Arsenal 1 Norwich 0: Aubameyang scores as Gunners end their nightmare start to the season

·12-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a second-half tap-in to give Arsenal their first goal and first points of the Premier League season as they sent Norwich to the bottom table.

Both sides ran out at the Emirates Stadium having lost their opening three league games of the campaign and, following a game lacking quality, Aubameyang settled the contest as his close-range finish earned the Gunners a 1-0 victory.

Even then there was a nervy wait as a VAR check for offside ultimately went the way of the home side, who travel to Burnley next weekend with something to build on.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made seven changes from the galling defeat at Manchester City before the international break as deadline-day signing Takehiro Tomiyasu started at right-back.

Arteta will be hoping this is a turning point for his side, who had not even scored in their first three games, with Aubameyang again proving the scourge of Norwich having hit braces in both games against them in the 2091/20 season.

The goal came after Nicolas Pepe's shot was tapped on to the post by Tim Krul and the ball struck a combination of Pepe and Brandon Williams, hitting the opposite post and rolling into the path of Aubameyang to turn home into an empty net — with the goal standing after a brief VAR check for offside.

The Gabon international had a fine opportunity to wrap up the points but shot straight at Krul, who them provided a fine stop to prevent Emile Smith Rowe doubling the lead.

Arsenal hearts were in mouths as the clock hit 90 minutes, a low cross into their box fell to Teemu Pukki but Gabriel Magalhaes was on hand with a last-ditch challenge.

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Key Points

  • FT: Arsenal 1 Norwich 0

  • GOAL: Arsenal 1 Norwich 0

  • HT: Arsenal 0-Norwich 0

  • The Arsenal XI

  • Big calls from Arteta

  • Arteta on Tomiyasu

Arteta to BBC Sport

17:25 , Simon Collings

“After three defeats, things get complicated. I must say it has been the best 10 or 14 days in my professional career. Not the easiest, but the best. You learn a lot in difficult moments.”

Aaron Ramsdale speaking to Sky Sports

17:24 , Simon Collings

“We knew that every game is difficult and we knew that we needed to win. We've played two promoted teams and two of the best teams in the league and we wanted more points but we haven't, but hopefully there are many more days like today.”

Aubameyang to BBC Sport

17:21 , Simon Collings

“I’m just really happy. The first three points of the season. It was tough weeks so we had to make sure we won this game in front of our fans. The most important thing today was to play with pride and that’s what we did.”

17:16 , Simon Collings

Mikel Arteta is currently conducting his post-match interviews pitchside. We will have some quotes from him shortly.

Player ratings

17:04 , Simon Collings

Here is how we rated Mikel Arteta’s men:

16:55 , Simon Collings

Arsenal players take the appluase from the fans before they head down the tunnel. A real sense of relief here more than anything.

Full-time | Arsenal 1-0 Norwich

16:51 , Simon Collings

Arsenal get the three points. A huge, huge win for Arteta.

16:50 , Simon Collings

92 mins: Arsenal are clinging on here as Norwich lump in a free-kick. It falls to Pukki, but Cedric blocks it.

16:48 , Simon Collings

91 mins: Again, Arsenal fail to kill the game. This time Pepe fires wide. Hectic stuff.

16:47 , Simon Collings

Four minutes added on.

16:47 , Simon Collings

90 mins: What a chance for Norwich. Good play down the left and it comes to Pukki, but Gabriel makes a vital late block.

16:46 , Simon Collings

89 mins: Not long now. A few nervy fans here.

16:44 , Simon Collings

87 mins: How is it not 2-0? Krul is a big reason why. Another stunning save from the Dutchman to deny Smith Rowe and that Saka flashes an effort wide.

16:43 , Simon Collings

86 mins: Arsenal are just looking to see this out now. Arteta motions for his players to talk more.

16:40 , Simon Collings

83 mins: Oh it should be 2-0. Pepe spins his man so well and slides in Aubameyang. He is one on one, but Krul saves. What a chance!

16:38 , Simon Collings

Maitland-Niles is coming off for Cedric Soares.

16:38 , Simon Collings

81 mins: Another half chance for Arsenal. White plays a good ball over the top for Pepe, who cuts in from the left but fires high and wide.

16:36 , Simon Collings

79 mins: It’s all getting a bit cramped on the Norwich box as Arsenal try to thread the eye of a needle. They’ve no luck and Norwich survive.

16:32 , Simon Collings

75 mins: Arsenal win the ball off the Norwich defence and almost make them pay, but Odegaard tries to turn in the box and loses the ball. That was a chance to kill the game.

