Arsenal

Arsenal

Premier League • England

Clinical Bukayo Saka helps Arsenal thrash struggling Norwich at Carrow Road

Matthew Briggs
Bukayo Saka Arsenal Norwich December 2021

Arsenal continued their Premier League resurgence with a 5-0 hammering of Norwich at Carrow Road on Boxing Day.

Goals from Bukayo Saka (2), Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith-Rowe and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty handed Mikel Arteta his fourth consecutive victory in the league as the Gunners consolidated their position in fourth place. It was a game which Arsenal dominated for long periods and they deservedly took the spoils.

Arsenal made one change from their last Premier League game as Rob Holding replaced Takehiro Tomiyasu for their Boxing Day clash at Norwich.

Tomiyasu – as well as Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles – were missing due to returning positive Covid results.

The Gunners had made nine alterations for their Carabao Cup win over Sunderland but Mikel Arteta reverted back to a more recognisable line-up as the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette returned.

Norwich showed three changes from their home defeat to Aston Villa last time out with a number of positive Covid cases among Dean Smith’s ranks.

Angus Gunn made his first Premier League start for the club in goal while Josh Sargent and Kieran Dowell were recalled.

And Arsenal took just six minutes to take the lead.

 

Kieran Tierney won possession for Arsenal high up the pitch and found Martin Odegaard. After seem neat play, the Norwegian then picked out Saka who cut onto his favoured left foot and calmly slotted past Gunn.

Norwich were second best for much of the half but some battling challenges at least got the home fans behind them – only to be silenced by a second goal. Odegaard again providing the assist for Tierney to finish low past Gunn.

Tierney was played in on the left after a run forward and then finished expertly in off the post.


Finishing strong or all goes wrong? How Premier League clubs will fare in second half of season


Saka curls in No. 3

Tierney then smashed the ball against Max Aarons at the start of the second half to earns the visitors a corner.

 

Martinelli thought he’d scored Arsenal’s third on the hour mark. His effort from outside the box looped into the net but the Brazilian was offside from Ben White’s pass.

Saka did made it 3-0 on 67 minutes though. He collected Lacazette’s pass before squaring up the defender and whipping a low finish into the bottom left corner. It was a better finish than his opener and capped a superb performance from the England youngster.

Teemu Pukki to provide a rare venture forward for Norwich with 15 minutes to go. He was baring down on Ramsdale but the keeper was out quickly to make sure the Finn could not shoot.

Ozan Kabak then clumsily barged over Lacazette from behind in the penalty area. The Arsenal man knew it was coming and went to ground. He then stepped up to send Gunn the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Sub Smith-Rowe then poked in from close range from fellow sub Nicolas Pepe’s cross to make it 5-0 in stoppage time.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta gives ‘resounding yes’ to Arsenal plans to sign Barcelona misfit in January