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Sunderland come out second best to Ozil show
Sunderland 1 Arsenal 3
MESUT OZIL shone on his Premier League debut as Arsenal eased home at Sunderland – but the win was shrouded in controversy after a remarkable refereeing decision by Martin Atkinson.
Olivier Giroud's 11th minute goal from Ozil's pass was cancelled out after half-time by Craig Gardner's penalty, before Aaron Ramsey volleyed home on 67 minutes.
But Sunderland should have been level when Jozy Altidore tussled with Bacary Sagna, before finishing past Wojciech Szczesny. But Atkinson pulled it back for the original foul by Sagna without playing the advantage. Ramsey made matters worse minutes later when he clipped home Arsenal's third of the afternoon on 76 minutes.
The visitors were sublime in the opening 45 minutes, with Ozil at the centre of everything. Theo Walcott could have had four goals as Arsenal and Ozil repeatedly tore into a jittery Sunderland backline shorn of captain John O'Shea, who was suspended.
But Sunderland came out of the blocks in brighter fashion for the second half, and after Adam Johnson was felled by Laurent Koscielny, Atkinson awarded the spot kick. Gardner, a half-time substitute for the ineffective David Vaughan, rifled home the penalty.
Steven Fletcher, handed his first start under Paolo Di Canio, thought he had taken the lead when he swept home Johnson's centre but was offside.
Arsenal took the lead for the second time when Ramsey volleyed home Carl Jenkinson's cross, before the Altidore incident somewhat spoiled the game. The Welshman went on to exchange a couple of passes with Giroud before finishing neatly to seal the points.
Di Canio was sent to the stands in stoppage time after making his feelings known to referee Atkinson.
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Westwood; Celustka, Roberge, Diakite; Johnson, Vaughan (Gardner 46), Ki, Mavrias (Borini 71); Altidore, Fletcher (Wickham 77). Subs not used: Mannone, Brown, Larsson, Cuellar.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Koscielny, Gibbs; Wilshere, Flamini; Walcott (Monreal 88), Ozil (Vermaelen 80), Ramsey; Giroud. Subs: Fabianski, Frimpong, Miyaichi, Akpon, Gnabry.
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