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West Ham United
20 October 2012
• Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 26825
G. Holt 19'
That's all for now folks. A real coupon-buster of a result here! Thanks for joining me and enjoy your evening.
But it's a disastrous night for Arsenal who are now 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea. For all their possession the Gunners just couldn't break down the home side and things may yet be even worse for Arsene Wenger as he awaits news regarding the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Well nobody saw that one coming. A monumental effort from Norwich has seen them emerge as unlikely victors in this contest. That's their first win of the season and sees them move out of the relegation zone. Chris Hughton and his troops fully deserve the 3 points this evening.
90' + 6'
FULL TIME! Norwich have done it! Grant Holt's first half goal proving to be decisive in this fascinating contest.
90' + 5'
Cazorla smashes an effort way over the bar for Arsenal and, with that, the Gunners may just surrendered all 3 points to their opposition tonight.
90' + 3'
Chance for Gnabry but the youngster fires high and wide after racing onto a Giroud knock down.
90' + 2'
Five additional minutes to be played at an extremely tense Carrow Road.
Chance! Gnabry finds Gervinho with time and space in the box. The Ivory Coast international advances towards goal but is thwarted at the last second by a superb sliding challenge from Bassong.
If you'd like to gauge just how much the Gunners want to win this... Per Mertesacker is playing up front.
Good work from Arshavin and Gervinho on the left wing, with the latter eventually picking out Arteta on the edge of the area. The Spaniard controls well and unleashes a a powerful drive, drawing a neat save from Ruddy.
You can sense the desperation from Arsenal now as the game enters the closing stages.
A glorious chance for Norwich to put the game to bed has just gone begging. Holt robs Ramsey of the ball on the halfway line and races away towards goal but his tame chip is more at than over Mannone. Could the big man live to regret that?
Bassong and Turner have been mountains at the back for Norwich but can they hold on for the last 10 minutes?
Norwich make their first change of the night as Elliot Bennett makes way for the the former Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass. Bennett has been excellent tonight.
In the midst of all that it's important to note that Oxlade-Chamberlain lasted all of 9 minutes before being substituted due to injury. That could be a big blow for Arsene Wenger.
Just when you thought Arsenal were feeling their way back into this contest the home side remind us that they're still more than capable of grabbing a second goal. Grant Holt gets the better of Mertesacker on the halfway line despite the German employing some less than savoury tactics. But as Holt approached the edge of the area he probably took the wrong option and fires wide of the mark instead of playing in Hoolahan.
Yellow Card Michael Turner
An underwhelming effort from the Spaniard as his free-kick is straight down the throat of John Ruddy.Michael Turner breathes a sigh of relief.
A probing pass from Cazorla leaves Michael Turner with no option but to hack Giroud down on the edge of the box. Free kick awarded to Arsenal in a dangerous position. Cazorla stands over it...
Better from Arsenal. Gervinho works his way to the by-line and pulls back an inviting cross. There's not a red and white shirt in sight though and Bradley Johnson clears easily for the Canaries.
The first substitution of the evening sees Podolski make way for Oxlade-Chamberlain. The striker will be disappointed with his performance tonight after setting such a high standard in previous weeks.
Half chance for Arsenal. It's Arteta who spots the run of Giroud and chips the ball forward. The Frenchman intelligently nods the ball back and into the path of Gervinho but his tame header is collected easily by Ruddy.
Yellow Card Grant Holt
With under 30 minutes remaining in this game you do feel that the next goal will be absolutely vital for either side. The questions is, who's going to get it?
Bradley Johnson with a speculative effort from long-range. It was never troubling Mannone but it does underline the home side's intention to push for a second goal.
You do wonder how long Norwich can keep this up for. They saw very little of the ball in the first half and the second period appears to be carrying on in a similar fashion.
Yellow Card Wesley Hoolahan
Well it's taken 52 minutes but Arsenal have finally created a chance. Good work from Gervinho down the right who fires the ball across goal towards Giroud. The striker adjusts well and does manage to swivel and a get a shot away but his effort flies wide.
A half chance for Norwich sees Grant Holt given a taste of his own medicine. Tettey floats a ball towards the back post but the big striker is bullied by Vermaelen and the balls ends up drifting harmlessly out of play.
It probably won't come as a shock to find out that Arsenal have resumed their domination of the possession statistics. But it's hard to see where that all important goal going to come from.
