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Video: Sunderland seething as Per Mertesacker escapes handball shout

Sunderland were left furious in the first half of their clash with Arsenal on Sunday with Per Mertesacker escaping this handball shout.

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The two sides exchanged multiple goalscoring opportunities as they looked to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes at the Stadium of Light, but neither were able to find the decisive touch.

However, it was Mertesacker’s handball that caused the most controversy with the ball clearly striking the German international’s arm following Jermain Defoe’s shot.

Regardless, it would have been an extremely harsh decision against the Gunners defender given how close he was to Defoe, as he had no chance of avoiding the ball smashing into his arm although it was in an unnatural position.

Gunners legend Thierry Henry criticised Mertesacker for turning his back on the ball in the situation, but admitted that it would have been harsh to award a penalty.

The visitors were then left disappointed as referee Mike Dean ignored their calls for a penalty just minutes later with Alex Iwobi’s effort deflecting up off Andre Yedlin’s leg and onto his arm.

Again, it would have arguably been harsh to penalise the Sunderland man, and so both sides go into the half-time interval still searching for a way to break the deadlock.

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