[Player Ratings] Arsenal 3-1 Norwich: Wilshere & Gervinho Poor But Lino Saves The Day
Arsenal came from behind to beat Norwich 3-1 on Saturday thanks to three late goals and some controversial decisions. Here are player ratings from the game.
We never make life easy for ourselves do we?! Arsenal didn’t get out of first gear until the 85th minute and it took a controversial penalty to get us back in the game. But we showed great heart to go on and collect the three points and with it, move up to third in the table.
The first half was as poor as I’ve seen from us this season and the visitors took the lead early in the second period after Turner headed home unchallenged from a free kick. However, it’s worth noting that Kamara was lucky to be awarded the free kick in the first place as it looked like he tripped himself. But it was awful defending from our part to allow Turner the freedom of the penalty box to head home.
The big controversial moment arrived in the 85th minute when Kamara was adjudged to have pulled Giroud down in the area. The ref, who was 10 yards away, didn’t give it but his assistant on the touchline put his flag up much to the bemusement of the Norwich players. Replay’s showed there was a bit of shirt-pulling and it was probably the correct decision, but you don’t often see them given so we were slightly fortunate on this occasion. Mikel Arteta made no mistake from the spot to make it 1-1 before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then put some urgency into the game with a lovely one-two with Giroud before his cross was turned into his own net by former Tottenham defender Bassong to make it 2-1.
We added a third in injury time when Podolski lashed home from the edge of the box but again we were lucky to see the goal given as Theo Walcott was offside in the build up, but again the same lino who gave the penalty failed to raise his flag.
It ended 3-1 and a vital three points were secured. Here are my player ratings from the game:
Fabianski – 7 – Could do nothing for the goal but made a great save just a minute after we got the second goal. Proved to be a vital moment in the game.
Sagna – 6 – Decent cross found Giroud who hit the bar in the first half but otherwise his attacking threat was minimal. Steady at the back but was booked for a silly foul in the first half. Subbed as we pushed for goals late on.
Vermaelen – 7 – Decent comeback from the captain. Made some timely interceptions but has to take part of the blame for the poor marking for their goal.
Koscielny – 7 – Very good in the first half but also has to take responsibility for Turner having a free header on the six yard line.
Gibbs – 6.5 – Terrible crossing today. Like Sagna, really needs to work on his delivery, but he was far more of a threat going forward and got in some promising positions.
Arteta – 6.5 – Steady and unspectacular. Didn’t really show any real urgency to get things moving in midfield.
Wilshere – 4.5 – Didn’t look fit at all. Was well below his usual standard of play. Have the feeling had Rosicky been fit Jack wouldn’t have started. Subbed early in the second half.
Ramsey – 7.5 – Arguably our best player. Very impressive first half and was one of the few who was really putting the effort in.
Gervinho – 4 – Old Gervinho was back. Soooo frustrating. Wasted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the first half when he was sent clear, rounded the keeper but took a heavy touch and the chance of a tap in was gone. Also wasted several other good opportunities where he did some good work only to ruin it with a poor final ball. Subbed early in the second half.
Cazorla – 7 – Best player in first half but faded a little in the second. Always eager to play a telling final ball but few came off today.
Giroud – 7 – Hit the bar with a header in 23rd min but his first half was hampered by poor hold-up play. Much better in the second period when he won the all-important penalty and forced Bassong into putting through his own net for the second.
Podolski – 7 – Unlucky to hit the bar with a fierce strike and sealed the win with a lovely late third.
Walcott – 6.5 – Made a positive impact with his pace and willingness to run behind causing the Norwich defence problem. Set up Poldi for the third.
Oxe – 7 – Vital impact from the bench as his excellent work lead to the second goal.
Special mention to Arsene Wenger. Great substitutions, especially the decision to move Ramsey to right back and bring the Oxe on. The three subs changed the game and ultimately won us the game. Although I would have liked to see Chambo brought on a little sooner.
So we’re up to third and have the chance to extend our lead to four points with a win over Everton on Tuesday. This was always going to be a vital week in the race for the top-four and we’ve got off to a great start….with a little help from a linesman.
What were your ratings from the game? Get involved in the comments section below.
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