Norwich v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: May 11, 2014 3.00 PM BST
Arsenal travelled to Carrow Road for their final Premier League game of the season today, the penultimate game of the Gunners’ season finishing in yet another win. An Aaron Ramsey wonderstrike and Carl Jenkinson’s first Premier League goal proving the difference in the 2-0 win.
There were a number of surprises in the Arsenal starting lineup, one of the main ones being Fabianski in goal. Does this mean that Szczesny will be between the sticks for the FA Cup final?
It was fairly subdued in the opening exchanges, Norwich looking like a team that had accepted its fate, and Arsenal appearing surprisingly nervous considering how little was at stake. Wenger’s men were dominating possession as was to be expected, but there was very little penetration in the early stages.
Fabianki was called into action to save a Redmond long shot, the Pole palming behind to safety. That was the most action he saw for a while, with everything happening in the Norwich half after that.
John Ruddy was the Canaries’ saviour, denying Lukas Podolski from close range after good work from Giroud. The Frenchman then saw chances of his own kept out by the England hopeful, a clever one-two resulting in another close range shot, and some excellent hold up followed by a curling effort on the turn, acrobatically palmed away.
We went in to the break goalless, with surely more to come from the second half; and less than ten minutes in Arsenal were in front. More good hold up play from Giroud drew several defenders in, allowing the forward to pick out Aaron Ramsey with a pin point cross. The Welsh Jesus struck a sumptuous volley across goal, the ball flying off his boot like a rocket, right into the top corner and out of Ruddy’s reach. 1-0 Arsenal.
The travelling Arsenal fans were roaring in the stands, and didn’t have to wait long for a second goal. Kieran Gibbs raced towards the byline, cutting back for Lukas Podolski in the box. The German’s shot was blocked, and rolled into the path of Carl Jenkinson; the young right back scrambling a shot towards goal. It was deflected as it travelled, wrong footing Ruddy and bobbling into the bottom corner. 2-0 Arsenal, Jenkinson getting his first goal for the Gunners.
It was fairly routine from then on, Arsenal seemingly content to see out the game, while Norwich weren’t posing much of a threat. In the final quarter of the game the home side seemed to liven up a bit, but Fabianski, Sagna and Koscielny stood strong at the back. The Polish keeper did well to block a shot from late substitute, Jamar Loza, as well as racing out quickly to beat Robert Snodgrass to a loose ball. There was one panicky moment for the Gunners, when a fantastic low cross was put in with several yellow shirts in the box. None of them could make a proper connection though, and Fabianski again had the last say.
The Norwich fans could be heard in the dying moments of the game, singing “We’re going down in a minute!”. While the Arsenal fans were clearly looking ahead to the FA Cup final next weekend.
on Ramsey’s goal…
It was a great goal and a convincing win for us. We wanted to finish the job well and not concede. We have won 11 games away from home, I think it’s the best in the Premier League and it was our 17th clean sheet – that is remarkable as well. We just wanted to finish the season well and we did it in a serious way so it’s a good basis to prepare for the FA Cup final next Saturday.
on Jenkinson’s first goal for Arsenal…
I’m happy for him because he’s a remarkable player and boy as well. He could share that with our fans so it’s great for him.
on the goalkeeper for the final…
There is one week [away], it’s possible that Lukasz [Fabianski] plays. But I haven’t picked the team for next Saturday yet.
on Wilshere and Diaby returning…
Diaby has been out for a year and Jack [Wilshere] for eight weeks. It was good to have an opportunity to give them some competition. Training is training and competition is competition – it was important for both of them.
on Wilshere playing ahead of the England squad announcement…
The World Cup is in one month so there is plenty of time. He can play now so it shows you that there is no problem for him to be available for England.
on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness…
The news is good. He should reintegrate into the squad on Wednesday in normal training.
on the Ox being available for selection for England…
He will be available for Roy [Hodgson] to pick him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was picked.
on seeing his players going to the World Cup without much football…
If the players are not injured. Players like Oxlade-Chamberlain are not overplayed, they can absorb competition to come back and need minimal rest before they start competition next year. I’m not too worried for that. The only danger for us is if the player is not medically fit. But I trust the medical team in England if they travel. I think they have their first camp in Portugal and they will know after that.
on Man City winning the league…
At the top, everybody who wins it can say they deserve to win it. Man City were just getting over the line without the brilliance they had shown at the start of the season but they had experience, quality and congratulations to them. They came a little bit from behind because they had three games in hand at some stage. But they managed to win these games. I believe the turning point was the Everton game, when they won this game you knew now that they are over the line.
on finishing with 79 points being progress…
Yes, unfortunately it’s the first time in the Premier League that you finish fourth with 79 points and it was very tight. I believe that Liverpool can be frustrated tonight, we can be frustrated, Chelsea can be frustrated because only one team can win it. But at the top the number of points made by all the four teams is top quality.
Here are some of the top tweets from today’s game:
“Giroud is playing amazingly today.”
“Amazing goal from Ramsey, even Norwich fans are applauding. Take a bow son.”
“Away end been fantastic today. Non stop singing and positive singing. Let’s take this to Wembley. #arsenal
” ‘We’re going down in a minute’ sing the Norwich fans.
Follow AllArsenal at @AllArsenalNews
Jenkinson Sagna Koscielny Gibbs
Be sure to check out our Arsenal Video Highlights page to view highlights of recent matches! A link is also at the top of the article.