Written By : Bhavdeep Singh
With a fight for a place in the top 4 coming to a climax, Arsenal needed a win against the canaries at home and even after a sad first half, Danny Welbeck’s strike ensured that they were still in it.
Even though Arsenal began the half with total domination, the first keeper to be called into action was Petr Cech who denied Nathan Redmond two chances, had a good game overall and did his job when asked to.
Hector Bellerin played a pivotal role in creating the chance for the Welbeck goal, used his pace well, up the game a bit and he could do wonders. Per Mertesacker played like, well Per Merstesacker, for me, he didn’t have as much of an impact on the game, besides, he was there for about 51 minutes before taking a knock and hobbling off the pitch. Laurent Koscielny had a good game, took several chances and got really close to scoring in the first half, so not bad at all. Nacho Monreal came next, another player with a fair enough game, struggled against Redmond in the first half but put his foot on the gas in the second.
Mesut Özil was one of their better performers, especially in the second half, did stumble at times but otherwise, was simply magnificent. Aaron Ramsey played a very basic game, had a streak of greatness but was responsible for undoing all the good work with sloppy play, needs improvement overall. Mohamed Elneny did his part well in denying the canaries too many counter attacks and passing the ball around well, not a lot to say about him except the fact that he had a good game.
Alex Iwobi had his moments of greatness, but they were as short as his time on the ball, thanks to the Norwich defence, he was subbed off for Danny Welbeck in the 56th minute. Alexis Sanchez wasn’t all that impressive to be fair, saw a lot of the ball but barely got past the defence and when he did, he wasn’t able to convert, does seem to have some problem when pressured.
Olivier Giroud was another disappointing figure for the gunners, he did well to set Welbeck up for the only goal of the match, but that was all from him. Danny Welbeck was the man for the gunners, he did what Iwobi couldn’t do, constantly caused the defenders problems and came out with the only goal of the match, a good decision by Wenger.
Credit also goes out to Gabriel Paulista who was subbed on for Mertesacker and did well to deny Mbokani in the six yard box to seal up the clean sheet.
Ruddy played well for the canaries after making some great saves to keep his side in the game, was unlucky not to save the shot by Welbeck but a deflection is never easy to anticipate.
Martin Olsson had a good first half but struggled later as Arsenal decided to put their foot on the gas. Pinto had a simillar game, good first half, but a very difficult second one especially when Welbeck came on. Much like the rest of the defence, Bassong was strong in the first half but could’ve done a lot better to avoid a goal and take home a point. Martin did well to mark his return to the starting lineup but could’ve done better against Giroud.
Nathan Redmond got very close to scoring as he was denied twice by the experienced Cech, though the game decelerated for him in the second half. Howson looked impressive and partnered well with the defence, also looked tough coming forward, so a good game for him. Brady teamed up with the defence well and made things tough for Bellerin but cracked under the pressure of the second half. Wes Hoolahan has great passing and played well behind Jerome before being subbed off for Mbokani, a good change?
O’Niel was magnificent in the centre, made great efforts to deny Arsenal their chances and was successful for a great period of time, good play. Cameron Jerome didn’t see as much of the ball as he would’ve liked and simply disappeared in the second half as Arsenal dominated possession.
Arsenal got the win they wanted, and face Manchester City next, another win would mean another shot at the Champions League, but Manchester United may be right behind them if they slip.
Norwich on the other hand are in a relegation battle, can they pull through?
Pictures : Arsenal Facebook, Norwich Facebook