The Gunners led 1-0 through Alexis Sanchez, but a Shkodran Mustafi error let Duncan Watmore in on Petr Cech. The goalkeeper had to chop down Watmore, and Jermain Defoe made it 1-1 from the spot in the 65th minute.
Wenger says he was “worried” the Gunners could lose after giving Sunderland an equalizer, concerned it could be a symptom of unforeseen sickness.
“At some stage we were questioned with our spirit as well, because we missed many chances. At 1-1 you think you have the chance to lose a game that should be over, but we kept going again and had another go. In the end we won in a comfortable way. Overall I feel it was important for us to win today, because we had won six [in a row] and then drew at home last weekend, which was disappointing. So to have another game without a win would maybe have created some uncertainty so it was important to win the game.”
Instead, Wenger introduced Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman responded with his first goal of the season in the 71st minute, and had made it 3-1 with five minutes.
Sanchez added his second to make it three goals in 7 minutes, and Arsenal was cruising. The Gunners have handled adversity well this season, and — excusing the opposition — look prepared to get a big job done.
“We wanted not to let them gain confidence and to dictate the game from the start on. We know that they lack a bit of confidence, so it was important for us to dominate the game, and that’s what we did.
That’s where everybody wants to be, so I will not complain. But it’s too early and it’s too tight as well. There are so many good teams in the league. We go game after game and it’s a good feeling when you play first and you win. At least you have one good day!”