It’s time to take another trip down memory lane as we look at an Arsenal game from two years ago today. At the time, the Gunners were still in with an outside chance of winning their first Premier League in well over a decade, but it would’ve taken a mathematical miracle. They were playing on the same day as eventual champions Leicester City, which proved to show the stark contrast between the two sides when it came to who wanted it more.
It was at the time of year when The Black Cats traditionally began their annual great escape, and under the tutelage of Sam Allardyce, they were well on their way to doing the same. During this game, they still showed plenty of resilience, with the home side having a penalty appeal turned down in addition to Patrick van Aanholt striking the post with a delightful free kick.
They played with the kind of confidence that you’d expect from a top half team, whereas it was as if Arsenal had already resigned themselves to giving up on the title. Of course, they wound up finishing above bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in order to claim 2nd spot, but at the time they were left floundering down in 4th.
As reported by BBC Sport, Wenger had the following to say about the result in the immediate aftermath.
“I think our first half was very good but we couldn’t take our chances. The second half wasn’t as good but this can always happen in the second half of the third game when you have played Sunday, Thursday, Sunday.
“It leaves us having to win the next game, as always. We fight against teams who fight not to go down and we know how important being in the Premier League is.”
When you look back on this Arsenal team it truly does make you wonder what could’ve been. Bellerin, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud, Wilshere, Walcott and Welbeck all played some kind of role in this encounter and while that may not seem like a Premier League winning side on the face of it, just compare it to Leicester.
Their squad wasn’t exactly full of world beaters, and yet through determination and resilience, they were able to capture the title. Arsenal may not have a better chance at winning the championship for a while, and no amount of FA Cup glory is going to make up for that.
What was your favourite memory from the 2015/16 season?