Arsenal 1-0 Norwich City: Five things we learned

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Relegation candidates Norwich City put up a brave fight at the Emirates on Saturday but were eventually undone by a Danny Welbeck goal as they lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

The game as a spectacle was marred by small protests from Arsenal fans who made their feelings apparent to Arsene Wenger and his side seemed to struggle in the hostile atmosphere created.

Nevertheless, Champions League football for next season is close to being guaranteed with another valuable three points. Here are five things we learned from what was a very tedious affair in North London.


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1. Alex Iwobi is still a raw talent

Iwobi will undoubtedly go down as one of few shining lights of the season for Arsenal, but the young Nigerian highlighted against Norwich that he still has a long way to go.

A lot of his touches were poor, his passing was very sub-standard and he struggled to make any sustained impact, regularly stagnating Arsenal's progress forward.

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The hype surrounding the youngster is without question justified, but this performance was perhaps a wake-up call, one that should bring him back to reality.

It could be exactly what he needs, the realisation that he has to keep on improving and working hard if he is to become a crucial part of this Arsenal side which he certainly looks capable of.

2. Elneny proves once again that he could be a brilliant bargain

Throughout the match, Arsenal really struggled to set any sort of positive tempo and maintain a high level of ball retention to really push their opponents back and regularly test the Norwich back-line.

Elneny was the only member of the Gunners' midfield who didn't put in an erratic display as he tried his best to bring a calming presence to proceedings with an array of simple passing and sensible positioning.


The Egyptian completed 94.3% of his 104 passes in the game and these statistics were vital in helping Arsenal achieve a slender victory.

The January signing has a bright future in North London and perhaps finding a suitable partner for him should be one of Wenger's highest priorities throughout the summer months.

3. Aaron Ramsey is certainly not this partner

One player who epitomised Arsenal's erratic style of play was Ramsey. The Welsh midfielder has really struggled to establish himself in the team this season and this was another display which shows that his future certainly does not lie in central midfield.

Far too often he tried to produce key passes that were not on which surrendered possession or tried a fancy flick in a compact area which simply allowed the ball to be turned over, relieving any pressure on Norwich.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Ramsey is certainly a very talented footballer, but it seems as if his primary attributes lie further forward and these characteristics can prove catastrophic at times in a more defensive midfield role.

Out on the right seemed to a logical fit for him earlier in the season, but unless he develops the necessary discipline overnight, his role next to Elneny should come to an end sooner rather than later.

4. Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud struggle to play together

Another conundrum which reared its ugly head again for Arsenal in the match was the clear lack of chemistry between Giroud and Sanchez.

The Chilean thrives in a mobile forward line and coincidently his best periods of form this season have been when Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck have been utilised as the focal point of the attack.

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

Sanchez is often reluctant to cross the ball, something which Giroud requires and subsequently, the Arsenal attack struggled to progress against Norwich as neither player seemed able to use the most efficient weapons in their armory.

Welbeck's introduction seemed to elevate both players, but it is clear that the pair cannot play together. Wenger simply has to choose which one is more important and you feel that Sanchez will win that battle with relative ease.

5. Finally, Norwich really will struggle to maintain Premier League status

Despite the rather dim performance from Arsenal, Norwich were unable to capitalise. They did have some hugely bright spells in the match with Nathan Redmond going close twice only to be denied by Petr Cech.

Nevertheless, the Canaries do not have the luxury of a free hit anymore and they really needed to get something out of this game.

Crystal Palace v Norwich City - Premier League

Survival has now been made even more difficult after Newcastle United's win against Crystal Palace and the lack of offensive penetration in this team is something they will struggle to remedy in the closing stages of the season.

By no means were they awful in the game, in fact, they were resilient and defensively astute but time is running out for Alex Neil's side. Another performance of this calibre will not be enough to overcome their next opponents, Manchester United, a game where three points is sadly, a must.

Can Arsenal leapfrog Spurs in the table after victory over Norwich? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!

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Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
Norwich City
Premier League
Aaron Ramsey
Arsene Wenger

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