The Sunderland v Arsenal result on Sunday afternoon has left Newcastle United’s survival hopes very much in the balance.

Difficult to say what the goalless draw means in the three-way struggle for fourth bottom, with Sunderland moving out of the relegation zone but still only one point dividing the three clubs.

Arsenal were their usual frustrating selves, the better team but very little urgency to make their quality count.

The Arsenal club motto should read ‘Flattering To Deceive’.

The Gunners had (BBC Sport stats) 70% possession, 20 shots to Sunderland’s 12 and 7 shots on target to 3 from the mackems.

A crowd of 45,420 were on hand to see Van Aanholt strike Arsenal’s post with a free-kick whilst Mannone denied Sanchez in the final stages with a brilliant stop.

Penalty claims at both ends added to the drama but the fear must remain that Sam Allardyce could bore his way to survival, with now three clean sheets in the last four games, two of them goalless draws.

The bottom of the table now looks:

17th Sunderland 31 points GD -18

18th Norwich 31 points GD -25

19th Newcastle 30 points GD -26

Newcastle have three games left and the other two teams four each.

All three clubs next playing on Saturday 30 April, though Norwich are the 5.30pm kick-off against…Arsenal.

Newcastle have:

Palace (H), Villa (A), Spurs (H)

Norwich have:

Arsenal (A), Man Utd (H), Watford (H), Everton (A)


Arsenal (H), Stoke (A), Chelsea (H), Everton (H), Watford (A)