John O'Shea felt Sunderland deserved more from last weekend's clash with Arsenal after getting to grips with the Gunners in the second 45 minutes.
Arsene Wenger's side took the lead 10 minutes before the break through Santi Cazorla and ended the opening period strongly.
But the Black Cats came back out for the second half looking stronger and took the game to the Londoners, who hung on for three points.
"The effort from the lads in the second half was great," said O'Shea, who relinquished the captain's armband with the return of regular skipper Lee Cattermole.
"In the first half you'd have to say we were a little bit lucky to still be in the game.
"Arsenal played very well, dominated large parts of the first half and we struggled to get to grips with it."
He continued: "We had a real go [in the second half] and created a lot more chances even before they went down to 10 men.
"We were a lot more dominant in the game; we had a few scares ourselves but we knew that would be the case if we were pushing to get back into it.
"I think we had to take some chances and push extra men forward. It was frustrating."
Steven Fletcher was locked in his own personal duel with Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny, who twice denied Sunderland's leading scorer with fine saves.
Titus Bramble also came close for the Black Cats as Arsenal held out.
"You're thinking surely one of them is going to drop in," O'Shea explained.
"Fletch had a couple of chances, Titus was unlucky; the ball just came at an awkward angle for him.
"It's just one of those things; if we show that effort and attacking intent in the games coming up, we'll score and we'll score plenty."