Oct 19, 2013, 12:13 PM EST
The home side had their first goal before 20 minutes were up. The opener truly showcased Arsenal’s talents, with Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud all exchanging tight one-touch passes as they wove through the Norwich defense. Wilshere slipped through the back line to latch on to the end of the final ball from Giroud, using his right foot to knock it into the back of the net.
Arsenal were kind enough not to score any more during the first half, and by the last five minutes, Norwich finally came to life. Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer both saw their shots saved. It seemed like there might be hope for the visitors, after all.
Sure enough, the Canaries continued to pressure Arsenal after the break. Wojciech Szczesny saved another from Snodgrass, followed immediately by an attempt from Martin Olsson. But the Gunners seemed to thrive on that pressure. A quick counter attack saw Giroud flying up the right. He sent the ball into the middle where Mesut Ozil, after a great run down the left, was waiting. And, wonder of wonders, Ozil headed the ball into the back of the net for his first Premier League goal.
But, with 20 minutes left to play, Arsenal let down their guard and the visitors took advantage. Per Mertesacker failed to adequately clear a cross and Kieran Gibbs didn’t do quite enough to chase it down. Jonny Howson controlled it wonderfully before sending a low drive into the back of the net.
Yet Howson’s goal turned out to be a mere consolation, with Arsenal hitting back with two more of their own. The second was another beauty, this time from Aaron Ramsey. Receiving the ball from Wilshere, Ramsey executed not one but two dummies, throwing off the Norwich defense and leaving him clear on Ruddy’s goal.
Ramsey turned provider for the fourth and final goal. Tomas Rosicky, on for Cazorla, sent the cross over for Ramsey, who pulled it back beautifully for Ozil to fire in his second goal. Another lovely display of team work, and another reason why the other title challengers should feel very worried indeed.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini (Ramsey 37), Cazorla (Rosicky 59), Ozil, Giroud (Bendtner 78)
Subs not used: Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Jenkinson
Goals: Wilshere 18′, Ozil 58′, Ramsey 83′, Ozil 88′
Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Turner, Olsson; Tettey (Hoolahan 79), Fer, Howson; Snodgrass, Pilkington (Redmond 70), Hooper
Subs not used: Bunn, Whittaker, Johnson, Becchio, R Bennett
Goals: Howson 70′
- Now that it’s happening, MLS’s 20th season is sure to be the best one yet 2
- 2015 MLS season preview: Real Salt Lake 0
- 2015 MLS season preview: LA Galaxy 1
- 2015 MLS season preview: Portland Timbers 0
- PST predicts Major League Soccer’s 2015 standings; Do you agree? 8
- Premier League Playback: With 10 games to go, here’s how things stand 3