Arsenal get us back underway here at Carrow Road. Neither team have opted to make a change at the interval.
Arsenal now have no choice but to go all out for the victory - a loss here would be disastrous to their title challenge. And with Norwich posing a threat on the break it could well be goals galore in the second half... we hope!
Arsene Wenger now has to mastermind how his side go about breaking this Norwich team down. Could Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be the answer?
Well the Canaries are certainly good value for their 1-0 lead. Their industrious attitude to defending and their counter-attacking football has worked a treat so far.
45' + 1'
The referee blows the whistle for half time.
Perhaps not! Cazorla's corner is collected easily by Ruddy and Norwich look set to go in at half-time with their one goal advantage in tact.
Corner for Arsenal. Perhaps their last chance before half time?
The Gunners are pushing hard to haul themselves back into this contest but are being denied by a mixture of excellent tackling and good organisation from Chris Hughton's troops.
And the Gunners first half performance has just been summed up in one move. Cazorla floats a freekick towards the far post and finds Gervinho completely unmarked. The Ivory Coast attacker swings out a leg to volley the ball and makes a complete hash of it resulting in a goal kick for the home side.
And it's another great chance for Norwich! This time from a corner, Michael Turner rises highest in the box too meet Pilkington's cross and sees his powerful header fly just wide. Where was the marking?!
Arsenal have settled but are still limp in attack. Norwich, on the other hand, look a threat when going forward. Arsene Wenger will not be happy with what he's witnessing!
Cazorla and Arteta are clearly frustrated at what they perceive to be a lack of movement up front from their two strikers. Norwich, to their credit, have been solid right from the word go.
Another decent chance for Norwich. A through ball from Johnson releases Grant Holt. The big striker is pushed wide by the advancing Mannone and opts to square the ball for the onrushing Hoolahan and Carl Jenkinson just about scrambles the ball clear for Arsenal.
Yellow Card Bradley Johnson
One goal to the good and the home side aren't prepared to settle for it either! Norwich are piling pressure on Arsenal as they go in search of a second goal. The Gunners need to get their foot back on the ball.
Well that was certainly against the run of play but Chris Hughton won't care and neither do the Carrow Road faithful! How will the Gunners respond to going a goal behind?
Goal Grant Holt
GOAL FOR NORWICH! Tettey allowed too much time and space fires in a powerful strike from distance. The shot was too hot for Mannone to handle and Holt reacted ahead of Mertseacker to sweep the ball home from close range.
Well it hasn't quite been the rip-roaring opening quarter of an hour we were all hoping for. For all Arsenal's possession they haven't exactly heaped the pressure on the Norwich back four. Chris Hughton won't be overly concerned with how his team are faring so far.
Credit to the home side who are competently absorbing the Gunners' pressure. You do feel they're in for a long afternoon, though, unless they can find a way to get hold of the ball and keep it. Easier said than done against a team of Arsenal's ability!
The game has settled down significantly now. The Gunners are, as expected, dominating possession but appear quite content to wait for an opening before attempting that incisive final ball.
It's been a good response by the visitors to that early Pilkington effort. They seem to be finding their rhythm and spraying the ball around nicely.
Superb start from the Canaries. A move which started with a strong challenge on Cazorla by Elliot Bennett on the half-way line. The midfielder then fed the ball out wide to Pilkington who cut inside and fired just wide from 20 yards.
It's Norwich to get us underway here this evening.
The home side are desperate to prevent a fourth successive defeat. Can their talisman Grant Holt be the one to stop the rot?
So the BIG news for Arsenal is the return of Jack Wilshere to the bench which will surely be a huge lift for the away side. Olivier Giroud also finds himself in the starting XI following his exploits for France over the international fortnight.
Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla, Gervinho, Giroud, Podolski. Subs: Martniez, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gnabry
Norwich: Ruddy, Russell Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Elliot Bennett, Johnson, Hoolahan, Tettey, Pilkington, Holt. Subs: Rudd, Snodgrass, Howson, Jackson, Surman, Morison, Ryan Bennett
And now the for the starting lineups...
Norwich, meanwhile, will be doing everything in their power to haul themselves out of the relegation zone. With the stakes high for both teams, it promises to be a cracker at Carrow Road!
With Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all picking up three point this afternoon, Arsene Wenger will be desperate to see his troops keep up with the early pace setters in the division.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of Norwich against Arsenal. My name is James Vause and I'll be guiding you through all the action at Carrow Road this evening.
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