Arsenal consolidated their top of the table status with a super but laboured victory over Norwich. The mood at the Emirates was wonderful, the AGM was successful and everybody is optimistic about this season.
Arsene made one change to the team that drew at West Brom. Santi Carzola came in for Aaron Ramsey. It was a delight to see Santi back from his injury. That means Wilshere, Ozil and Carzola played behind Giroud.
From the blast of the whistle, it was clear that the gooners wanted to seize the initiative and Carzola went close. However, the goal was to come and in a magnificient manner. The move started with Flamini, moved to Wilshere, Gibbs got involved, so did Carzola and then a double one-two between Giroud and Wilshere gave space for the young Englishman to slot home with a volley.
Ruddy was motionless, Arsenal was brilliant.
Giroud pulled off a wonderful save from Ruddy minutes after, Flamini had to be taken off after a nasty head collision with Alex Tettey. The Frenchman’s absence seemed to give the Canaries a lot of belief and Szczesny had to be at his best to stop two goal bound efforts from Martin and Leroy Fer.
The second half began with Norwich dominating possession and looking for the equalizer as the gooners took their foot off the pedal but it did not take long for Arsenal to punish their opponents further. In the 57th minute, Giroud found Ozil with a wonderful cross and the German wasted no time in heading the ball into the net.
A rare Mesut Ozil header.
Norwich were not to bow down in failure and on 70 minutes, their efforts were rewarded when a rare mistake by Defensive stalwart Mertesacker gifted Johnny Howson the chance to put the ball into the net.
That goal seemed to awaken the gooners and remind them that 3 points were at stake and they duly obliged. The gooners would have scored up to seven goals in the last 20 minutes if not for some super goal keeping from John Ruddy as Ozil (75 min), Ramsey (79) and Bendtner (81 min). Ruddy was proving to be the obstacle between Arsenal and a third goal. That obstacle was to be removed when Ramsey scored his ninth goal of the season with a beautiful piece of skill leaving 2 defenders for dead before going pass Ruddy.
Arsene’s boys were not to rest on those 3 goals as Ozil finished off Norwich after since work from Rosicky and Ramsey. Wilshere’s shot went Narrowly wide and Ozil had a chance to complete his ha-trick but failed to control the ball well.
The job was done. The performance in the last 20 minutes was magical . The three points were signed, sealed and delivered #coyg
MAN OF THE MATCH: It has to go to Ozil, two goals from the 42.5 million pounds man was enough to give the gooners all three points. However, Ramsey and Wilshere were majestic and deserve mention too.
Player Ratings: Szczesny (7.5) Sagna (7) Mertesacker (6) Koscienly (7) Gibbs (7.5) Flamini (6.5) Arteta (7) Wilshere (8.5) Ozil (9) Carzola ( 7) Giroud (8). subs: Ramsey (8.5), Bendtner (6) Rosicky (6.5)
TALKING POINTS : Arsenal has two of the most creative players in the premier league in Ozil and Carzola. If the two of them combine well, they can be unstoppable, but can they?