Arsenal gave a 5-star performance on Sunday against the struggling Norwich City. Both teams are at two different ends of the table and the match result further cemented their respective positions. The Canaries extended their record of most Premier League games without a Boxing Day win, ever (D1, L7), while the Gunners scored 4+ goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2009.
Arteta’s men completed their 1st round of Premier League games with an excellent 5-0 win and will start the new year with the return fixture against Manchester City at home. The win at Carrow Road will be a great confidence booster going into the second half of the season alongside being in the top-four.
Norwich City were already on a poor defensive record, without a win in their last six games and Arsenal took full advantage. The visitors made the necessary changes to their squad to cope with the ongoing Covid situation. Bukayo Saka served as the greatest threat against the hosts, scoring 2 goals, one in each half. Tierney’s attacking performance was also rewarded with a well-deserved goal in the first half.
5 – Arsenal's 5-0 win at Norwich was their joint-heaviest margin of victory in an away @premierleague match, level with 6-1 victories at Middlesbrough in April 1999 and Everton in August 2009. Rampage. pic.twitter.com/fYLn1UQjKy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2021
Meanwhile, Lacazette converted a spot-kick in the 84th min, before Emile Smith Rowe completed the rampage with a deflected shot. The Gunners displayed a solid authoritative performance, taking 16 shots on goal and finishing the game with 65% possession. Let us examine how each Arsenal player fared on Sunday.
Arsenal Player Ratings Against Norwich City
Aaron Ramsdale (6.5): Norwich City had very little to challenge the in-form Arsenal keeper. He will be very happy with the clean sheet, his ninth this season so far. His distribution of the ball from the back was good, even on a wet pitch.
Ben White (7): The versatile defender played at RB on Sunday, filling in for Tomiyasu who was sidelined due to Covid. Nevertheless, White was solid on the ball as usual, despite playing out of his position and did well to keep his wing trouble-free.
Rob Holding (7): Arsenal’s EFL Cup captain was called to fill in as the centre-back and he performed decently. Holding proved to be a good rotational player for the backline, at least against minnows. Defensive communication was clearly visible as the team kept structure during the opposition attacks.
Gabriel Magalhaes (7.5): With White moving to the right flank and a new partner in the heart of the defence, Gabriel raised his game accordingly. He dominated the aerial duels and kept Norwich attackers quiet throughout the game.
Kieran Tierney (8.5): The Scottish international showed his class on Sunday with his attacking runs on the left flank. Defended the left side of the field well and his forward movements were of great concern for the opposition. Capped his performance with a goal in the first half.
Gabriel Martinelli (7.5): Martinelli was unlucky not to get a goal against the Canaries. He was instrumental and energetic throughout the game. His linkup plays with Tierney and the Arsenal frontline highlighted his class. He showed why he is an asset to the team at both ends of the pitch.
Thomas Partey (7): Partey had his best game of the season so far. He is now starting to enjoy his role on the pitch and his partnership with Xhaka is beginning to bloom. The Ghanian midfielder also could have been on the scoresheet had he converted an “unexpected” corner from Saka in the first half.
Granit Xhaka (7): He was accurate with the ball and his ball possession was excellent throughout the game. Controlled the game well from the midfield and looks to challenge for captaincy again. He was involved in pushing and shoving the opposition wherever possible on the ground but was unlucky to get booked for a clean challenge.
Bukayo Saka (9): Both of Bukayo’s goals were beautifully struck and the youngster will certainly be happy to be on the scoresheet after missing out in recent games. He was a constant threat for the hosts with his attacking runs.
Martin Odegaard (9): Martin Odegaard was the actual star performer for the Gunners. He made most of the plays for his teammates. His vision and passing made the game so easy for the Gunners. Although he couldn’t score a goal, he was involved in nearly all of them.
Alexandre Lacazette (7.5): Lacazette put his name on the scoresheet by converting the penalty. In open plays, he was more active in passing the ball for the finish rather than finishing the move himself, but overall, he had a good outing. He now has established himself as the primary striker for the team and might consider extending his stay for a season at least.
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Mohamed Elneny (6): Came on for Partey in the 75th min of the game. He had very little to do as the game was already in Arsenal’s control. But still, kept his composure and secured his area of operation well.
Nicolas Pepe (5): Substituted in for Saka in the 78th min. Arteta provided Pepe with an opportunity, but the player failed to capitalise on it, with ESR scoring the rebound goal.
Emile Smith Rowe (8): Replaced Martinelli in the 82nd minute of the game. Generally, players don’t get high ratings for such a short period but Smith Rowe proved to be a super-sub, assisting Lacazette for a goal (for penalty), before scoring in the dying minutes of the game himself. Three goals in three consecutive Premier League games for the midfielder.
Do you agree with the given player ratings from the Norwich City vs Arsenal game? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below.
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