Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City
It took a youngster whom many had not heard of much before to win this game.
Eddie Nketiah could be one of a long-line of top homegrown players in Wenger’s tenure, and in Arsenal’s history. Wenger alone has had Cole, Anelka, and Fabregas, and Adams, Keown, Merson, and others who have achieved domestically and at international level.
It’s early, of course. Though he took the mantle from more experienced players here.
Norwich looked good for most of the match, and deservedly took the lead after 32 minutes. Arsenal struggled a little, and looked a bit mentality jaded.
The Norwich City goal came from a sound through-ball, and Oliveira had an additional chance soon after. Arsenal had some shots via Elneny, Wilshere, and Walcott, but didn’t really look like scoring.
The second half really was more of the same, and Norwich looked pretty strong. They of course have recent Premier League experience, and it was a good test for them should they play us soon in the league and not the League Cup.
Oliveira looked strong again, and Arsenal created some chances, but couldn’t convert late pressure to a goal.
Until Mr. Wenger made a substitution.
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!!
I had seen Nketiah play in in the Europa League game at Red Star Belgrade, and even then he looked strong.
But tonight he was very able, and turned the game.
His first goal was via poor Norwich defending, and he was essentially a fox in the box, by poking home from near point blank range.
His second was an excellent header in the six yard box, which the Norwich defence couldn’t handle.
His pace was, in honesty, very Wright/Henry-esque, and whilst a comparison between our best ever striker is moot at this nascent stage in his career, he does look very able and it’s exciting to see more of him.
The defence was the same as in Red Star, though Macey came in over Ospina.
Overall, they did well, though the Norwich goal came via a too high line. Elneny as centre-back was an eyebrow raiser, though he did fine overall.
Macey 7, Holding 6, Debuchy 8, Elneny 6
Wilshere attempted to create chances, though Coquelin was muted. The wing-backs, especially Nelson, looked to provide able width when required.
Wilshere 6, Coquelin 5, Nelson 8, Maitland-Niles 5
Giroud today was quiet, possibly from a high of winning the FIFA Puskas Award. Walcott was weak, and Iwobi’s passing was neither accurate nor effective.
Giroud 5, Walcott 4, Iwobi 5
As for Eddie, he gets an 8.
My overall man of the match, given how well Norwich played, is Oliveira.
For Arsenal, it was Debuchy. He has become persona non grata at Arsenal, but has come back pretty ably. Could he be like the biblical Prodigal Son? We will see, but he did well