A satisfactory night for Arsenal, who played well in passages. Norwich, though, dominated for 20 minutes in the second half, but it was too late.
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A satisfactory night for Arsenal, who played well in passages. Norwich, though, dominated for 20 minutes in the second half, but it was too late.
Full match report and player ratings 👇
Full-time: Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City
But he whacks it high and wide.
Pepe really fancies the free-kick...
Nketiah impresses me more every time I see him, and he chases away from Stierpermann, who fouls him and is booked.
There'll be three added minutes.
I've gone for Ceballos because he controlled the game when it was in the balance, and Aubameyang's goals were gifts.
Chris Sutton gives man of the match to Aubameyang. I see that, but I've gone for Ceballos.
Aarons finds space down the right and looks inside for Idah, but Holding gets in front of him.
Pepe has a run at Lewis chucking a few stepovers, but they get him naewhere.
Vrancic fouls Willock and is booked.
Lovely from Nketiah, escaping a challenge and staying on his feet to feed Willock, who drives ferociously, only just wide.
No hat-trick for Aubameyang, who's replaced by Pepe.
GOAL! Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City (Cedric) What a signing! A Ceballos corner is only half-cleared, and just outside the box, Cedric takes a touch then takes aim, lashing a goalbound shot that takes a deflection and whooshes past Krul.
This game is dying a death.
Bournemouth look doomed. They're now 4-0 down at home to Newcastle, who made a lot of changes for this game.
Arsenal withdraw Lacazette and Bellerin, bringing on Nketiah and Cedric, who makes his debut for the club.
Two changes for Norwich, Stiperman and Vrancic replacing Cantwell and Rupp.
Cantwell pokes the ball away from Luiz, his other leg hits his man, and they both go down, both fine.
At Goodison, Leicester are right on top of Everton. It took hitting rock bottom to get them playing again, but they appear to be now.
Arsenal are back in the ascendancy now.
Aubemeyang is so reliable.
Norwich have proper handed Arsenal two goals.
GOAL! Arsenal 3-0 Norwich City (Aubameyang) Oh dear oh dear. Norwich have a throw deep inside their own half, the ball falls to Drmic, and he squares from touchline into own box, directly to Aubameyang, who takes a touch and easily sweeps past Krul. Norwich have done really well since half-time, but now they're absolutely finished.
Aubameyang gets away, and curls over the top and across the box for Lacazette, who tries to lay back for Willock. Off balance, he can't quite manage it, but Willock picks up the piecrs and lashes over the bar.
Norwich have had 66% possession this half.
Some throw-ins back and forth.
Cantwell canters about giving passes and taking them back, forcing Tierney to see Drmic away.
Arsenal have done almost nothing this half, while Norwich have been very good.
Cantwell gets ahead of Kolasinac and cuts across him; obviously Kolasinac lummoxes into him, and the ref says no penalty, then looks at VAR. I thought it was a foul even though Cantwell made sure he got caught, but was also outside the box ... but Mike Dean sees no offence.
I like Willock. His passing needs work, but he can carry the ball and run past the strikers. There's a lot to work with.
Willock replaces Nelson.
Almiron has made it Bournemouth 0-3 Newcastle. Bournemouth are in a terrible moment, and go to Old Trafford on Saturday.
First bit of Arsenal this half, sending Bellerin in behind again. But his footwork isn't quite good enough, allowing Hernandez, who's a winger not a wong-back, to come back at him.
But Cantwell is playing really high up the pitch in midfield, and that's helping Norwich get decent possession in the Arsenal half.
Norwich have moved to 3-5-2 I think, and it's working.
Norwich are playing really well now, and Idah flicks off to Hernandez, who cuts inside then absolutely marmalises a shot that screeches only just over the bar.
Elsewhere, Iheanacho has pulled a goal bacl for Leicester, who trail Everton 2-1; Newcastle are 2-0 up at Bournemouth ... and Ashley Young and Alexis Sanchez have scored for Inter!
Idah turns away from Luiz and the ball is fired into him - that was sharp - so Luiz fouls him, only for McClean to flight the free-kick over the by-line.
