By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger admits that his players have to find a way to unlock the massed defences they regularly face in the Premier League.

Sunderland adopted a safety-first approach against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, operating with a lone striker, and the policy so nearly paid off as they stifled the visitors' passing game before taking a late lead through Grant Leadbitter's long-range strike.

Cesc Fabregas' stoppage-time header earned Arsenal a share of the spoils but Wenger was left to rue a lack of sharpness which contributed to a frustrating afternoon in the North East.

"I feel Sunderland adopted a defensive attitude but I cannot judge what the opponents do," he said afterwards. "We have to find a solution to the problems which they give us.

"Today we were a fraction short creativity-wise, we have not really found it. I think you could see the players wanted it but we just lacked a little bit of sharpness. That was maybe down to the fact we gave a lot against Porto on Tuesday night.

"Overall we did today what a team has to do. I'm happy with the last two performances, the only game we were complacent is the Hull game."

Wenger can influence his team's attitude but he can't do much about the Goal of the Month contenders which Arsenal have conceded in their last two Premier League games. Geovanni's wonder-strike for Hull last weekend was followed by Leadbitter's 25-yard stunner at the Stadium of Light. Wenger hopes that particular trend will come to an end.

"We need to win every football game but I believe that against Hull and today we have been a bit unlucky because every shot on goal at the moment just goes in the corner and there is not a lot we can do about it," he said.

"We have to get over a period like that and I believe we have enough quality to win against the big teams as well."

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6 Oct 2008