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June 2021

League cup Arsenal II -Norwich 2-1

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal starting with: Macey, Debuchy, Elneny, Holding, Nelson, Coquelin, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud

On the beach: Iliev, Osei-Tutu, Dasilva, Sheaf, Willock, Nketiah, Akpom

A match that just was not really getting on fire at first. Arsenal dominating and Norwich leaning back in front of their own penalty area. Too many bodies in the way of the Arsenal passing that wasn’t up to the standard you need to get through such a packed defence. Apart from some woeful shooting no real goal chances at both ends.

After a corner Holding gets a header from close range but the keeper with a amazing stop on the goal line.  And suddenly out of nothing Norwich can counter for the first time really and Murphy is sent away and lobs the ball over Macey. 0-1 to Norwich after 34 minutes.

Arsenal looked shocked and a second counter some 5 minutes later sees Macey with a great save on a low effort to prevent Norwich from scoring again. Arsenal trying to make something happen in the final minutes of the first half but apart from a dangerous run from Nelson followed by a corner and two shots from Walcott no real goal danger. We go in the dressing room 0-1 behind and too many players below level.

Norwich kept on defending in numbers and speculating on a lucky break like they did in the first half. Some Arsenal players (certainly players who have that bit of experience like Iwobi) not being at the level they can reach.  Maybe too many watercarriers in the team and only one maestro in the person of Wilshere?

Elneny brings Oliveira down when he looked to be away. Lucky for him Holding was running a bit beside them otherwise it could have been a red card.  Norwich countering dangerous now and the Arsenal presssure toothless most of the time.  Macey being attentive when he has to do some work now.

After 70 minutes of sterile pressure Maitland-Niles comes off and Akpom enters the field. But the danger now mostly from Norwich counters but they don’t take advantage of the space they get on the field. A few Arsenal shots hitting Norwich arms in the penalty area but nothing given by the ref. One looked a penalty to me when the defender had his arms raised to make himself bigger.

Arsenal press and press and press but only half chances for the Gunners. We need something special to score I think. After 82 minutes Nketiah comes on for Nelson who had a decent match. Corner to Arsenal that is flicked on at the near post and would you believe it…….Nketiah bundles the ball over the line. GOAL!!!! 1-1 after 86 minutes! His first touch and he scores! What an impact sub!

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Arsenal have one  more chance to win it but the shot from Akpom is diverted in to a corner, correction the ref gives a goal kick. Full time 1-1 and extra time thanks to Eddie Nketiah!

Both sets of players look tired and not much happening apart from Arsenal having most of the ball. Suddenly the ball breaks to Walcott but the keeper manages to get a hand to the shot and it goes out for a corner. Corner is given and my oh my…. he does it again. Nketiah who isn’t the biggest player on the pitch heads the corner in the Norwich net. GOAL!!!!!! 2-1 after 96 minutes! Can you believe this?

Not much happening for the rest in the first period of extra time. Apart from Iwobi having cramps and Josh Dasilva coming on in his place. Still 15 minutes to go.

Nketiah again with a great action but this time the Nowich keeper can stop his effort. What a match the 18 year old is having. Joe Willock enters the field for an exhausted Jack Wilshere after 115 minutes.  He almost also scores with his first action but his shot goes over.

Then a Norwich player goes down in the Arsenal penalty area in what was for me a clear penalty. But the ref seems penalty allergic and waves the Norwich protest away. We escape there. And at the other end Nketiah has another run but his left footed shot sails over the crossbar.

That brings the end of the game. We won in a match that looked lost till a few minutes from the end. We didn’t have the players to go round people on the left flank in particular and that really hampered us for a long time till Akpom came on.

The bringing of Nketiah proved to be a masterstroke from Wenger in the end. My boy what a great match the 18 year young lad had. More of this please.



