Arsenal v Norwich City –
Final Score /Result: Arsenal 4-1 Norwich
Man Of The Match: Olivier Giroud
Arsenal FC extended their lead at the top of the table with a delightful display against Norwich City, at home.
With Liverpool dropping points against Newcastle United in the early kick-off yesterday, Arsenal had the opportunity to extend their lead at the top and the Gunners grabbed the opportunity with both hands with a 4-1 win against Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger wanted his side to restart their campaign on a positive note after the long international break and maintain their momentum and his side didn’t let him down. The hosts dominated the game from the start and Jack Wilshere, who switched to the right in this game, gave them an early lead with a fantastic opening goal. The goal was poetry in motion as Cazorla, Wilshere and Giroud exchanged a series of one touch passes, before the Frenchman’s wonderful deft back heel pass found Wilshere in space. The English midfielder, who doesn’t have a great goal scoring record, finished confidently to score his second goal in as many games.
At the end of the first half Mathieu Flamini was substituted after he complained of double vision, following a clash with Alexander Tettey. Aaron Ramsey replaced him in the midfield, but Arsenal’s game play was disrupted after that change for a while as Norwich came back into the game. The away side looked brighter in the second half as well, as Arsenal sat back and invited pressure. But the Gunners scored the all-important second goal in the 59th minute as Olivier Giroud produced a brilliant cross for Mesut Ozil to head home from a counter attack.
Norwich though got their deserved goal just 10 minutes after that as Jonathan Howson scored from a wonderful shot to put the away side back in contention. That goal almost woke up Arsenal once again and the Gunners produced a memorable display in the remaining twenty minutes of the game. Aaron Ramsey waltzed past the Norwich defence to score a wonderful individual goal, and then set up Mesut Ozil to score his second with an amazing move. Very few matches in recent times have had such a collection of world class goals in a single game. It wasn’t a completely flawless performance, but when Arsenal were on song, they looked unstoppable.
Arsene Wenger was delighted with the performance and was especially pleased with the goal Jack Wilshere scored.
“All the four goals were great but the first was exceptional. It was one of the best in my time here for sure.”
“It was a mixture of technical quality and quick reactions – it was improvised. We’ve scored some good goals this season already and all four were good today.” – The Arsenal managed exclaimed.
Wenger also clarified that Ramsey was initially rested as Arsenal heads into a busy part of their fixture list. The Welshman is expected to start in the all-important match against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
“We play seven games in 23 days and we will need everybody. He [Ramsey] has basically played every minute since the start of the season.
“This was an opportunity before the players get injured to give them a breather. Not everybody will play all the time.” – He explained.
The Arsenal manager was however cautious about title talks and believes it is still too early to make such claims.
“It’s a bit early, it’s not even Christmas yet. We have a good attitude, we are hungry and have a good solidarity level. Our belief is strengthened by every win and there must be no comfort zone.”
“We’ve come through a long period in recent years when in October we were already behind. At the moment, we are in a better position but there’s a long way to go.” – He told the press.
Arsenal v Norwich – Statistics
Olivier Giroud put up another fantastic display against Norwich upfront. While the likes of Ozil and Ramsey have grabbed the headlines, Giroud hasn’t quite got the credit he deserves, this season. His hold-up play is second to none in the league and he has a wonderful touch for a big man. The above image shows his actions areas against Norwich. Note how he drops deep and helps out in build-up play. He is good in the air and provides a different kind of option for the Gunners, who now have a proper target man in their line-up.