A top performance from Sunderland saw them hold Arsenal to a deserved point, which moves them out of the relegation zone.
A 21st-minute foul from Laurent Koscielny on the edge of the Arsenal area presented Sunderland with their first proper chance of the game, but Patrick van Aanholt had the misfortune of striking the post with his free kick.
Another free kick in the 34th minute almost saw Arsenal take the lead with Alexis SanchezÂ’s strike beating the Sunderland wall easily but ultimately being denied by Vito Mannone, who got down quickly to his right to get a massive palm on the ball.
Referee Mike Dean was on the receiving end of a deafening chorus of boos in the 37th minute as he refused to give Sunderland a penalty after Per Mertesacker blocked Jermain DefoeÂ’s goalbound volley with his arm, a decision that so often in the modern game goes the the other way. Dean evened things out a few minutes later when he opted to not penalise DeAndre Yedlin for handball inside the box after Alex IwobiÂ’s strike hit his wayward arm.
The raw pace of Defoe saw him burn off Mertesacker to latch onto a bouncing ball just inside the box in the 64th minute. He inventively flicked it over the head of Petr Cech but the ball went agonizingly wide.
Both Cech and Mannone were called on to make more saves before the final whistle but were in good enough form to earn a deserved share of the spoils.