Saturday, October 20, 2012

Norwich City 1-0 Arsenal: Holt strike sees off below-par Gunners and gives Hughton first win

The striker's early effort was enough to get past Arsenal, who were far from their fluent best at Carrow Road

Arsenal’s title hopes suffered a huge setback as they crashed to defeat at a vibrant Carrow Road.
And Norwich’s survival quest looked a more realistic
prospect than the Premier League trophy going on display at The Emirates after the heroics that brought their first win of the season.

Arsenal were confronted by a Norwich outfit showing more defensive steel than has been evident so far this season.
Clearly manager Chris Hughton has used the ­international break to work on organisation and they looked more solid than the side which ­capitulated at Chelsea.
Norwich played like the away team – tracking back, tackling with relish and defending for their lives. It smothered the creativity and momentum that has been the hallmark of ­Arsenal’s season. Santi Cazorla struggled to establish superiority in midfield while Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud were mastered by Michael Turner and Sebastien Bassong.And Norwich had Wes Hoolahan as their joker in the pack. Lively, inventive and a handful, he did to the Arsenal midfield what Cazorla has been doing to the opposition for Arsenal.
Watching the Dubliner in the stand was Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
The Italian is on the back foot these days after revelations that he rarely sees matches live and relies on satellite television and DVDs for his info. Hoolahan must now be in his thoughts.
Meanwhile, Grant Holt keeps making his case for a call-up by England. He is a handful, as Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen will testify. And he has an instinct for goals as he showed in the 18th minute when Norwich took the lead.
While Alex Tettey will take credit for his part in the goal, keeper Vito Mannone should have done better.
Tettey’s 20-yard shot was ­accurate and powerful – but instead of pushing the ball ­sideways, Mannone parried it back into the six-yard box and Holt reacted first.
Arsenal forced a series of ­corners but all came to nothing as John Ruddy – aided by Bassong and Turner – preserved Norwich’s lead at the interval.
There was more purpose to Arsenal’s play in the second half and Giroud had a chance when Ruddy pushed out a cross from Carl Jenkinson but the Frenchman hooked wide.
Norwich were as determined as they were in the opening 45 minutes and harangued Arsenal. Cazorla dropped deep to ensure more possession but Arsenal struggled to make clear-cut chances and Norwich continued to look ­dangerous on the break.
There was a chance for Arsenal in the 63rd minute when Giroud headed a Mikel Arteta cross into the path of Gervinho but his header was tame – unlike the effort from Holt 15 minutes later which Mannone was grateful to see flash just wide.
Arsenal’s problems deepened in the 73rd minute when
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain limped off nine minutes after coming on for the ineffective Podolski and was replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

With 10 minutes left, Holt capitalised on a mistake by ­Vermaelen but his finish was weak. Arsene Wenger threw on 17-year-old German Serge ­Gnabry but the frustration ­continued as Ruddy saved a
20-yard shot from Arteta.

нар by footyroom Source :