By Chris Harris

Arsenal's failure to take their second-half chances cost them two valuable points on Saturday, according to Arsène Wenger.

The visitors led as early as the 12th minute at the Stadium of Light thanks to a bizarre goal from Cesc Fabregas, who stuck out a boot to block Anton Ferdinand's clearance and saw the ball hit his leg and balloon over Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal.

Arsenal had Alex Song sent off after the break but still carved out three golden opportunities, two of which were spurned by Andrey Arshavin before Tomas Rosicky missed a penalty 17 minutes from time.

Their luck ran out in stoppage time when Darren Bent pounced to snatch an equaliser, leaving Wenger to rue the chances missed when Arsenal were in the ascendancy.

"We were in control with ten men but we couldn’t score the second goal," he said.

"We faced the game we expected to face. I felt overall our central defence especially and our goalkeeper dealt well with the long balls and the situations we faced.

"But as long as you can't score the second goal you are in trouble."

Fabregas left the pitch with a hamstring injury 16 minutes after opening the scoring but Wenger does not believe his captain's absence cost Arsenal the match.

"You cannot measure that [how much of a loss he was]," said the Frenchman. "I believe you want Fabregas on the pitch but even without Fabregas we could have scored the penalty and won the game."

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20 Sep 2010