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19 October 2013
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 60009
J. Wilshere 18'
M. Özil 58', 88'
A. Ramsey 83'
J. Howson 70'
FULL TIME: Arsenal 4-1 Norwich. For a brief moment it looked as if the Gunners' former misgivings had returned when their visitors pulled back an unlikely goal, but two moments of magic in the last 10 minutes rejected any notion of a Canaries comeback. With that, Arsene Wenger's side eventually canter to victory thanks to a magnificent performance and continue to top the Premier League table. I've been Livio Caferoglu and it's goodbye from me!
90' + 2'
Just two of the four injury-time minutes left to be played at the Emirates now, and Ozil falls down in the box following a late Martin intervention, but nothing is given to the home side.
90' + 1'
Bendtner is adjudged offside after running half a second too late to read Rosicky's clever one-two. The football Arsenal have played this afternoon has been nothing short of spectacular - dazzling even.
Howson turns Arteta but balloons his shot to quell any notion of a late Norwich consolation. Just before that, Ramsey performed a roulette past two players before backheeling into Wilshere's path!
Assist Aaron Ramsey
Goal Mesut Özil
WELL AND TRULY BEATEN!! Ozil was regarded as the game-changing signing for Arsenal prior to this match, and again he lives up to his billing. Rosicky finds Ramsey at the backpost, and the midfielder flicks the ball with an exquisite touch to feed the German with a simple tap-in.
It's a case of humble pie for me. Earlier in the match I suggested that Ramsey was struggling to get going, but how wrong has that assessment turned out to be! Anyway, Wilshere is magical with the ball at feet again before winning another corner for his side.
Assist Jack Wilshere
Goal Aaron Ramsey
ANOTHER ARSENAL GOAL I CAN'T QUITE FATHOM!! Wilshere peels off his man and enters the Norwich box before laying the ball towards Ramsey. The Welshman then effortly glides past two yellow shirts with ease, feinting both times, before curling the ball through the middle from point-blank range. Sensational stuff!
OHHH BENDTNER! Ozil is the creative hub for Arsenal once more as he finds Ramsey in-field, who in turn sprays the ball to the Dane in plenty of space, but he can only strike the ball at Ruddy for a corner!
Ramsey again breaks clear of his marker and squeezes a low shot towards the bottom right corner which Ruddy is equal to! You can't afford to blink at this rate.
Time for a temporary break then, with two players being thrown on in the form of Bendtner and Hoolahan - both of attacking ilk.
Arsenal look to sustain their peppering of Norwich's area in a bid to reclaim their two-goal advantage, as Ozil is the latest Gooner to test Ruddy from distance.
A SHUDDERING ATTEMPT!! Ramsey comes forward with gusto and lets fly from 18 yards out to sting the palms of Ruddy! This is better from Arsenal.
The Gunners squander the ball again in the middle, with substitute Redmond looking to make an instant impact. However, he is soon eaten up by the Arsenal tidal wave.
Arsenal are struggling to sustain a foothold when in possession now as Norwich are prepared to match their intensity levels. Their flicks and tricks are not coming off with the same regularity as previously.
Arsenal have had plenty of chances to sew up all three points much sooner, but it's come to this - a sight all too familiar to their supporters. A late Norwich rally is inevitable now!
Goal Jonny Howson
NORWICH ARE BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! Fer feeds Olsson down the left flank, and the Swede's cross is poorly dealt with by the Arsenal defence as Howson - from nowhere - charges in and smashes the ball into the bottom right corner past Szczesny. Game on!
More electrifying play from Arsenal! Giroud peels off his man on the edge of the box to flick the ball to Sagna, who crosses and finds the instrumental hitman, but Turner does just enough to hook the danger away at the last hurdle.
Arsenal are well in control of proceedings now. They're letting Norwich play with the ball but know full well that it'd require a Herculean effort from their opponents to even pull one goal back. Anyway, Pilkington shafts Arteta in the box for a Gunners free-kick.
MAYBE NOT... !!! Mertesacker is furious as he appears to have been man-handled to the ground by Pilkington, who reads Howson's through ball, but the winger can only drag his shot wide.
Any anxious Arsenal faces will surely have disappeared now. Their team have shown an admirable spirit to turn the tides in an instant after looking increasingly vulnerable since Flamini's exit.
Assist Olivier Giroud
Goal Mesut Özil
GAME OVER!!! I take back my assessment! Another sweeping move is orchestrated by the Gunners, as Giroud - on the right-hand side - curls in a splendid cross for Ozil, who scrambles forward from deep, to glance into the bottom left corner of the net. That's how you kill a match off, folks!
