Norwich City vs. Arsenal: Score, Highlights and Grades
Grant Holt, the Canaries' leading scorer, hustled after a rebound to put home a goal in the 20th minute for Norwich as the stadium erupted.
Arsenal blew the chance to break into fourth place by notching three points on the road. It came down to the fact that the Gunners couldn't manage anything from their attack all match thanks to stout defense and a sensational job of netminding by Norwich keeper John Ruddy.
Here is a closer look at how some of the key players fared in the rather shocking result, including the highlight of Holt's goal.
Yao Gervinho, Arsenal: D
The Gunners forward only produced one decent scoring chance, in the 62nd minute. Even that bid was a mere harmless header toward the goal easily caught by the Canaries goalkeeper. Near the end, Gervinho had an opportunity, only to be turned away right in front of the goal by Sebastien Bassong.
The unofficial fanbase Twitter account of the Gunners summed up well what many Arsenal faithful must be feeling:
Gervinho frustrates me so much.— AFC_Fanbase (@AFC_Fanbase) October 20, 2012
Other than the two relatively ineffective efforts, Arsenal's leading scorer couldn't muster any attack against inferior competition as he did in notching two goals earlier in the year against Southhampton.
The Gunners will continue to need much more out of their highly-touted acquisition, who looked to be breaking through this season after a rocky 2011-12 campaign.
Grant Holt, Norwich: A-
In providing the eventual deciding goal of the match, Holt stuck with the play at the 20-minute mark. He drove home a rebound from point-blank range off of a strong strike by Alexander Tettey to put the Canaries on the board.
After being dominated in possession to that point, Norwich rode the momentum generated from the early lead and gave Arsenal very few scoring chances for the remainder of the game. Holt is largely to thank for continuing to apply pressure to the Gunners' back line, which was without defender Laurent Koscielny due to injury.
The only blemish on Holt's day was a flubbed chip attempt on a scoring chance that would have given the Canaries a 2-0 lead late.
Santi Cazorla, Arsenal: B-
The Gunners midfielder produced some nice crosses on the day, but Arsenal was unable to take advantage of any corner kick opportunities. Cazorla had an opening around the 80-minute mark, but was deflected.
With no one on the attack producing much for Arsenal, Cazorla was aggressive. But, ultimately, the Gunners needed more on this day to best their lesser competition. A valiant desperation attempt in extra time sailed over the crossbar, sealing the Gunners' fate.
John Ruddy, Norwich: A
The goalkeeper kept any opportunity that Arsenal produced at bay. The best chance to knot the match came on a piercing low strike by Gunner Mikel Arteta. Ruddy made a phenomenal diving save and also played aggressively as Arsenal made their final push to earn a draw.
Plenty of defensive help was afforded to Ruddy, particularly on the block on a golden opportunity for Gervinho late. But credit the keeper for holding firm against a typically formidable Gunners attack, particularly after the Canaries had given up 17 goals in seven games in the EPL entering this one.
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