Belfast Telegraph

Holt strike stuns Arsenal

Norwich recorded a deserved first Barclays Premier League win under new manager Chris Hughton as lacklustre Arsenal were beaten 1-0 at Carrow Road.

The Gunners, who included England midfielder Jack Wilshere in the squad after more than a year out with injury, were second best all afternoon as Grant Holt's scrambled effort on 20 minutes following a mistake by goalkeeper Vito Mannone proved enough for all three points to move the hosts out of the relegation zone.

Arsenal, who have now lost two of their past three league games, were well below the usual fluent best and created very few openings.

Norwich did not resemble a team which had shipped 17 goals in their previous seven games and looked much more of an attacking threat with Wes Hoolahan tucked in behind Holt.

The Canaries were in front in the 20th minute. Alex Tettey let fly from 25 yards across a skiddy surface and Vito Mannone - again deputising for injured number one Wojciech Szczesny - parried the ball back out into the six-yard box, where Holt was quickest to react ahead of Per Mertesacker and stab home.

Carl Jenkinson hacked clear as Anthony Pilkington was set to shoot at an unguarded net, while centre-back Michael Turner planted a free header wide.

At the other end, Gervinho was picked out by an angled free-kick from Mikel Arteta, but completely missed the ball.

The Gunners broke quickly after 51 minutes with Jenkinson's cross palmed away by John Ruddy - but Olivier Giroud could only hook the loose ball wide.

Wenger had seen enough and Lukas Podolski was replaced by England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up what looked like a hip problem and had to be replaced by Andrey Arshavin after less than 10 minutes.

Holt capitalised on a slip by Thomas Vermaelen on the half-way line to rush clear - only to then float a tame chip at the keeper with Hoolahan unmarked to his left. Arteta's low strike was held by Ruddy as Norwich closed out a hard-earned first league win.


From Belfast Telegraph