat the Gunners’ custodian, who made a good save with his feet.
Arsenal went straight on the counter attack and Cazorla passed several defenders before firing a vicious left-footed shot at goal which was turned away brilliantly by Mignolet as the ball was swerving away from him.
Brilliance from Gervinho nearly carved out a goal for the hosts, as the Ivory Coast international beat Craig Gardner with a swift turn and edged past John O’Shea before crossing for Cazorla whose left-footed shot went just past the post of Mignolet.
The second half started in the same way as the first ended as the Gunners dominated possession but struggled to break down a resolute Sunderland defence with O’Shea in particular good form at the heart of the rearguard action.
Martin O’Neill’s side were struggling to get out of their own half as Arsenal were beginning to turn the screw but the Gunners still struggled to carve out a clear cut opportunity.
Arsenal kept pressing forward and thought they had found their way through at last when Cazorla found Giroud in the box with a lovely pass leaving him one-on-one with Mignolet but the Frenchman somehow blazed his effort past the post.