Robin Van Persie was the hero once again for Arsenal scoring twice as Arsene Wenger’s side came from a goal behind to win their fourth successive Premier League game.
The Dutchman has now scored 31 top-flight goals in 2011 and was once again on hand to save the Gunners after they fell behind to Steve Morison’s opener on the quarter hour mark – his third goal in as many games. The Canaries could only hold on for 10 minutes though before Van Persie struck from close range to score from Theo Walcott‘s cross before superbly clipping home Alex Song’s pass to secure victory.
It was just rewards for Arsenal who rolled back the years to produce an energetic display of attacking fortitude that ultimately proved too much for Paul Lamberts men. Norwich looked good for a point with the visitors squandering a hatful of chances but it wasn’t to be as Van Persie proved to be the difference once again for the North London side. They should have been at least a goal to the good within the first 15 minutes only for some tremendous defending to thwart them. Firstly Gervinho saw his close range shot blocked, Van Persie then dragged an effort wide before Russell Martin produce an astonishing goal line clearance to deny Walcott.
It proved to be costly as the Canaries Morison opened the scoring against the run of play punishing Per Mertesacker for failing to deal with Marc Tierney’s long ball brushing the German defender out of the way and calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner. However that seemed to spur the Gunners on as they continued to pile the pressure on agains only to be denied by two more goal line clearances from Martin with the defender hacking Van Persie’s header off the line before saving keeper John Ruddy’s blushes after he let a Gervinho shot find it’s way towards goal.
You could sense a goal was on the horizon and it was Van Persie who delivered tapping in from six-yards out after Walcott flew past Tierney on the right and fizzed the ball across the Norwich penalty area. The Gunners continued to attack at every opportunity but still lacked a cutting edge in front of goal with Gervinho wasting a host of chances. The most notable saw him round Ruddy after latching onto Van Persie’s threaded pass only for the keeper to recover and prevent the Ivorian from putting Arsenal into the lead.
Still the away side continued to attack with vigour and they got their reward’s just before the hour mark with Van Persie scoring his 10th goal in five games. Canaries defender Martin, who had been impressive throughout the contest, surrendered possession on the half way line allowing Song to play the 28-year-old in and he made no mistake stroking the ball home with supreme ease to put Arsenal in front.
Norwich tried in vain to find an equalising goal only to see Anthony Pilkington scuff Elliott Bennett’s cross wide from close range with the goal gaping. It almost got worse for the home side as Walcott, who had tortured the home defence all afternoon with his pace, sprung clear once again but saw his drive hit the outside of the post. Never the less it twas the Gunners who held on and picked up a deserved 10th win in 12 games to move level on points with fourth placed Chelsea for a few hours at least.