Norwich City vs. Arsenal: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Charlie MelmanCorrespondent IIMay 11, 2014

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Carl Jenkinson of Arsenal celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on May 11, 2014 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

On the final day of the season and with nothing to play for but pride, Arsenal comfortably dispatched of Norwich City 2-0 and officially relegated them from the Premier League.

Both sides knew their respective fates before the match even kicked off: Arsenal could not finish above or below fourth place and though Norwich were technically just three points behind West Brom, they would have had to win by an impossible margin to stay up.

When the referee blew the final whistle, the Gunners had officially secured Champions League qualification with a total of 79 points and Norwich were formally relegated after only earning 33.

With both sides playing for pride, Norwich were far more tenacious than Arsenal in the opening exchanges.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 11: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on May 11, 2014 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Still, it was obvious why the visitors will be dining at Europe's top table next season. Despite the Canaries' relentless pressure and admirable energy, Arsenal still managed to hold the vast majority of the ball.

The first half was relatively tame, with the Gunners manufacturing a couple of decent chances through Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud after skipping through Norwich's leaky defense. On both occasions, John Ruddy, seeking a seat on England's plane to Brazil, was alert and made the save.

GIF: Oooh...Giroud misses great chance -

— Arsenalist (@arsenalist) May 11, 2014

The second half brought much more verve and Arsenal seemed determined to close out their Premier League campaign with three points.

Aaron Ramsey once again displayed the outstanding quality that has made him a revelation this season as he smashed in the opening goal on the volley. It was reminiscent of Tomas Rosicky's thunder strike against Tottenham earlier in the season, but arguably required even more skill to place in the top corner.

GOAL! Ramsey absolutely kills it with the volley. 0-1 GIF: GFY:

— Arsenalist (@arsenalist) May 11, 2014

The goal clearly invigorated Arsenal and their away fans, who filled Carrow Road with noise all game. The atmosphere was spectacular, with chants celebrating Arsene Wenger and the team's upcoming trip to Wembley drowning out the home support.

What a way for @aaronramsey to crown his very impressive campaign! Here's his #NCFCvAFC chalkboard -

— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 11, 2014

They had even more cause for celebration when Carl Jenkinson poked home his first ever goal for Arsenal. After Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski caused chaos in the box, Jenkinson found himself in the right place at just the right time to add on Arsenal's second of the day.

From there, Arsenal just cruised to the final whistle. Jack Wilshere, Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby came on to replace Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky, respectively.

In finally making his return from an ACL tear last spring, Diaby played his first game in 421 days, and the visiting fans could not express their adulation for the oft-injured Frenchman loudly enough.

No Arsenal players were injured or suspended as the final whistle blew, setting the team up just as Arsene Wenger intended for the FA Cup final next weekend against Hull City.


Post-match reaction:

Arsenal's final league position under Wenger: 3-1-2-2-2-1-2-1-2-4-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-4

— David Wall (@1DavidWall) May 11, 2014

Good win, lovely to see Jenks get his first goal and an absolute belter from Aaron (so many what-ifs). Now, for Wembley.

— arseblog (@arseblog) May 11, 2014

The brilliant Arsenal fans celebrate after the match #afc

— Stuart MacFarlane (@Stuart_PhotoAFC) May 11, 2014

Good season from The Arsenal for the most part. Enjoyed most of it. Now of to win at Wembley. Worry about silly season stuff when that comes

— Hilton Dottin (@mesiasdlosktras) May 11, 2014


What's next:

Norwich City are officially relegated and will join Fulham and Cardiff in the Championship next season.

Arsenal will now look forward to their most important game of their season: the FA Cup final against Hull City. With no new injuries or suspensions, they look to be in a perfect position to earn their first piece of silverware for nine years.