Saturday, 5 May 2012

Norwich Hold Arsenal in Thriller

Arsenal wasted the chance to go four points clear of Tottenham and Newcastle , despite a double from Robin van Persie, they were held to a thrilling 3-3 home draw by Norwich City .A late Robin Van Persie brace looked set to give Arsenal the win but Paul Lambert’s side showed great spirit to fight back and grab a point.Arsenal were out of the traps fastest and flew into the lead after just 69 seconds, Tomas Rosicky setting up Yossi Benayoun to run at the Norwich defence before curling a sweet finish beyond John Ruddy.The Canaries rallied though and were level on 12 minutes when Wes Hoolahan’s tame effort squeezed through Wojciech Szczesny’s hands.Arsenal’s frustrations began to show and Aaron Ramsey went into the book for a foul on Jonny Howson, while Norwich, now in the ascendancy, looked dangerous through captain Grant Holt.Just before the half hour mark slack defending from the hosts allowed Hoolahan to play in Holt who charged into the box and let rip with a shot which deflected off the boot of Kieran Gibbs and over Szczesny.In the second half both sides squandered a lorry load of chances to seize the initiative. Simeon Jackson and Hoolahan both went close for Norwich while Benayoun and substitute Marouane Chamakh were both guilty of misses for the Gunners.
With time running out Van Persie stepped up to the plate once again with a quick fire double in the 72nd and 80th minutes to take his tally in the league this season to 30.
Relentless pressure from Arsenal paid off when Alex Song’s calm ball over the top of the Canaries’ rearguard played in the Dutch striker to gracefully sidefoot home.
Then Van Persie turned the game on its head when a deflected Rosicky pass broke into his path allowing him to slide home for what looked likely to be a winner.
But there was one last dramatic twist to come in the 85th minute as Norwich substitute Steve Morison found himself in space in the Arsenal box to aim a low drive into the far corner.

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