Signs of complacency are undoubtedly creeping into Arsenal's performance. Again we see another attack break down at the last hurdle to allow Norwich - currently on top with 58% possession - another chance to draw level.
Arsenal finally get the ball back, but it's only momentary as they lose it again. Snodgrass then takes over - following good work from Fer - and rifles a low shot which Szczesny must dive down to his left to gather!
Fortunately for the ex-Cardiff starlet and his team, nothing ensues from the set-piece. However, Norwich are allowed to forge ahead with the ball - until Martin is flagged offside.
Ramsey's struggling to impose himself on the encounter so far. This time he hacks down Olsson and concedes a free kick in potentially a dangerous position on the left-hand side.
ARSENAL HIT BACK! Sagna is finding a lot of luck down his flank this afternoon, and once more he crosses towards Giroud, who can only head over Ruddy's goal!
SHOULD'VE DONE BETTER! Norwich are awarded a free kick on the right-hand side, and it's floated into the middle of the box by Snodgrass, but Martin can only stab Turner's headed lay-off wide of the post!
A slight penalty shout for Arsenal? Turner slides into the back of Cazorla, yet the ball drops again to a red shirt, although it flies high over the bar on the half-volley.
The loose ball falls to Arteta, who hammers a speculative effort into the back of Bassong. A corner is awarded to the Gunners!
No subsitutions have been made by either side, as Ramsey sees the ball properly for the first time since his introduction.
The match resumes! Who will fare better in these next 45 minutes I wonder...
Not much can be said about the Canaries in truth, despite their brief renaissance towards the end of the first half. It didn't take Chris Hughton's troops long to realise that they simply couldn't match Arsenal's flowing play with a high-tempo game of their own, and they eventually settled for a counterattacking, defensive set-up.
It's been an Arsenal masterclass as far as the first half has been concerned. Their play has been hugely entertaining at the best of times, with plenty of intricate passing and a telepathic understanding being showcased between their players. However, old habits have threatened to creep up on them, with a poor end to the half almost coinciding with a Norwich equaliser.
HALF TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Norwich.
45' + 3'
Olsson is found in bundles of space on the left flank and sends in a pinpoint cross onto the advances of Hooper, who tries to sneak in the equaliser at the near post, but Koscielny is there behind him to clear the ball for a corner - although the offside flag is ultimately raised.
45' + 2'
Norwich press on with their resurgence in these latter stages, but all their hard work is hysterically cut short by Snodgrass' David Dunn-esque piece of miscontrol as he takes an airshot on the edge of the box!
Three minutes of injury time will be played.
FER!!!! Not quite, but what a strike that was from the former Twente man, as he drives forward in a central position and unleashes a stinging effort which Szczesny must parry away for a corner!
The Pole is nearly caught out again as he must tip a cross-cum-shot over his crossbar! It would be incredulous if Arsenal threw away their lead just before the half-time interval.
A wake-up call for Arsenal, perhaps! Sagna puts Szczesny under all sorts of pandemonium as he almost sells him short with a backpass following industrious play by Tettey.
CLOSE AGAIN! Olsson has to head out another floated pass into the area, and Sagna hits the ball on the volley to prompt yet another save from Ruddy!
Flamini still looks weary from his earlier challenge with Tettey and is replaced by Ramsey. More misery is set to be piled on the Canaries if the Welshman's recent form is anything to go by!
The visitors find themselves under surmounting pressure again, as Martin is forced into submission and loses the ball to Gibbs, who then supplies Giroud with the chance to make it 2-0 to the Gunners, but the striker's finish is pushed onto the post by Ruddy!
Norwich get a rare sight of goal as Olsson powers down the left flank and bends a low cross into the box which falls just short of Hooper.
Koscielny sticks to Hooper, who cuts as isolated figure in the Arsenal half, and eventually advances with the ball. However, Norwich are soon back in charge and try to replicate their opponents' slow build-up.
Only now does Tettey get back on his feet. The Norwegian looks worse for wear as he trudges off the pitch for more treatment.
All of Arsenal's big guns go up for the corner, but Norwich do well to win a free kick as Tettey is flattened by Flamini. Slightly cheeky there from the Frenchman.
The home side have no qualms in pinging the ball around their half and including their goalkeeper in that, but as soon as they cross the halfway line, their tempo instantly steps up several notches.