24 comments to League cup Arsenal II -Norwich 2-1

  • MickHazel

    I posted this on the previous thread but it seems more appropriate for this one.
    Slight improvement in second half and extra time but still played at a pedestrian pace apart from a couple of the youngsters. Jack saw plenty of the ball but no options or movement in front of him apart from Walcott constantly running into an offside position. Walcott needs to take lessons from Nelson and Nketiah on how to run at an opponent and beat him. Tonight every time he (Walcott) was confronted by a Norwich player he elected to turn round and pass it back to Holding or Debouchy, he appeared frightened to take a player on.
    A very poor performance and we were lucky to finish with eleven on the pitch, Elneny very fortunate to escape a red card. It looked as though Norwich should have had a penalty as well.
    Finally I think it a big mistake giving Walcott the captaincy, jack would have been a far better choice.
    I cannot see any of them apart from Jack challenging for a first eleven place on the form they showed tonight.

  • Gord

    Thanks Walter, I had very little idea of what happened today.

    As an ongoing comment by Wenger, is that Wilshere needs to get more time, it is probably a good thing that this game went to Extra Time and that Wilshere was eventually subbed off exhausted. This should evoke a stronger “recovery” than if he hadn’t of been exhausted.

    One question about Wilshere I have, does he speak (yell?) enough on the field? If he was the only one “leading”, and didn’t say much; it is hard(er) to fault his team mates.

    It sounds like Elneny is still learning his way in being a centre back. He never “signed on” to do this, and it will probably only make him a better player. People should give him some slack. Monreal is a good example in this regard.

  • Nitram

    The commentators said the referee was reefing as though a championship game, ie letting a lot of physical stuff go unpunished.

    This seems to of worked for and against us.

    We were only adjudged to of committed 9 fouls but for that we received 4 yellows.

    They committed something like 14fouls for 1 yellow.

    But as Walter says, we certainly looked to get away with a clear penalty in extra time.

    It has been said before and bears repeating, we certainly seem to be refereed in an entirely different way in the cups than we do in the Premier League.

    Very disappointed with 2 of my favourites tonight. It seems from what I heard and saw that both Theo and Olivier just didn’t perform tonight.

    We are all entitled to a bad day at the office, but still.

    But every cloud and all that as that just left the stage clear for a new star to shine.

    And what an appearance this new star made.

    It just remains to say, well done Eddie, magnificent..

  • Gord

    How did Debuchy do in the game? Is he going to impress teams?

    I’ve no idea if this tidbit is true or not, but it is interesting:
    > Nketiah is the first player born after Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager to score for the club.

  • Gord

    Looking at Daily Mail.

    There is a picture of Nketiah being hugged by Iwobi, with another Arsenal player approaching from the left. Here’s the picture header:

    > Nketiah (right) is congratulated by Alex Iwobi (2nd right) and Olivier Giroud (left) after his clinical equaliser

    Hmmm, Giroud must have gotten a heck of a suntan in the last 30 minutes of the game. Do I see a hint of a “y” at the end of the players name on his jersey? I will guess it is Elneny coming in, not Giroud in this picture.

    Two or so pictures down, here is Giroud, with the same skin tone as earlier in the game.

    Just more media incompetence.

    It sounds like Macey had a fine night in goal.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Well, it has been said many times in some quarters that Walcott plays with less brain but with more of his speed asset in matches for Arsenal which if he is lucky to escaped being caught offside he may score. But often than not, he missed the target and sometimes missed it poorly too due to his lack of composure in front of goal. How can it be said up till now that Walcott should learn not to be falling into the offside traps over and over and over in games for Arsenal due to his lack of positional sense playing? Is he a novice recently signed learning his trade at the Arsenal academy?

    I think Olivier Giroud is still basking in me euphoria of his winning the Fifa Puska award for his scorpion goal of last season against Crystal Palace at the Ems in the PL. But forget tonight he is on the field playing for Arsenal.. If not, what can be responsible tonight for his catalogues of shooting over the bar for Arsenal against Norwich?

    Were the Norwich players hard done by the match referee for his overlooking the red card foul committed by ElNeny, and his turning down the penalty shout by Norwich but intended to compensate Arsenal for the many injustices committee against Arsenal by referees in the Premier League games?