16:29 , Simon Collings

73 mins: Heart-in-mouth stuff as Pukki gets the ball in the box, turns, and takes a tumble. Referee Michael Oliver tells him to get up.

16:28 , Simon Collings

72 mins: Good play from Saka, who bursts past Hanley and has his shot blocked. Corner to Arsenal.

16:27 , Simon Collings

70 mins: “We’ve scored a goal,” rings around the Emirates.

16:26 , Simon Collings

It was a scrappy, scrappy goal. Pepe hit the post, it came back, hit the other post - and then Aubameyang scored. Somehow.

GOAL! | Arsenal 1-0 Norwich | Aubameyang 67'

16:25 , Simon Collings

Arsenal have taken the lead!

GOAL! | Arsenal 1-0 Norwich | Aubameyang 67'

16:25 , Simon Collings

Arsenal have taken the lead!

16:20 , Simon Collings

63 mins: Into the final half an hour and still no goals. This place is getting very tense.

16:16 , Simon Collings

Arsenal are preparing a double change. Smith Rowe and Partey getting ready.

16:14 , Simon Collings

57 mins: So close! Arsenal counter well and the ball comes to Pepe at the back post - but Williams makes a heroic block to save a certain goal.

16:13 , Simon Collings

56 mins: Good play on the edge of the box creates a chance for Saka, but Norwich swarm to get bodies around him and block the shot. Better from Arsenal.

16:11 , Simon Collings

54 mins: Aubameyang tries to get Arsenal going as he races Hanley down the touchline, but the centre-back keeps up with him to block the cross.

16:09 , Simon Collings

52 mins: Arsenal are dominating possession, but still they can’t open up Norwich. They get in down the left twice, but it’s cleared.

16:06 , Simon Collings

49 mins: Pepe takes it and finds Gabriel with the cross, but his header is tame and wide.

16:05 , Simon Collings

48 mins: Arsenal win a free-kick outside the box as Aubameyang is brought down. Hanley goes into the book too.

16:03 , Simon Collings

47 mins: Lokonga tries to slide in Saka, but Krul is out quick to scoop it up.

Second-half underway

16:02 , Simon Collings

Here we go. A big 45 minutes for Mikel Arteta.

16:01 , Simon Collings

The teams are back out and we are almost underway again.

Partey to come on?

15:53 , Simon Collings

The midfielder is out warming up at the break, along with Calum Chambers. Partey has been out since the start of August with an ankle injury, but perhaps he can do 30 minutes off the bench?

Half-time | Arsenal 0-0 Norwich

15:46 , Simon Collings

Only one shot on target for Arsenal and that tells the story. They’ve had possession and pressure - but nothing to show for it.

15:45 , Simon Collings

45 mins: Almost a stunning goal from debutant Tomiyasu! Tierney’s cross from the left is flicked clear, but only as far as the onrushing Tomiyasu. His volley just goes over though.

15:43 , Simon Collings

43 mins: Pepe hits it, but it curls just wide.

15:42 , Simon Collings

42 mins: Arsenal win a free-kick in a good position as Aaron dugs down Aubameyang. A few players standing over it.

15:39 , Simon Collings

39 mins: Norwich enjoying the better of the game now as we approach half-time. Tempo and atmosphere has dipped here.

15:37 , Simon Collings

37 mins: The wall does its job and the ball goes over the bar.

15:36 , Simon Collings

36 mins: Pukki is brought down by White and has won a free-kick on the edge of the box...

15:35 , Simon Collings

35 mins: Norwich are carrying a bit more threat on the counter now, with Tzolis out left looking like their main weapon. Neither side has gone that close to a goal yet.

15:30 , Simon Collings

30 mins: A slight drop in the tempo here. Norwich catching their breath after that fast Arsenal start. The hosts need to raise it before the break.

Thoughts on the opening quarter

15:25 , Simon Collings

“A good start from Arsenal, who have been sharp and quick in their play. They need a goal, though, as this place will get tense as the minutes tick by.”

15:23 , Simon Collings

23 mins: Arsenal get in down the left this time as Saka plays in Tierney. He tries to find Aubameyang, but the cross is cleared - again. Norwich defending well.

15:20 , Simon Collings

20 mins: A great chance for Aubameyang. Odegaard plays him in with a brilliant clipped ball, however Krul spreads himself well to save. He may have been just offside judging by the replays.

15:18 , Simon Collings

18 mins: I make that four corners for Arsenal now as Pepe wins another. Once again it comes to nothing, though, as Norwich hold firm and clear their lines.

