Norwich 0 – 2 Arsenal
Arsenal’s fourth place trophy had been won, but a trip to relegated side Norwich was still on the cards ahead of the FA Cup Final.
With nothing much to play for either side, the first half was pretty dire.
Arsenal weren’t creating much, and Norwich looked like a side preparing for Championship football.
Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud had chances, but Ruddy was having a good day between the sticks.
The second half is where the action happened.
Arsenal started to slowly liven up, and by the fifty-third minute, they managed to break through Norwich’s defences.
Olivier Giroud picked up the ball in the box, and lofted across the danger area to Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman surprised everybody by smashing the ball into the far top corner, giving Ruddy no chance. It was a spectacular finish.
[Ramsey] surprised everybody by smashing the ball into the far top corner, giving Ruddy no chance. It was a spectacular finish.
The Gunners continued to energize following Ramsey’s goal, and their lead was soon doubled as a result.
Podolski had a shot blocked in the box in the sixty-second minute, which fell to Jenkinson in front of goal. The life-long Gunner must have been over the Moon when he finished off the move by putting the ball in the bottom corner. His first goal for the club.
The rest of the game was played out calmly by both sides. Norwich had accepted their fate, and Arsenal were happy with a two-goal lead.
Abou Diaby eventually came on, ending a fourteen-month injury spell. It was great to see him back before the FA Cup final, and he’ll now hopefully get a full pre-season under his belt in preparation for next season.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Got a start ahead of the FA Cup today – which could mean many things in fairness. Made a couple of good saves, distributed well. Didn’t have much to do overall.
Defended well overall, got forward a great deal and got himself a cheeky goal. Definitely needs a season out on loan though, just doesn’t look as comfortable on the ball as he should at the moment.
Sagna: [8/10] – MOTM
Slot into the centre back position today with Mertesacker rested, and he played brilliantly. Bacary won header after header and made plenty of good tackles.
A relaxed game for Koscielny overall, although I thought he could have closed down shots a little better around the box. Other than that, solid.
Got himself forward often, but didn’t really do much when he got there. Showed one or two great touched though. Defended well.
Defended well and passed as he usually does. Norwich’s midfield gave him an easy time in the middle.
Didn’t have a particularly great game overall, but his goal was something else. He connected with the ball perfectly, putting it right into the top corner with speed. Perhaps had one eye on the FA Cup final when it came to his general play, and who can blame him.
Looked lively all day, got himself into good positions and had a few powerful shots blocked. Defended relatively well too.
Tomas was another player who had an easy ride today. Didn’t have to work particularly hard, but put in a good shift anyway.
Strung a few good passes together every now and again, but you could see he wasn’t looking to over-exert himself, like many others in the team. Eyes on the prize next week – and rightly so.
Giroud: [7.5/10] – MOTM
Olivier showed some excellent touches and passes throughout the game, and had one or two tasty shots on goal. Definitely a threat to Norwich’s goal.
Diaby, Wilshere, Sanogo: [N/A]
Nice & Easy Does It
Another dire game, but it’s what we all expected. Norwich were relegated, and our Champions League spot had long been clinched. Still though, it was a convincing enough win, which will do well for morale ahead of the final.
It’s great to see Diaby and Wilshere back in the team too.
In the end, it was a game approached with a “nice and easy” mentality, and to be honest, I’m okay with that. Just this once.
Roll on May 17th.