Norwich seem to have already given up on their high-pressure game, instead preferring to station themselves in their own half. Ozil attempts to orchestrate a second goal as he feeds an on-rushing Wilshere, but the midfielder's cross fails to find Cazorla and a corner is given.
More fabulous Arsenal play sees Wilshere lay the ball off to Sagna on the right, and the France international in turn finds Giroud on the edge of the area, but his countryman cannot keep his strike down!
Norwich try to launch a counterattack down their right wing, but Gibbs is there to grind the move to a halt. The left-back has been superb so far, with his inch-perfect posititonal awareness playing a key role in his side's dominance so far.
That opening goal really was something special! Bassong was slightly unlucky to see the ball bounce off his heel during the build-up, but it doesn't change the fact that Norwich have quite the mountain to climb if they are to return to Carrow Road with anything to show for their efforts.
Assist Olivier Giroud
Goal Jack Wilshere
SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! A classic Arsenal goal sees Wilshere begin and end the move in intricate style, as a series of flicks between the Gunners' attacking players on the edge of the box results in the England midfielder coolly dispatching the ball past a starstruck Ruddy.
Arsenal's fluid attacking play has been a definite highlight so far, but they cannot afford to be too casual as Fer nicks in and tries to launch a Norwich attack. However, Howson's pass is dismal and his side must fight for their lives once more.
Norwich have offered very little in these opening exchanges, although you can't blame them for deploying such a conservative approach. It's appeared nigh-on impossible to shrug the Gunners off the ball at times, with Sagna again curling another cross into the box as I speak!
Gibbs is putting in quite the shift as he comes in-field to oust Snodgrass off the ball, which ends up with Sagna sending in another tantalising cross and Ruddy just about getting a palm to it before gathering comfortably enough.
Giroud claps his hands in disgust as he sees a close-range shot cannon off a yellow shirt. He knew that effort could have been much more than a mere statistic!
Hooper looks to release himself as a long ball is played towards him. However, Szczesny is quick off his line to mop up the danger.
It's a non-stop Arsenal onslaught! Wilshere, in a central attacking position, spreads the ball out intelligently to Gibbs, yet the full-back's low cross is hacked away for a corner. The resulting set-piece ends in Ozil losing out to Olsson for a throw-in.
OOH! After fine work down the byline, Ozil finds Cazorla on the edge of the box, but the Spaniard can only fire his strike into the gloves of Ruddy between the sticks.
Arteta surprisingly squanders possession in his own half, and Fer is presented with a decent opening, but his forward pass is intercepted in a flash.
It's Norwich's turn to return the intricate passing game to Arsenal, but they can only venture as far as the halfway line. The hosts soon win the ball back and normal service is resumed.
Early warning signs for Norwich here as Arsenal play the ball around with real confidence. Sagna whips the ball into the box and forces a clearing header from Bassong!
We're under way, with Arsenal - in their famous red and white home strip - going from right-to-left.
Kick-off at the Emirates Stadium is now imminent, ladies and gentlemen!
For Norwich, they will be encouraged by Anthony Pilkington's return to fitness despite prior doubts over a hamstring knock. Elsewhere, summer arrival Gary Hooper has the perfect opportunity to exert a degree of revenge on his opponents, after graduating through the Tottenham youth system.
Moving onto team news, Arsenal will be delighted to call upon the services of record signing Mesut Ozil. The German ace returned from international duty with a bruised knee and a minor hamstring problem, but he is fit to start along with fellow injury victims Bacary Sagna and Santi Cazorla. Aaron Ramsey, on the other hand, is only good enough for the bench due to a thigh strain while on duty for Wales.
Meanwhile for the Canaries, winless on Arsenal soil since 1992, they will be keen to erase the memory of their most recent fixture - a disappointing 3-1 home reverse to Chelsea a fortnight ago. However, with a 4-5-1 formation in the offing, the threat of the counterattack looks to be their most likely source of potential solace.
Following their opening-day defeat to Aston Villa, Arsenal have embarked on an impressive unbeaten run which has seen them surge to the summit of the Premier League. However, their five-match winning run in domestic competition came to a halt as they could only salvage a 1-1 draw with West Brom last time out.
Last but not least, it's the visitors Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Turner, Olsson; Snodgrass, Tettey, Fer, Howson, Pilkington; Hooper.
First up we have the Gunners: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta, Wilshere; Cazorla, Ozil; Giroud.
Hi there and welcome to LIVE commentary of Arsenal's visit of Norwich in the Premier League! I'm Livio Caferoglu and I'll be guiding you through all the action as it happens in north London. Team news is on its way!
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