The way he took the ball there, then got a dig away, was expert. Norwich and Ireland think Idah is really good; i wonder if he starts next season.
And here's Idah, taking the ball nicely to set himself for a left-footed shot ... and he catches, that, clumping it with no backlift ... but Martinez makes another good save.
Arsenal make one change, Holding replacing Mustafi, and Norwich make three, Pukki, Buendia and Trybull going off and Drmic, Hernandez and Idah coming on. I'm really looking forward to seeing the second and third of those.
Off we go again.
Half-time: Arsenal 2-0 Norwich City
Norwich win a free-kick 25 yards out, just right of centre. McClean fancies it, and curls an absolute pearler over the wall ... but Martinez flies towards the top corner and shoves it behind! Excellent effort, excellent save.
There'll be two added minutes.
Arsenal have played fairly well here. They started with good energy, didn't get discouraged when the early goal didn't come, then eventually forced the issue. Norwich, though, are not only not good but are playing into their hands by leaving so much space in midfield.
Chris Sutton is rhapsodising Tierney, which is a good sign - he'll have seen a lot more of him than me. He also notes his personality, and says he'll be a huge success in England.
It's great to see Tierney enjoying himself. He impressed me every time I saw him for Celtic. I wondered how high his top level is, but I didn't wonder at all about his mentality, which is top-notch.
This is so over.
LOVELY GOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Norwich City (Xhaka) David Luiz zones a lovely ball out to Tierney, who plays behind Aarons for Aubameyang. Racing onto it, he flicks a square pass with the outside of his foot into the middle, for Xhaka to joyfully thump home his first goal of the season. in a front room somewhere in England, Peter Drury shouted "REDEMPTION!"
Norwich haven't won a single point from behind this season. That is miserable.
Sweetheart, you're Tim Krul.
That's an absolute mare, it really is.
GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Norwich City (Aubameyang) Ahahahahahaha! Krul dallies on a backpass then tries to let it run across him, foxing Aubameyang with his glorious footwork and perspicacity. In his imagination. Back on the pitch, Aubameyang robs him easily and slides into the empty net.
Rupp has a kick-slide at Ceballos and is booked.
He hits it, golf club-style, and the ball does loads, but it bounces nicely in front of Krul, who watches it all the way into his arms.
Arsenal win a free-kick 30 yards out, fairly central ... "David Luiz territory"!
Tierney drills crossfield for Ceballos, who touches off nicely for Nelson, first time. But the cross is just too high for Aubameyang at the far post.
Ceballos nicks a yard off McClean, allowing the ball past for him to run onto, so McClean brings him down and is booked.
The crowd noise is comically late.
And that's ... drinks.
Lacazette slugs towards the Norwich box then runs into trouble, but the ball breaks to the ubiquitous Ceballos, who curves a delicious centre directly to the aforementioned Lacazette. He should go across goal but instead tries for the near post, and Krul catches his header easily enough. Good chance.
OH MY ABSOLUTE DAYS! Trybull squares for Godfrey, 35 yards from goal, and with no one near him he takes a touch, THEN EXPLODES INTO A DRIVE THAT SMASHES THE POST, TWO-THIRDS OF THE WAY UP! What an effort that was - "he caught it beautiful" - but what can you do.
Norwich need to get closer to Ceballos, who's running this game. Again he slides a pass in behind the Norwich defence and Nelson runs onto it, flipping a cross towards Aubameyang. But there's no pace on the ball, so the resultant header is easily saved by Krul.
Arsenal have Norwich pinned back, though they've not created much so far - just that Aubameyang shot and the shot that Bellerin eschewed.
At Goodison, VAR gave a penalty for an arm up from a corner - when you're luck's out it's out - and Gylfi Sigurdsson put Everton 2-0 up. Poor old Brendan.
Again, Ceballos sets Bellerin away down the right. This time there's too much on the pass so the ball runs into touch, but Norwich need to get onto this because they won't keep getting away with it.
On which point I think Arsenal are playing 3-4-3, with Nelson on the right of the attack.
