Saturday 20 October 2012

Grant Holt gives Norwich first league victory

Norwich striker scores only goal of the game to stun Arsenal at a delighted Carrow Road

Grant Holt, left, first-half goal was enough to give Norwich their first league win

Norwich City 1-0 Arsenal

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton said his team thoroughly deserved their first Barclays Premier League victory since he took over in the summer.

Grant Holt pounced on a parry from Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone to hand Hughton’s side their first win over the North London club since the opening day of the Premier League 20 years ago.

The victory lifts the East Anglia club out of the bottom three, while Arsene Wenger’s side lost more ground on their title rivals.

"This has been a long time coming, which our performances have warranted,” said Hughton. "However, this league is unforgiving.

"I am delighted for the team, because the work-rate was outstanding and there is no coincidence in the result.

"We have deserved this by our play this season so far"
Chris Hughton

"We could have caught them on the counter more and made life easier for ourselves towards the end, but overall we restricted them and so it was a very satisfactory performance.

"We have deserved this by our play this season so far, so it is a very good feeling to get the win here at Carrow Road for the supporters."

Arsene Wenger accepted that his Arsenal side, who have lost two from the last three league games and are 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, were well below their best.

"Norwich had a good defensive performance, were focused and committed,” he said. “We had a lot of the ball, but did not create much with it, which was a disappointing performance for us.

"We lacked a bit of sharpness. We missed what makes the success at the top level, that is complete focus and they were sharper than us.

"We missed what makes the success at the top level"
Arsene Wenger

"We do not blame anybody, made many mistakes today. We have to put that performance behind us and realise that is not good enough.”

Wenger hopes Jack Wilshere, who was on the substitutes’ bench, will soon be back in competitive action.

"I would have brought him on if the game had allowed it today, but it was too intense,” he said of the player who has not featured for the first team in 14 months. "He will play on Monday with the reserves [against Everton in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League] and then we will see where we go from there."

Matchday Live gives you a report, updates of all the action as it happened, with statistics and the best photos from the match. Click on the link below.

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Key Points

  • Norwich City secure a rare victory over Arsenal in Matchweek 8's late Saturday fixture
  • Grant Holt's goal secures Norwich's first Barclays Premier League win of the season
  • Norwich striker reacts quickest to Vito Mannone's parry to score