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sabato 20 ottobre 2012

Arsenal: Mannone's mistake gives Norwich shock win!

Arsene Wenger accused his players of lacking what is required to make a top team as struggling Norwich outfought and outsmarted Arsenal to climb out of the bottom three. Grant Holt’s 19th-minute goal was enough to clinch the Canaries’ first win of the season and a first victory in 13 matches against the Gunners. For Arsene Wenger, this was his first blip of the season. Sadly, though, it appears any hopes Arsenal have of challenging for the title are already disappearing.

Wenger cannot afford his team to deliver too many performances like this. And goalkeeper Vito Mannone, only playing because of injuries to Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, cannot make many more mistakes like the one which led to the winner Wenger refused to criticise his goalkeeper. ‘We don’t blame Mannone because other players made mistakes, too,’ said the Frenchman. ‘We had to put it behind us and come up with a better performance.’

Arsenal had one opportunity before the break following a fine pass from Mikel Arteta but Gervinho hopelessly wasted the chance as he failed to kick the ball properly. The Gunners’ best chance came fell to Olivier Giroud. But with his back to goal he collapsed on the ground in a heap.

Hughton had clearly worked hard on improving his defence and the team responded with a hard-working, disciplined display to deny Arsenal space and limited their celebrated visitors to a handful of chances. John Ruddy, in fact, had a quiet night, pulling off an important save near the end when, unlike Mannone, he safely gathered in Mikel Arteta’s fierce low drive. When Gervinho finally found space in the penalty area, Sebastien Bassong flung himself to make a crucial blocking tackle. Nothing would go right for Arsenal, for whom Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud looked sluggish, and their miserable night was compounded when England forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain limped off with a bruised hip nine minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Norwich: Ruddy, Russell Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Elliott Bennett (Snodgrass 79), Johnson, Hoolahan (Ryan Bennett 90), Tettey, Pilkington, Holt (Morison 90). Subs not used: Rudd, Howson, Jackson, Surman. Booked: Johnson, Hoolahan, Holt,Turner.

Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Ramsey (Gnabry 83), Arteta, Cazorla, Gervinho,Giroud, Podolski (Oxlade-Chamberlain 65), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arshavin 74). Subs not used: Martinez, Wilshere, Djourou,Coquelin.

Goals: Holt 19.

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