Norwich City 1 Arsenal 0

By Mark Burchett
Last updated : 21 October 2012

Norwich City not only recorded their first win of the Premiership season against Arsenal but they kept a clean sheet as well!

Although Arsenal dominated the play they lacked any real threat upfront and the Canaries fully deserved the victory for their whole-hearted display.

Chris Hughton made two changes form the side that were thumped in their last game at Chelsea, before the International break. Michael Turner started in defence instead of Leon Barnett and Anthony Pilkington was recalled to the midfield at the expense of Jonny Howson, who dropped to the bench.

For the Gunners, Arsene Wenger included Jack Wilshire on the Bench for the first in 14 months, after his injury problems and made just one change to his starting 11, with Andre Santos replacing injured defender Kieran Gibbs. This denied the left-back from facing the Club he had a very successful loan spell with.

City started brightly and as early as the second minute created their first opening. Wes Hoolahan set up Pilkington, whose right-foot shot was only narrowly wide as the Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone struggled to get across.

Although many City fans could have been forgiven for thinking that that might be all they could expect from their lowly side, having lost heavily to Chelsea and Liverpool in their last two Premiership games.

Especially when in the next minute Lukas Podolski capped a slick move to glance his shot just wide of the far post.

But they were proved wrong as Grant Holt stunned the Londoners in the 19th minute. Mannone could only spill Alex Tettey's 20-yard shot and Holt was the quickest to react ahead of Per Mertesacker, to slot the ball home to ignite Carrow Road and help lift the anxiety from the home fans.

The determination shown by Holt, was a trait demonstrated by every single Canary and for all their possession, the Arsenal players could not overcome this.

Pilkington floated in a corner that Turner should have punished the Gunners slack marking, but could only direct his free header wide.

The longer the game went on, the less likely it looked that the Gunners would muster anything to trouble England Keeper John Ruddy, who for long periods was a spectator.

In an effort to alter the course of the game, Wenger brought on the fresh legs of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 65th minute. But he only lasted 9 minutes, after failing to recover from colliding with City defender Bassong and had to be replaced by Andrey Arshavin!

Holt could have made the game secure late on after he made the most of Thomas Vermaelen's slip, to be through on goal with just Mannone to beat but the Italian keeper stood up to him and was able to snatch the striker's chip out of the air.

Although the home fans had to endure a nervous 5 minutes stoppage time, they did their best to help their valiant team across the finishing line with resounding chorus' of On the Ball City ringing out from Carrow Road.

The three vital points catapulted the Canaries out of the bottom three and a point above 17th placed Aston Villa, managed by their old boss Paul Lambert and where they travel to next Saturday!

FULL-TIME: City 1 Arsenal 0

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