15:16 , Simon Collings

15 mins: Ooof that was a chance for Norwich. Max Aarons whips in a dangerous cross from out right and Kenny McLean glances it just over the bar. Close.

15:13 , Simon Collings

13 mins: Arsenal’s best play is coming down the right. Odegaard slides in Pepe, who turns Williams inside, before crossing. It’s cleared, but the pressure is building.

15:11 , Simon Collings

10 mins: End-to-end stuff. Norwich go close as Tzolis fires a cross into the Arsenal box - which misses everyone - and then Arsenal counter. Aubameyang races through and tries to catch Krul off guard, but he misses.

15:08 , Simon Collings

8 mins: Good play from Ben White, who is looking to bring the ball out from the back. He comes forward and plays a lovely dinked pass to Tomiyasu - but his cross is cleared.

15:05 , Simon Collings

5 mins: This a noisy start from the fans too, who are loving Arsenal’s direct approach. Tomiyasu bombs on and wins a throw. More pressure.

15:03 , Simon Collings

3 mins: A bright start from Arsenal, with Pepe getting joy down the right. He wins two corners, but neither comes to anything.

15:02 , Simon Collings

2 mins: We are underway and Arsenal fans are singing Patrick Viera’s name after Crystal Palace beat Tottenham today. That has lifted the mood.


15:00 , Simon Collings

Here we go!

Teams are out

14:58 , Simon Collings

The players are on the pitch and we are ready for kick-off!

The biggest cheer of the afternoon so far

14:56 , Simon Collings

Bukayo Saka is out on the pitch and collecting his player of the season award for last year. The Emirates fans give him a huge cheer and he waves back.

Arsenal hoping for history to repeat itself

14:45 , Simon Collings

The last time Arsenal hosted Norwich in the Premier League they enjoyed a resounding win.

They ran out 4-0 winners and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the star of the show, scoring twice in the victory.

How Arteta would love for history to repeat itself.

Arteta on Tomiyasu

14:37 , Simon Collings

“We needed a full-back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre-back, can play in a back three. Tomi has this capacity.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Thoughts on the XI

14:23 , Simon Collings

There are some big calls from Arteta there, not least in goal. He has gone with Ramsdale and that is a clear sign the England youngster will be No1 sooner rather than later.

A debut for Tomiyasu is telling too. He has been in London for a matter of days but he has come straight in. And how about Maitland-Niles getting a start in central midfield. He has been calling for that chance, can he take it?

The full Arsenal XI

14:11 , Simon Collings

4-2-3-1: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Maitland-Niles, Lokonga; Pepe, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ramsdale and Tomiyasu start

14:05 , Simon Collings

Some big team news as Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu starts, with the latter making his debut. Full team news to follow.

Lokonga to start

13:41 , Simon Collings

Albert Sambi Lokonga is out doing some pre-match media, so that means he starts. Presumably alongside Thomas Partey in central midfield. A big day for the Belgian.

A fight to avoid unwanted history

13:26 , Marco Giacomelli

If Arsenal are beaten today it will be only the second time in their history they have lost their first four League games in a season. The last time it happened was 1923.

They have never, though, failed to score in their first four League games.

Arsenal head the head-to-head record

13:17 , Marco Giacomelli

Arsenal have suffered their worst start to a season in 67 years. But at least one set of figures reads in their favour.

Of the 18 times these clubs have met in the Premier League, Arsenal have won half of the matches with Norwich winning just twice.

The last of those Canaries victories was in 2012 when Grant Holt scored the only goal at Carrow Road.

Early Arsenal team news

13:10 , Marco Giacomelli

Arsenal have been boosted by a number of players returning to fitness ahead of today’s match against fellow strugglers Norwich.

Ben White (Covid-19), Gabriel (knee) and Thomas Partey (ankle) are all fit and should start the game at Emirates Stadium.

New signing Takehiro Tomiyasu could also make his Arsenal debut after joining from Bologna on deadline day after his work permit was approved on Thursday afternoon.

Arsenal are checking on the fitness of players returning from international duty, such as Emile Smith Rowe, who reported ill while with England’s Under-21s.

Albert Sambi Lokonga also had a small issue while with Belgium and missed their game against Belarus, but it is hoped he will be fit.

Granit Xhaka is suspended for the game with Norwich, while Mohamed Elneny is out due to a hamstring strain.

Good afternoon

13:09 , Marco Giacomelli

Welcome to Standard Sport’s coverage of today’s Premier League clash between Arsenal and Norwich.

We’ll have all the team news and build-up ahead of a 3:00pm kick-off...

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