There's a lot of space in midfield here.
Richarlison, though. If I was managing one of the clubs above Everton and was also looking for a centre-forward, he'd be one of the first names on my list - if he's brought along, he'll develop into a real player because the raw materials are there.
Elsewhere, Newcastle are 1-0 up at Bournemouth, Dwight Gayle with the goal, and Everton lead Leicester courtesy of Richarlison. Leicester are in all sorts.
Ceballos is looking dangerous - he's getting so much space - and he slides forward for Xhaka, who finds Aubameyang. Chopping towards goal from the left, he opens his body, Henry-style, only to punch his shot into Krul's chest.
Ceballos gets the ball deep and threads a luscious pass inside Lewis for Bellerin - this time Tettey can't intercept. So Bellerin cuts into the box but when he should shoot he opts to take another touch to give a square ball, and this time Tettey is there.
Krul kicks long and Trybull gets a flick ... for a second it looks like he's sent Pukki through, but he needs at least 50 yards to be caught within a stride.
Mustafi tries to lift a ball into space behind the Norwich defence for Bellerin, but Tettey reads it well and kicks clear.
All the play so far has been in the Norwich half.
And Tierney's been lively so far; going down the left for a third time before being crowded out.
Ah, I assumed it'd be Kolasinac at wing-back and Tierney at left centre-back, but it's the other way around.
I'm looking forward to seeing Reiss Nelson, who I think could be really useful utility player for Arsenal. But in the meantime, Tierney gets to the line and crosses low ... but Tettey clears.
The players take a knee, and it's still so powerful. There's no way this can't be cutting thorough in some way.
There'll be a minute to remember Theo Foley, Arsenal's former assistant manager, who died last week, those who died of corona, and to thank the NHS.
Followed by Arsenal.
Out come Norwich.
What I'm saying is it's hard to see how Arsenal fail to win here. But if Norwich can get at them early, you never know.
I'm not sure where Arteta's going with Aubameyang and Lacazette up front. Chances are neither are at Arsenal next season, and while they do need to win because financially, no European football would be a problem, it's the bottom team at home.
Dean Ashton is on BT at the moment, wearing an extremely curious Norwich top. What a player he was, one of the great lost talents.
Norwich have 21 points after 31 matches. The fewest points a team has had after 32 fixtures of a Premier League season and gone on to avoid relegation is 24 by Fulham in 2007/08 (stayed up on goal difference).
Norwich have been relegated from the Premier League four times (1994/95, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2015/16), a joint-record alongside Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.
Norwich lost all 18 Premier League fixtures this season when they conceded the opening goal.
Norwich are one short of 100 Premier League away defeats (W31-D43-L99).
The Canaries won only one of their 15 Premier League away matches this campaign (W1-D3-L11), a 2-0 victory at Everton on 23 November. Their most recent competitive away fixture was a 1-0 league defeat at Sheffield United on 7 March.
Norwich failed to score in six of their last seven Premier League fixtures. The only exception in that run was when Jamal Lewis netted in a 1-0 home victory against Leicester City on 28 February.
Norwich have netted six Premier League away goals this season. The PL record for fewest away goals in a single campaign is eight by Middlesbrough (1995/96), Southampton (1998/99), Sheffield United (2006/07) and Derby County (2007/08).
Teemu Pukki (11) and Todd Cantwell (6) are the only players to have scored multiple Premier League goals for Norwich this campaign.
Pukki has scored four of Norwich's six Premier League away goals this season. The other two were netted by Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny. In January, Srbeny left the Canaries to rejoin SC Paderborn and has since been relegated from the Bundesliga.
Tim Krul's first Premier League appearance against Arsenal was a 1-0 Premier League win for Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on 7 November 2010. He has conceded 12 goals in his three PL away matches versus the Gunners since (all for the Magpies), including a 7-3 defeat on 29 December 2012.
STATS STATS STATS from our pals at Gracenote:
Arsenal have 43 points after 31 Premier League matches, 20 points fewer than they had at this stage of last season (63). It is the Gunners' lowest points tally after 31 fixtures of a PL campaign since 1994/95 (40).
