Arsenal started life after Robin van Persie with a frustrating goalless draw against Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.
The Holland striker - whose 30 goals had dragged the Gunners into third place last season - completed a £24million move to Manchester United on Friday, having made it clear earlier in the summer he would not be signing a new deal.
Arsene Wenger's side, boasting summer signings Lukas Podolski and impressive Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla in the starting XI, enjoyed plenty of possession but lacked a killer instinct in the final third, while Sunderland looked dangerous on the counter through Stephane Sessegnon.
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