    Nevertheless, we the Arsenal supporters have every reason to thank God for His saving us from blushes at the hands of Norwich City tonight at the Emirates Stadium who came there to play a World Cup final game against Arsenal but lost the match.

  • Gord

    Well, it has been said by you.

    > Well, it has been said many times in some quarters that Walcott plays with less brain but with more of his speed asset

    Do you want us to kill him now, or will you wait for a while?

  • para

    You couldnt script it.
    Nketiah, and two goals as well. Good on you lad. good on you.
    Sorry he missed the third one for hattrick. My, my!

  • Swapneel

    Cant comment on team performance as didn’t see the match just the highlights, Nketiah had a great game could have easily scored a hat-trick.
    This players don’t play together that often so should improve with time, especially the midfield and forward coordination.
    Lucky to have escaped the penalty at end, it certainly looked one.

    Jack looks ready for first team, just worried he would be hacked recklessly without any protection. Notice how after coming back after long time he is yet to get injured (since he hasn’t played in PL), after bthis will change once he plays in PL

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Well done guys ! Seems that we just about scraped through. Well more playing time for those who need it.
    Up the Gunners !

  • colario

    Theo has ability and has proved his ability with some very good football and yet?

    Some how he hasn’t been able to fit in.

    We know the role other players including the latest transfers in and youngsters coming through.

    Theo’s place? Still not established. What to do. The enigma Arsene has still to find a solution to.

    In my opinion last night’s performance by Theo was evidence of this.

    A much talented and liked player and yet!?

  • Amy Lawrence ,on which planet does this Magwampiki caracter comes from?? If it wasn’t for luck, better officiation from referees Norwich could have won the match in 50 minutes!!! Who tells this buffoon that soccer these days Is 50 minutes? Is it the first time that Lawrence has seen worse officiation? Why allow such dicks in the Emirates stadium. Can you do the same at Old toilet and get away with it?

  • John L

    Guardian writers can never produce a positive report on Arsenal without at least some barbed criticism. If we beat Barcelona it would be because they had an off-day, were unlucky, suffered from bad officials etc. etc.

    Alternative view?: a team comprising only five established experienced players, combined with emerging youth players, playing together for the first time, with an unorthodox combination in central defence, withstood the considerable threat posed by an experienced Championship team who are currently on a run of good form, based on a very strong and resolute defence.

    No, that would be too true to be good.

  • Ferg

    Love an alternative me
    Not able to get any decent stream , I had NO alternative to Talkspurt . Matt Holland, since when is he attributed vision or nowse. Persistent negative media synced bollocks. Even called Bellerin Paranoid for his post Everton insights.
    NOT once did either commentwatter allude to the youth policy being displayed as anything other than Weakness.
    At 75 mins I switched the feckers off.? Doh
    What brilliant experience for all. Even the aforementioned underperforming 1st team hopefuls. Hey gotta start feeling some heat soon.
    Where can I find some decent highlights anyone? ?

  • Jjgsol

    Criticism of giroud and Theo again, yet how many top strikers always score against massed and well drilled defences?

    Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t.

    From what I have seen over the years Theo is a deadly striker when he gets the chance,but not always.

    Oh yes, how many goals did aguero score yesterday against wolves?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Jjgsol, Or Jesus? Even with the son of God and the son in law of the hand of God Man City couldn’t break down Wolverhampton…. 😉

  • Nitram


    We get an entirely fair shake from the media didn’t you know?

    I was watching the bbc news this morning and in there sports section it was Lingards 2 goals for United that warranted a special mention.

    Nketiah was not even mentioned.

    We just struggled through after extra time.

    Even Wolves heroic effort against City hardly got a mention. But of course Lingards 2 goals were obviously the standout event of the night.

    Look, I know in the great scheme of things this alone is utterly unimportant, but I think what it shows is a mind set.

    Can you imagine the fuss that would of been made had an 18 year old ‘United’ debutant done what Nketiah?

    Everything else, the performance of the team, the 2nd tier opposition, the possible pen and red card, would all of been utterly irrelevant.

    All I know is the BBC would be ramming it down our throats at every opportunity.

