Arsenal got three points on board with a narrow win over Norwich City courtesy of a scrappy goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal ended their slump with a narrow 1-0 victory over Norwich City at the Emirates. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the game’s only goal with help from Nicolas Pepe to ease the pressure on Mikel Arteta. The win pushes the Gunners out of the relegation zone and could potentially kick start their season from here on.
There were other performers, including Bukayo Saka, Gabriel and new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu, who impressed in the first half. While Arsenal had a massive 30-attempts, but only six on target, as Aubameyang scored a scrappy second-half goal to collect all three points.
There were more chances late in the game, but the Gunners failed to convert those. Arsenal looked dominant early in the first half, but Norwich upped their tempo to finish the opening period on a good note. However, the home side came out strongly in the second half to dominate proceedings, while the introduction of Thomas Partey changed the course of the game.
In the end, despite the narrow scoreline, Arsenal would be the happier camp after collecting their first points of the season. Encouragement could be taken by the home side’s display with Burnely next on their agenda in the Premier League.
Here’s how Arsenal players rated during their 1-0 win over Norwich City.
Aaron Ramsdale – 6.5/10
An excellent first start for Ramsdale at the Emirates, where he would be thankful to Norwich attackers for not threatening his goal. However, when called upon, the keeper was calm and showed plenty of promise when playing with his feet. His distribution improved in the second half, and he should be happy with the clean sheet.
Takehiro Tomiyasu – 7/10
Tomiyasu displayed the style Arteta seeks in a right-back. He was excellent in the air and supported the attacking players effectively. When defending, he managed to track Norwich runners, and when Arsenal were attacking, shifted infield to help build-up play. A fine debut for the Japanese international.
Ben White – 6.5/10
White finally brought some calmness at the back and looked comfortable alongside Gabriel in the pair’s first game together. He was hardly threatened by Norwich attackers, although he was assured enough when necessary. He should be thankful to his Brazilian partner for a late block.
Gabriel – 6.5/10
A welcome sight for Arsenal fans to see Gabriel return to the team. His rustiness showed when dealing with balls in the box, and he wasn’t at his best. However, a late block to deny Teemu Pukki an equaliser showed his importance at the back.
Kieran Tierney – 6/10
Tierney played most of the game further up the field, creating chances for Arsenal’s attackers. Overall he was unfortunate and ineffective with his balls while struggling to make clear cut chances through the left channel.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5.5/10
Maitland-Niles might dream of forging a career in midfield, but he’s not the ideal choice in the position for Arsenal despite some decent moments in the centre. While he did fine defensively to break up play, he lacked the nous of a central midfielder, which showed from his casual attitude on the ball—shifted to right-back after Partey’s arrival.
Albert Sambi Lokonga – 7/10
The more Lokonga plays, the better he looks, as he continued to prove a wise addition. An apparent and visible lack of communication with Maitland-Niles did not deter his performances, as he continued to play neat, decent balls into the attack. The Belgian always seems to play progressive passes than looking behind for cover.
Martin Odegaard – 7/10
Odegaard led the Arsenal press nicely as he was a bustling presence in the attack. His work rate was excellent, as he set the tone with his constant running. With more games, he will prove his worth for the £30 million paid to Real Madrid in the summer.
Nicolas Pepe – 8/10
Pepe was too close to the byline in the first half, making it difficult to threaten the defence. During the second half, he played more in and around the box, which caused a difference — creating the game’s only goal in the scrappiest manner. Effective display from the Ivorian.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8/10
🗣 "We’ve needed the fans for a long time. Personally I’m just happy that they are here… when you’re a player, it gives you energy, a lot of energy." – @Auba
Thanks for sticking with us today 🤝#ARSNOR
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 11, 2021
Aubameyang looked refreshed from last season and worked hard throughout the match. The attackers behind him created plenty of chances, although his goal came from a very scrappy moment. He would happily take that goal which opened the club’s account for the season and collected all three points.
Bukayo Saka – 7/10
Saka was constantly looking to exploit the Norwich defence yet was unfortunate not to contribute anything of substance. His work rate was excellent, and late in the game he also came close to adding a second goal. He will improve with more matches, while his partnership with Emile Smith Rowe looks promising.
Emile Smith-Rowe – 6/10
Arteta sent Smith-Rowe to give the side some technical security on the ball, and the attacker did a fine job. Late in the game, he got into some really dangerous positions and even came close to scoring, only to see his shot blocked.
Thomas Partey – 7.5/10
Partey’s quality was visible the moment he came on. He laid out a great line-breaking pass for Saka, which helped open the scoring eventually. Arteta would be happy to give him some minutes as he came away unscathed.
Cedric Soares – 5/10
He came on as a late substitute and had one shot high up the stands.