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Arsenal v Norwich City – October 2013

Arsenal v Norwich City – October 2013

Aaron Ramsey

Mesut Ozil scored twice as a late burst sealed Arsenal’s victory over Norwich and extended their lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners looked lethargic after the international break before Jack Wilshere’s superb volleyed opener and Ozil’s headed goal.

Jonny Howson found the bottom corner with 20 minutes left to fray nerves.

But Aaron Ramsey scored a lovely ninth goal of the season to make it 3-1 before Ozil grabbed an easy second.

Although Norwich threatened on several occasions, the visitors were caught out by three moments of class as Arsenal warmed up for their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday with a clinical win.

Wilshere’s first-half strike was the pick of the goals, but Ozil’s first and Ramsey’s waltzing run to continue his fine form, lit up the Emirates as the Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 12 games.

Defeat meant Chris Hughton’s Norwich side have lost four of their last five league games and remain in the bottom three.

This time last season, the Canaries beat the Gunners 1-0 at Carrow Road, but there is a new confidence to Arsenal this season.

Ozil scored his second and third Arsenal goals since joining the club on transfer deadline day for a club record £42.4m from Real Madrid. And such is the depth of the squad that Ramsey was replaced in the starting XI by the returning Santi Cazorla.

The Spaniard was never far from the heart of the Gunners’ best moments. He had an early shot saved and was involved in a spell-binding opening goal.

Wilshere was the architect, collecting the ball deep in his own half before feeding Cazorla on the left and receiving it back near the edge of the area.

There followed a delightful exchange where Wilshere and Olivier Giroud combined with three superb flicks before Wilshere volleyed in from close range after 18 minutes.

Norwich, who have not won in north London since the opening day of the 1992 Premier League season, looked certain to extend this run. But the flow of the game changed with Mathieu Flamini’s departure. Earlier the French midfielder clashed heads with Alexander Tettey and the hosts missed his discipline in front of the back four.

Norwich continued to press in the second half with Martin shooting wide when well-placed following a free-kick and Robert Snodgrass had a shot saved.

However, Ozil then put his stamp on the game with another display of undoubted class.

Again it came from a break near the Arsenal penalty area. Cazorla fed Giroud on the left and Ozil carefully guided the resulting cross past the helpless Ruddy after 58 minutes.

That signalled a collective sigh of relief around the Emirates but 12 minutes Howson fired into the bottom corner after Per Mertesacker failed to adequately clear Martin Olsson’s low cross.

The game was in the balance but as Norwich threw more men forward, two goals in five minutes sealed the victory.

Ramsey danced around the Norwich defence to fire in and then Ozil grabbed a close-range second after being set up by the unselfish Welshman.

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