Monday, November 21, 2011

Surging Gunners Cast Off Canaries, Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal

A dominant Arsenal side added to their winning streak and goal getting wonder Robin Van Persie added to his tally as the Dutchman's brace completed an exciting comeback at Carrow Road.  Newly promoted Norwich City have looked every bit a consistent, resilient Premier League veteran rather than a promotion side this season.  The East Anglia club are characterized by tradition and grit, proving their mettle so far in the current campaign.  However, for all their spirit and pluck, the Canaries were outdone by the Gunners as the world looked on in the first big football match since the international break.

Good show by the Canaries
As the fixture commenced, it was Arsenal who asserted themselves early.  Norwich were proud and gracious hosts, boasting a record-breaking attendance of 26,801, City's most impressive crowd in the modern era.  The Gunners spurned a host of early chances and the Canaries capitalized quickly.  At the quarter hour mark, City's Morison bundled over Per Mertesacker (no small feat!) in the penalty box and banged home a goal for the hosts.  Arsenal regained control of the match and Gervinho took turns with Van Persie testing the Norwich goalkeeper.  With a firery cross in the 27th minute, Theo Walcott put the ball into a mad mix in front of goal.  The Dutchman promptly side-footed the tap-in, then celebrated kn style practicing his golf swing with his Arsenal counterparts.  The pace was soon drawn from the game but Arsenal were still commanding the affair.  Gervinho would watch another driven effort fly wide as the visitors failed to capture the lead before the break.

The Dutchman proves too much
With only minutes gone from the second half, there was already a bag-full of would-be Arsenal goals.  With a touch more accuracy and composure, the Gunners might have accomplished an embarrassing rout.  On the hour, Ramsey was felled at center stage.  Making the most of the advantage played, Alex Song quickly converted to attack and helped his onrushing striker to an insightful through ball.  One on one, Van Persie drew the keeper just so before expertly chipping over a wonder goal that sealed the fate of the home side.  Norwich revived for a moment, sparking chances of their own, but ended the game on the back foot struggling to cope with Gervinho's repeated efforts on goal.

The Arsenal are firing at deadly pace and with Liverpool turning over the Blues Sunday at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, the Gunners, Liverpool, and the Spuds are level on points behind 'Toon and the Manchesters in the table.  Arsenal will need every bit of that form when they host Dortmund midweek in the Champions League.  The reigning German champs blanked the Bavarian giants, Bayern Munich one goal to nil at Allianz Arena over the weekend and will challenge Arsenal in every aspect of the game.  Wenger must keep his wits about him, knowing a win here will surely take the group and book their spot in the upper half of the next round.

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