Do not let the highlights fool you – this was no easy game.
Arsenal’s bright start led to Santi Cazorla having a left-foot shot saved by Ruddy. This would set the tone for Ruddy’s day. Despite conceding four goals, the Norwich keeper can throw his hat into the ring for man-of-the-match. He pulled off some excellent saves but when the Arsenal found their way through with some pinball wizardry, he had ruddy no chance.
The goal was sublime. Santi carried the ball in from the left (as he does) and then it happened. Santi – Wilshere – Giroud – Wilshere – Giroud – Wilshere – stroke it home – the world applauds. If you’ve seen it fewer that thirty times, you’re neglecting you position as an Arsenal fan.
Having fallen victim to such a pillaging, a lesser side would have rolled over, but Norwich didn’t want to play that role. A spirited fight-back saw the underdogs apply their own pressure and forced a save or two from the in-form Szczesny. Arsenal withstood and it was 1-0 to the Arsenal at the break.
Chris Hughton’s men came out in the second half in fighting form. They were “going for it”. The problem with “going for it” against a team with such a proclivity for counter-attacking is that if you don’t score, you’re screwed. And screwed they were. When Santi strode into the opponent’s half, it was only Olivier Giroud in front of him. Giroud pulled wide and it looked like the move may have been in trouble. Meanwhile, from the left came the run of a young man who wasn’t going to be left out of another fine Arsenal move. Cazorla rolled it wide, Giroud played a delectable chip straight on to Mesut’s head and the German nodded home to make the game secure. Or so we thought.
Norwich got the goal they no longer deserved. Arsenal had seen off the uprising but, because things are never as easy as they could/should be, Norwich got one back. A shocking attempted clearance from Per spun off his foot and across the Arsenal box. Jonathan Howson took a touch which would have allowed Kieron Gibbs to close down any shot attempts had the mood taken him. Instead, Gibbs tried to cover the angles, leaving only the front post at which to aim. Howson let fly with an excellent strike and the Canaries were back in the game.
Ramsey, who had replaced a dizzy Flamini in the first half, was playing well. He’d had a couple of efforts on goal and looked like he desperately wanted to get on the scoresheet. From the edge of the box, he faked a shot, leaving two Norwich defenders on their arses. Having enjoyed that so much, he did it again on his left side. Another planted posterior. At this point, another dummy would have been cruel. Ramsey spared the blushed of Norwich and finished coolly past Ruddy. If Ramsey wanted to, he could have put their whole team on their arses but our Aaron is decent and merciful young man. 3-1.
From the left side of the box, Tomas Rosicky chipped a ball to the merciful one. Ramsey knew exactly where Ozil was and he knew what the outcome was going to be if he could just touch it to him first time. Ozil had the whole goals to aim for and, just to rub salt in Delia’s wound, he placed the ball through the legs of the defender on the line. 4-1.
Sagna said afterwards that this was not a 4-1 type of game. Norwich showed a lot of belief and ability to cast doubts over our sensational run continuing. Class prevailed and the three points went to the magnificent Gunners.
I’ve really just covered the goals, the real talking points are where you come to the fore. Please feel free to comment and tell me what I should have written. That is what makes this site the finest forum out there.
Thanks for reading,
Up the Arsenal.