Arsenal started life after Robin van Persie with a goalless draw against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger's side, who fielded Lukas Podolski, the German striker, and Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla in the starting XI, enjoyed plenty of possession, but lacked a killer instinct in the final third.
When a clear opening eventually came their way late in the second half substitute Olivier Giroud fired wide.
It was a lively start by the hosts, but Sunderland remained dangerous on the counter through Stephane Sessegnon. On six minutes, the Arsenal defence was opened up as James McClean slipped into the penalty area, but his shot was blocked smartly by Wojciech Szczesny
Cazorla almost made himself an instant hero when he unleashed a 20-yard effort that Simon Mignolet beat away.
Sunderland created another decent opening when the ball was worked to Jack Colback at the edge of the Arsenal area, but his low effort was straight at Szczesny.
Gervinho skipped away down the left and rode a couple of tackles before cutting the ball back across goal, only for Cazorla to drill it wide.
Arsenal continued to press Sunderland deeper as Abou Diaby's low, 20-yard effort was touched around the post.
But Sunderland also looked to get forward, with the best success again coming down the left flank though Sessegnon.
After half-time, Sunderland continued to sit back, but Arsenal failed to make the most of their possession. With nine minutes left, Cazorla played in Giroud, but the French striker fired wide from 10 yards.
Arsenal pressed in search of a winner during four minutes of stoppage time, but had to be content with just a point.
|26 Aug 2012||v Stoke (A)|
|02 Sep 2012||v Liverpool (A)|
|15 Sep 2012||v Southampton (H)|
|23 Sep 2012||v Man City (A)|
|29 Sep 2012||v Chelsea (H)|
|06 Oct 2012||v West Ham (A)|