- Arsenal vs Norwich

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Saturday 19 October 2013 | Emirates Stadium | Referee: Lee Probert | Attendance 60,009

  • Jack Wilshere (18)
  • Mesut Özil (58, 88)
  • Aaron Ramsey (83)
4 - 1
  • Jonny Howson (70)

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Match report

Scroll above left to Photostream for match photos; click on the Statistics tab for stats. Managers' reactions and press conferences below.

Jack Wilshere scored his first home Barclays Premier League goal and Mesut Ozil the first headed goal of his career as Arsenal returned to the top of the division with a 4-1 victory against Norwich City at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal went into the game knowing that a win would see them open up a two-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, and they did not waste their opportunity, producing a superb performance to claim the win.

Wilshere and Ozil, put Arsenal in control before Jonny Howson pulled one back for the visitors. However, Arsene Wenger's men were not to be denied as an Aaron Ramsey strike and a second from Ozil sealed victory.

Ozil was included in the starting XI for Arsenal after recovering from a knee problem suffered on international duty, while Norwich were without striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel because of a toe injury, and the Gunners initially struggled to break through a determined Norwich defence, the returning Santi Cazorla's weak effort their only opportunity of the opening exchanges.

However, after 18 minutes the deadlock was broken in magnificent fashion as Wilshere tapped home to finish off a wonderful move of quick, deft touches involving Cazorla, Wilshere and Olivier Giroud, whose improvised flick-on from the edge of the area sent the England international through on goal.

It took a further 18 minutes for Arsenal to create their next clear-cut chance, Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy displaying excellent reflexes to prevent Giroud from doubling the lead from close range.

The hosts suffered a blow eight minutes before half-time as Mathieu Flamini was replaced by Ramsey following an earlier collision of heads with Alexander Tettey.

And Arsenal's grip on the game looked to be in danger in the closing stages of the first half, with Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer both drawing strong saves from Wojciech Szczesny.

Norwich continued to press forward after the interval as Snodgrass and Martin Olsson tested Szczesny with long-range drives. But their hopes of taking something from the game were severely dented when Ozil put Arsenal in control just before the hour mark.

Giroud was again the creator, his perfectly placed cross finding Ozil, who rounded off a superb counter-attack with a fine header into the bottom corner, the first such goal the Germany playmaker has produced during his time in German, Spanish and English football.

Chris Hughton's men did not lack ambition, though, and they found a way back into the game when Howson drilled home a powerful low effort from 18 yards after 70 minutes when he capitalised on poor defensive work from Per Mertesacker.

Substitute Nicklas Bendtner then went close as Arsenal looked to finally kill the game off, and victory was confirmed when Ramsey wrapped things up with an excellent goal.

The Wales international showed great agility to net his fifth Premier League goal of the season, slamming the ball past Ruddy from inside the six-yard box after weaving his way past two Norwich defenders.

The league leaders did not stop at three, though, and they put gloss on a fine win with two minutes left when Ozil finished off another excellent move involving Tomas Rosicky and Ramsey.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "[Jack Wilshere’s goal] was certainly one of the best [Arsenal] goals, one that I enjoyed the most as well because it was a team goal. It was a great goal. I think we have scored some good goals this season already. All the goals were great, but the first was exceptional because it was improvised, combination play.

“It is a bit early, we are not at Christmas yet, but honestly we have a good attitude and are hungry, with a good solidarity level. We have quality, but how far we will go is down to how consistent we can be, how much effort we put into every single game and how much we are able not to get into a comfort zone. That is the top level.

"There is a long way to go. We just have to focus on developing as a team and keep the solidarity we have."

VIDEO: Watch Arsene Wenger's press conference >>

Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "When you’ve got a lot of ball and when you’re in the ascendency, that's when you can be hurt. We changed the shape a little bit to endeavour to get the ball higher up, but with the quality they've got they can hurt you, and they did.

"We had some really good passages, and then we’ve conceded a poor goal at a pivotal time in the second half. If you look at their first goal, there aren't that many teams that can score that kind of goal.

"They caught us on the counter-attack for the second goal, and Ramsey's goal was great quality from him, but we had opportunities to clear it. What was most disappointing was that at 2-1, when I felt we might have an opportunity, we didn’t make the most of it."

VIDEO: Watch Chris Hughton's press conference >>

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Wojciech Szczesny 6.91 6.33
3. Bacary Sagna 6.66 6.12
6. Laurent Koscielny 6.84 6.08
4. Per Mertesacker 6.87 6.37
28. Kieran Gibbs 6.92 6.16
19. Santiago Cazorla 6.91 6.72
10. Jack Wilshere 8.18 6.54
20. Mathieu Flamini 6.46 6.22
11. Mesut Özil 9.07 7.44
8. Mikel Arteta 6.8 6.01
12. Olivier Giroud 8.52 7.05
Substitutes All Fans BFR
23. Nicklas Bendtner 6.36 5.74
16. Aaron Ramsey 8.94 7.68
7. Tomas Rosicky 7.13 6.2
17. Nacho Monreal 5.15 5.39
5. Thomas Vermaelen 4.96 5.4
21. Lukasz Fabianski 4.88 5.0
25. Carl Jenkinson 5.32 5.75
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. John Ruddy 5.83 4.91
23. Martin Olsson 4.27 4.54
5. Sébastien Bassong 3.88 4.33
6. Michael Turner 2.88 4.31
2. Russell Martin 3.47 4.28
27. Alexander Tettey 4.13 4.72
8. Jonathan Howson 5.33 4.85
12. Anthony Pilkington 4.33 5.18
10. Leroy Fer 4.31 4.79
7. Robert Snodgrass 4.44 5.54
11. Gary Hooper 4.24 4.81
Substitutes All Fans BFR
22. Nathan Redmond 1.9 5.02
14. Wes Hoolahan 2.3 4.19
3. Steven Whittaker 1.5 4.78
4. Bradley Johnson 2.11 4.26
13. Mark Bunn 0.5 2.4
24. Ryan Bennett 1.25 4.06
19. Luciano Becchio 0.75 1.95

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