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Norwich City 1-1 Arsenal

By James GheerbrantBBC Sport
Lewis Grabban finishes past Petr Cech
Lewis Grabban has not lost in any of the last 24 games in which he has scored

Arsenal missed the chance to draw level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table after Lewis Grabban's equaliser earned a point for Norwich.

The Gunners were gifted the lead when John Ruddy's poor clearance allowed Alexis Sanchez to set up Mesut Ozil.

But the visitors were pegged back by Grabban, who received Robbie Brady's defence-splitting pass and held off the challenge of Gabriel to fire in.

Injuries to Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez deepened Arsenal's woes.

We were a bit jaded, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Centre-back Koscielny was forced off in the first half with a hip injury, while forward Sanchez hobbled off after the interval with an apparent hamstring problem.

The Gunners are now two points off the lead in fourth and manager Arsene Wenger may come under renewed pressure to bolster his squad in January to sustain their title challenge.

Norwich, meanwhile, remain 16th but will be buoyed by a display full of heart and determination.

Rusty Ruddy costs Canaries

An evening that could ultimately prove damaging to their title aspirations started well for Arsenal as Ruddy's error gave them a deserved lead.

Before the match, the England goalkeeper had addressed criticism of some recent indifferent performances, saying: "I don't think I have been as good [this season] as I have been previously, but form is temporary."

But his hopes of earning Norwich just a second clean sheet in 14 matches were dashed as he scuffed a clearance to Gary O'Neil.

Sanchez nipped in to dispossess the Norwich captain and threaded a through-ball to Ozil, who clipped a deft first-time finish over the goalkeeper.

Ozil influential as injuries bite

Mesut Ozil pass map
Ozil completed 67 of 68 passes, despite making many of them in advanced positions

The Germany midfielder has now had a hand in 13 goals in his last 12 league games, with 11 assists and two efforts of his own.

But his well-taken goal was just one facet of a hugely impressive performance, in which he misplaced only one of his 68 passes despite making 57 of them in the Norwich half.

And the 27-year-old could be an increasingly important figure in the coming weeks following the injuries to Koscielny and Sanchez.

The Chilean's loss would be particularly keenly felt as he is Arsenal's joint top-scorer in all competitions this season, with nine goals.

Arsenal face a must-win Champions League encounter against Olympiakos on 9 December and Wenger will be counting on Ozil to shoulder extra responsibility in midfield if Sanchez is ruled out.

Defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin is expected to be out for three months after suffering ligament damage, while Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are also sidelined.

Norwich deepen Arsenal's November pain

November is statistically Arsenal's worst month under Wenger - they average just 1.6 points a game - and once again their title chase has stuttered in the penultimate month of the year.

The Gunners have taken only two points from three matches, having previously drawn with Tottenham and lost at West Brom.

But, in truth, they were perhaps fortunate to leave Carrow Road with even a point as Alex Neil's side created the clearer chances following the goals.

Wes Hoolahan fired over at the back post from a superb whipped cross from Andre Wisdom, and Jonny Howson volleyed over from a corner after Petr Cech brilliantly kept out Gabriel's inadvertent back-header.

Man of the match - Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil
The German midfielder had five shots and completed 98.5% of his passes

What they said

Norwich manager Alex Neil: "We conceded the first goal and at that point I thought we had pressed the self-destruct button, but we showed great character to get back into the game.

Norwich showed great character - Neil

"In the second half we started a bit slow and invited Arsenal onto us, but as the half wore on I thought we were the better team.

"Getting the balance right for us was important. At the start of the season we played well but weren't solid enough. Then we became more solid but didn't have enough quality going forward. I thought we got a better balance today."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "In the second-half Norwich had good chances and we were playing against a team that is physically clever, they defended deep to catch us on the counter attack and we were a bit jaded, not as sharp as usual.

"The quality of the performance was below what we can do offensively."

The stats you need to know

  • Arsenal have conceded six of their 12 goals this season in the 15-minute period before half time.
  • Mesut Ozil has had a hand in 10 of Arsenal's 14 Premier League goals since 4 October (two goals, eight assists).
  • Norwich have managed only one clean sheet in the Premier League this season, a joint league-low total (alongside Bournemouth).
  • Lewis Grabban has not ended up on the losing side in any of the last 24 games in which he has scored (W19 D5) for Norwich and former club Bournemouth - the last time he lost a game in which he scored was back in October 2013.

What's next?

Arsenal host Sunderland next Saturday, while Norwich visit Watford.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Ruddy
  • 3Wisdom
  • 24Bennett
  • 6Bassong
  • 23Olsson
  • 28O'NeilBooked at 57mins
  • 18Dorrans
  • 8HowsonSubstituted forRedmondat 71'minutes
  • 14HoolahanSubstituted forOdjidja-Ofoeat 85'minutes
  • 12Brady
  • 7GrabbanSubstituted forJeromeat 85'minutes


  • 5Martin
  • 9Mbokani
  • 10Jerome
  • 13Rudd
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 22Redmond
  • 32Odjidja-Ofoe


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6KoscielnySubstituted forGabrielat 11'minutes
  • 18Monreal
  • 20Flamini
  • 19CazorlaBooked at 54mins
  • 16RamseySubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 72'minutes
  • 11Özil
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forCampbellat 60'minutes
  • 12Giroud


  • 2Debuchy
  • 5Gabriel
  • 13Ospina
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Chambers
  • 28Campbell
  • 54Reine Adelaide
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamNorwichAway TeamArsenal
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Norwich City 1, Arsenal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, Arsenal 1.

  3. Post update

    Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Norwich City).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Nacho Monreal.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Sebastien Bassong.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Cameron Jerome replaces Lewis Grabban.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe replaces Wes Hoolahan.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mathieu Flamini.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Graham Dorrans (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Aaron Ramsey.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Nathan Redmond replaces Jonny Howson.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Howson (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ryan Bennett with a headed pass following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Petr Cech.

  17. Post update

    Offside, Norwich City. Robbie Brady tries a through ball, but Lewis Grabban is caught offside.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Héctor Bellerín tries a through ball, but Joel Campbell is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gary O'Neil (Norwich City) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Wes Hoolahan following a corner.

As It Stood

1Man City1492330141629
3Man Utd1484220101028
7Crystal Palace147161914522
8West Ham146442521422
13West Brom145361318-518
20Aston Villa1412111227-155
View full Premier League table

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