Sanchez scores two goals as Arsenal cruises by Sunderland, 2-0

SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Arsenal won its first Premier League match in over a month on Saturday, beating Sunderland 2-0 with a brace from Alexis Sanchez after a pair of defensive errors.

Sanchez scored in the 30th minute after a mistake from Wes Brown, who scuffed a back pass to Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Sanchez raced past Brown and collected the ball to go one-on-one with Mannone, lobbing it over the advancing keeper into the back of the net.

Sanchez scored again in second-half injury time after another poor back pass. This time, the ball reached Mannone, who couldn't control it after taking a touch. The ball bobbled off the former Arsenal keeper's boot and Sanchez pounced on it for a simple tap-in.

While Arsenal's victory wasn't convincing, it was the Gunners' first league win since they beat Aston Villa on Sept. 20. The London side now sits closer to the top four.

Sunderland had a few chances to equalize in the second half. Jack Rodwell's header from a long cross in the 52nd nearly beat Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, while Sebastian Larsson's long-range shot in the 65th was saved by Szczesny.

While Sunderland didn't endure the same 8-0 humiliation it faced against Southampton last week, the home side never controlled the match at the Stadium of Light as Arsenal dominated with nearly 60 percent possession.

It was Arsenal's third league victory of the season, with the Gunners drawing five times and losing once. Saturday's win is encouraging, but there were also nervous moments for Arsenal before Sanchez's second goal with Sunderland putting the visitors under pressure while searching for an equalizer.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.