The Goonerater – Norwich v Arsenal

WTTGT Writer: Amoy Ghoshel

Wojciech Szczesny – 6.0 –The Pole couldn’t prevent Norwich’s goal despite getting a hand to Morison’s effort but other than some routine catches he had very little to do all afternoon as Arsenal gave away very few chances.

Laurent Koscielny
– 6.0 – Didn’t provide much going forward from right back but the Frenchman was untroubled defensively. He was often positioned well to deal with crosses from the other flank and never got exposed in one-on-one situations.

Thomas Vermaelen – 7.5 – The Belgain’s presence made a massive difference to Arsenal’s back four especially in the second half when they were protecting their slender advantage. Won almost everything in the air and tackled well too and his occasional forward runs from the back gave the attack an extra dimension.

Per Mertesacker – 5.0 – The big German was at fault for allowing Morison to score the opening goal of the match as he didn’t deal with the situation at all. Struggled to deal with first Morison and later Holt but did try to stay calm in a couple of crucial duels inside the Arsenal half.

Andre Santos – 5.5 – This was not Santos’s best outings since joining the Gunners in August as he didn’t do much damage going forward and did get caught out of position on a few occasions. The Brazilian is still getting used to the English game and the sooner the better for Arsenal as Kieran Gibbs is unlikely to return anytime soon.

Alexandre Song – 6.5 – A solid display from Song in the middle of the park as once again he won the ball back several times and provided good protection for the back four. His distribution wasn’t good enough in the first half but the Cameroonian did setup RVP for the winner in the second period.

Mikel Arteta – 6.0 – Another hard-working performance from the Spaniard as he complemented Song quite well to win possession back in midfield for Arsenal. Arteta’s passing lacked quality and precision but his experience and work rate was important in preventing Norwich from causing problems to the Gunners defence.

Aaron Ramsey – 6.0 – The Welshman made a quite a few brilliant runs from midfield in both halves but was either not picked out by his teammates or couldn’t find the finish or final ball. Like the other two central medios, Ramsey too worked extremely hard for the team and kept the Norwich midfielders on their toes.

Theo Walcott – 8.0 – The Englishman was possibly Arsenal’s most dangerous player, even though Van Persie scored the goals, as Norwich didn’t have an answer to cope with his pace and Walcott also kept producing quality in his final pass. One of those quality final balls led to Arsenal’s equalizer and the former Southampton player was desperately unlucky to see his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Russell Martin.

Robin Van Persie – 9.0 – **WTTGT Man of the Match** – Arsenal’s skipper gets the man of the match accolade quite simply for his clinical finishing. RVP’s general play was also outstanding but it’s his two goals that made the real difference and especially because of the fact that the rest of his teammates were terribly wasteful in front of goal. The Dutchman’s second showed the confidence he is playing with at present and all the Gooners would be hoping to see the same for the rest of the season.

Gervinho – 6.5 – Many people would be tempted to give the Ivorian a lower rating for his awful finishing as he could have easily scored twice in the match. But Gervinho must be given credit for not shying away as he kept making intelligent runs off the ball and took on Norwich defenders at every opportunity.

Subs

Yossi Benayoun – 6.0 – Didn’t have much time to influence the game from an attacking point of view but did help out the team to protect the one-goal advantage.

Johan Djourou – N/A – Was brought on in stoppage time to defend a set-piece and kill time.

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