Arsenal came from behind twice to draw against Norwich City in Freddie Ljungberg’s first game in charge, though they really needed a win.
Arsenal started brightly away at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon, and they had by far the better chances in the opening 45 minutes. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to the scoreline, with Norwich converting their only two real opportunities.
A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty ensured Arsenal were only one goal down at the break, and another good finish from him in the second half made it 2-2. The team failed to push on after that though, and if anything Norwich went closer to retaking the lead.
In the end, it finished with the scores level, and Arsenal had to settle for more dropped points.
Let’s have a look at our player ratings for the match.
- Bernd Leno 8 – A deflection and a perfectly-placed finish meant Leno conceded twice on the day, but he made some fantastic saves to ensure the result wasn’t even worse. Arsenal have him to thank that they even picked up a point.
- Calum Chambers 4 – Committed too far up the field too often, and didn’t have the pace to recover. Norwich had a lot of joy down Chambers’ side against him and Mustafi, and that’s where the goals came from. One positive was his work in the air.
- Shkodran Mustafi 3 – Consistently lost the individual battles against Teemu Pukki. He was left exposed by the midfield and Chambers’ runs, but he was still embarrassed at every attempt from the Norwich attackers.
- David Luiz 4 – Only marginally better than his centre-back partner, he did at least make one intelligent covering tackle on Todd Cantwell whilst Mustafi was busy appealing that he hadn’t committed a foul.
- Sead Kolasinac 6 – Showed some signs of improvement with some positive runs going forward and a couple of good tackles. His final ball is still lacking, which negated the impact of the dribbles he did complete.
- Granit Xhaka 5 – In his first league appearance since the Crystal Palace incident, Xhaka struggled a bit to find dangerous forward passes. For once, the criticism that he just plays safe and sideways was actually pretty accurate. Did make a few good covering tackles, but also missed a few he should have made.
- Matteo Guendouzi 5 – Made some positive runs at the defence, which is where he can be at his most dangerous offensively. Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to much more than corners and free-kicks. Played one really nice forward ball to Aubameyang, but otherwise, his passing was far too conservative.
- Joe Willock 5 – Promising signs in the early stages but it didn’t last for long after the break, and he was rightly the first withdrawn. His late runs and pressing still had a positive impact on Arsenal’s attack in the first half though.
- Mesut Özil 6 – Playing out wide on the left for most of the match, Özil was solid and he created some good chances with his corners, but he struggled to take anyone on or hold the ball up for his full-back.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8 – The missed penalty was a disappointment, but thankfully it didn’t count. The second try was emphatic, as was the second-half equaliser after a corner. Another point saved by the Gabon international.
- Alexandre Lacazette 4 – Had one good early opportunity that he failed to make the most of. After the first six minutes, he had one shot and created no chances. He was also dispossessed more than anyone else. Not nearly enough of an impact.
- Lucas Torreira 6 – It was a surprise that Torreira didn’t start the match, and he made a couple of key blocks and tackles in the late stages to ensure Norwich didn’t get the win.
- Bukayo Saka 5 – Got past his marker once but couldn’t quite get his cross in ahead of the covering defender.
- Gabriel Martinelli N/A – Only had a couple of minutes on the pitch, though even in that time he showed why he should be pushing for a starting spot.