Only one club that begins matchround 32 below Arsenal (ninth) in the Premier League table has beaten the Gunners in the PL this campaign: Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls defeated them home and away.
This is Arsenal's first competitive fixture at Emirates Stadium since a 1-0 Premier League win against West Ham United on 7 March. All four of the Gunners' competitive matches since have been away fixtures (including a FA Cup quarter-final at Sheffield United on 28 June).
Arsenal have lost five home matches in all competitions this season. The most competitive defeats the Gunners have suffered at Emirates Stadium in a single campaign is six in 2012/13 and 2015/16.
Arsenal won four of their five Premier League home fixtures in 2020 (W4-D1-L0), after they were victorious in only three of their 10 league home matches this campaign before the turn of the year (W3-D4-L3).
Arsenal (W7-D5-L3) lost more than three Premier League home matches in only one of the last 22 seasons: 2010/11 (W11-D4-L4).
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 49 goals in 78 Premier League appearances. There are five players who have reached 50 PL goals in fewer than 80 PL appearances: Andy Cole (65), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Fernando Torres (72) and Mohamed Salah (72).
Thierry Henry (83) holds the Arsenal Premier League record for fewest appearances to reach 50 PL goals for the club.
Aubameyang has failed to score in four consecutive league appearances for the first time since a run of five for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga from October to November 2014.
Alexandre Lacazette has netted 15 of his last 16 Premier League goals at Emirates Stadium, including each of the last 10.
Mikel Arteta won four of his five Premier League appearances as an Arsenal player against Norwich (W4-D0-L1), including victories at Emirates Stadium on 13 April 2013 (3-1, he scored a penalty) and 19 October 2013 (4-1).
Choking up here.
Can there be a better pair of full-back names than Cedric and Hector?
If Arsenal win there they go from 10th to 7th, for a little while at least - if Spurs win at Sheffield United in the second round of games, they'll go back in front, but Arsenal will at least have leapfrogged Burnley.
I went to Norwich once, and Ryan Giggs scored the winner in the last seconds. We're outside the ground and suddenly my 63-year-old dad gets involved in verbals with some home fans. He then tries to make his getaway and falls arse over tit onto the pavement.
As for Norwich, they'll want to hit Arsenal out wide, by sending their full-backs forward. On the left, Kolasinac can't defend at all, and if Tierney is dragged out the middle to help, suddenly there's space for Pukki and Cantwell to attack.
I'm kind of surprised Bakayo Saka isn't starting tonight. Maybe I'm just disappointed - he's a brilliant player, never mind a brilliant talent - but he must be on a buzz having just signed a contract, and I'm surprised Arteta doesn't want to harness that, in any case but especially given how unreliable his team are.
And, of course, Mesut Ozil is also missing. Giving him that contract was a glorious piece of bad business, though you'll note that whoever made the call will carry on as normal.
Of all the players in the league, I'd say Guendouzi has the biggest gap between how good he is and how good he thinks he is.
That Arsenal team, then. Arteta seems committed to rotating, which is understandable in a way. But he's had a whole half-season to find his best system and team and, this close to the end, does he actually know what that is? I know he wants to protect his players, but how can they build confidence, momentum and familiarity if they're never allowed to settle? And five defenders for Norwich at home? I don't know.
As for Norwich, they're as good as down, and they players likely to schlep them back up - Aarons, Lewis, Buendia, Cantwell - are also likely to have others offers. However they played pretty well at the weekend, and if they attack Arsenal with confidence, there's joy to be had against their defence.
Arsenal, then. Mikel Arteta has an absolute brute of a job - he has some good young players, a load of not so good old ones he'll struggle to shift, and not much money to find the class that's currently missing. Though he has phenomenal hair, he has no managerial pedigree whatsoever, so will inevitably make mistakes while he learns what to do. In the meantime, the teams Arsenal want to catch will pull further away, which is to say it'll take a load to make the competitive again, and it's not easy to see how that happens.
Let's have some teams innit.
Evening all, and welcome to Arsenal v Norwich City!