    As I say, in isolation it is nothing, but it is more than that isn’t it, because it yet again exposes how badly we are portrayed in the media.

    Kampala Gun mentions Amy Lawrence.

    John L mentions the Guardian.

    Ferg mentions talksport.

    Even the Mirrors pathetic report of Girouds Scorpion goal win.

    We won FFS.

  • robl

    Nothing wrong with Giroud or Walcott last night – they just got marked out of the game.

    A team can do that when it’s playing effectively a reserve side that used a wide array of kids.

    If Ozil, Alexis, Laczette, Ramsey, Belerin & Kolasanic were playing, opening up much more space they would have had no idea who to prioritise marking.

    Instead we chose to work on bringing forward the kids and I applaude that.

  • Pat

    I don’t think our performance was as bad as some people are saying. We kept trying and playing offensively. I thought it looked as if the referee was letting Norwich get away with a lot of fouls. Ironic, but typical, that the first two yellow cards went to us.

    Iwobi and other players were trying and trying. Some days it is just hard to get that spark. I think some people are underestimating how hard it is to play against a team like Norwich which, as the boss said in advance, is very physical. They played a lot of long balls and they started time wasting once they had the goal of course. It was funny to see how once we had scored they started playing the ball out from the back.

    But of course the highlight of the night, what made it memorable, was Eddie! I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Emirates crowd that loud and united. Luckily his name lends itself to a roar. And it was a roar – Eddie, Eddie!

    That’s the fun of football – a rather turgid game studenly can turn exciting – really exciting. Aren’t we glad our manager values young talent and doesn’t discount someone because they are small – like Chelsea who let Eddie go. He doesn’t half have a leap on him!

  • nuko

    So much to say on here from people who don’t even go to matches. Ref gives Arsenal all the decisions and not a word on here.

  • Nitram

    robl and Pat

    Some good points.

    Perspective, that’s often what it’s all about.

    Yes I was disappointed with Giroud and Theo but as you say, they were simply marked out of the game by a very efficient defence. It happens.

    “I don’t think our performance was as bad as some people are saying. We kept trying and playing offensively.”

    The stats seem to support what you say:


    Arsenal 57%
    Norwich 43%


    Arsenal 26 (10)
    Norwich 13 (4)

    So despite Norwich’s proficient defending and our bellow par performance we actually dominated the match over all managing double the shots in total, and over double on target.

    But as ever, if we don’t play like Brazil and win by 4 or 5 goals it’s a disaster. Getting credit for winning when under par, as United and Chelsea always seem to get, is not even considered when it’s us.

    “I thought it looked as if the referee was letting Norwich get away with a lot of fouls. Ironic, but typical, that the first two yellow cards went to us.”


    Arsenal 9
    Norwich 18

    Yellow cards

    Arsenal 4
    Norwich 1


    Arsenal Booking every 2.2 fouls
    Norwich Booking every 18 fouls

    So it seems that yes, we got lucky with a couple of big calls, but Norwich got away with consistent fouling throughout the match, that equally could of lead to dismissals.

  • Polo

    I thought Norwich was unfortunate in the match with two crucial referee decisions going against them, Moh should have been red carded which could have made it extremely difficult for Arsenal to come back, and a late penalty should have been given to Norwich and if scored would have taken to penalty shoot out. So I would understand if the Norwich fans felt their team got robbed.

    However, I could also point out that Giroud should have had a penalty given to him as two or three Norwich players was holding him down for one of the set piece. Had referee given the penalty then the complexity of the match would have changed, Arsenal wouldn’t be the one chasing the match and Norwich would have open up more. But we all know refs don’t give penalties for rugby tackles in box.

    What a game young Eddie had, first two touch of the ball and two goals. He was giving Norwich a lot of problems. He wasn’t playing against an under 23 team but a strong EFL Championship team, so for him to do what he did was great to see. AW might found another gem. He made me laugh when he pushed one of his team mate away for his first goal celebration.

  • Nuko I don’t think you are quite reading this site properly, or in full.

  • Bobome

    Of course there is an anti-AFC bias in the media, mainstream or not. Why? That my friends is the million dollar question.