Grant Holt's first half goal was all Norwich City needed as the Canaries played a brilliant 90 minutes of soccer and defeated Arsenal to earn their first win of the season. Not only that, it's Norwich's first ever home win over Arsenal in the Premier League and the first time they've defeated the Gunners at Carrow Road in 28 years.
Arsenal were the better side in the first half, at least in terms of possession. The Canaries seemed perfectly content to sit back and defend, while waiting for a chance to counter attack. The plan worked well and it was Norwich struck first in the 19th minute. Alexander Tettey's long-range shot was parried away by Vito Mannone, but unfortunately for Arsenal, the ball went right in to the path of Grant Holt who fired the rebound in to the net from 2-yards out after beating Per Mertesacker in a foot race to the ball. Michael Turner missed a wonderful chance to give Norwich a second goal in the 34th minute, sending a free header off a corner just wide of the far post.
Despite moments in the second half where Arsenal seemed to show some urgency, Norwich remained in control and comfortable for the entire half. The Canaries defending, kept the game in front of them and pressured Arsenal on the counter with the opportunity presented itself.
All the credit to Norwich for keeping the pace of the game slow, confusing and frustrating the Arsenal attack and defending intelligently for 90 minutes. It was easily some of the most boring and aesthetically unpleasing soccer you're likely to see, but it was effective. In the end, that's all that matters.
On the other hand, this is the type of game that reminds you why Arsenal are good, but rarely great. While Manchester City found a way to win after being down both a man and a goal, the Gunners couldn't muster a goal, let alone a really dangerous attacking moment. For a team with better talent, faster and more creative players, it was an ugly and all together boring performance. Sorry to be blunt, but great teams find a way to break down a stubborn defense and get a goal.
Arsenal never appeared to make any major changes or adjustments. They seemed convinced that if they just kept doing the same thing (that hadn't been working all game) that something magical might happen. In conclusion it was a 90-minute reminder of why Arsenal hasn't won a trophy in over seven years.
The win lifts Norwich out of the relegation zone and in to 15th place.