Sunderland moved out of the bottom three on goal difference after playing a goalless draw that kept Arsenal in the fourth place following their Premier League clash on Sunday.
Alex Iwobi got the game off to a fast start as he went close for Arsenal. After some slick build-up play Iwobi received the ball just outside the box and sent a shot narrowly wide.
The Black Cats had a few chances of their own and came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute. Yann M’Vila sent a shot wide via a deflection, before the resulting corner kick was hit wide by Lee Cattermole.
Sunderland kept up the pressure and were inches from taking the lead in the 21st minute as Patrick van Aanholt unleashed a free-kick from the edge of the box that struck the post
At the other end of the pitch Arsene Wenger’s side forced a great save from Mannone as Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick curled over the wall towards the goal.
There was a big appeal for a penalty from Sunderland in the 36th minute when a shot from Jermain Defoe seemed to hit Per Mertesacker’s arm in the box, but the referee waved it away.
Shortly thereafter it was Arsenal who appealed for a spot-kick when Iwobi’s shot was blocked but again nothing was given.
The score remained goalless at the break, and five minutes into the second half Petr Cech was required to make two great saves to keep it that way for Arsenal.