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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Arsenal end league season with win over Norwich

Fourth place and 79 points. That's what we've achieved in the League this season. It's certainly a Premier League season that could've been. Manchester City were victorious but led the pack for the least amount of days out of this season's top four. Arsenal on the other hand, spent the most time at the top. We still have the FA Cup final to come next weekend which will hopefully bring success. The Norwich game was a great way to end the league this campaign. Aaron Ramsey ended it the same way he started it whilst Carl Jenkinson also grabbed a goal. It was a convincing performance and we played really well against an all but relegated Norwich side at the time. The team line-up brought about many changes as Cazorla and Mertesacker weren't in the squad and were rested. Fabianski started for the first time in the league in 2013/14 whilst Sagna started at centre back.
Ramsey and Jenkinson were on the score-sheet as Arsenal beat Norwich
It was a game of little significance for Arsenal as we had already secured fourth place. Previous final days have seen us needing a win in order to get Champions League football. There was no drama on Sunday though as we ran out comfortable victors against a Norwich side with little fight left in them. The first half was a slow affair but end to end. Giroud and Podolski both could have put us a goal ahead but Ruddy was having an outstanding game. Aaron Ramsey's goal was one Ruddy couldn't keep out though. Giroud dinked the ball towards the back post in which the Welshman unleashed a sumptuous volley right into the top corner. It was Ramsey's tenth league goal of a breakthrough campaign.

Carl Jenkinson notched Arsenal's second goal and it was the young full-backs first goal for the club. I'm sure everyone involved with the club was delighted for him. He celebrated like it was a last minute strike of great importance but can you blame him really? If it was an audition for the likely departure of Bacary Sagna it was a very good one. He looked fairly solid down the right hand side and got up and down the pitch well.

Bacary Sagna, who does indeed look set to leave in the summer will be a huge loss. Despite two leg breaks in recent years he's been one of our most consistent players. It'll be incredibly difficult to find a right back as committed as Sagna, who in 2013/14 has proved himself to be very versatile at times. He's played at left back and in this game had a brilliant game at centre back which I thought merited him the man of the match award.

Jack Wilshere made his return after a couple of months out whilst Abou Diaby also made his return to first team action for the first time in 13 months. Both of them coming on in the second half was extremely encouraging and both looked comfortable on the ball. They've been two of the most injury prone players and it'll be key that they remain fit next season.

It was interesting to see that Wenger went with Fabianski instead of Szczesny for the final league game. That could've been his final game for the club as who starts in the final next week remains to be seen. I won't complain either way because both have been outstanding this season. Fabianski deserves it because of his role in the Cup this season but Szczesny is our number one.

Anyway, lets hope that 2014/15 brings us better fortunes in the league and we can mount a title challenge until the very end. First, the FA Cup final awaits!

The teams line-ups:

Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Turner, Bennett, Olsson, Redmond(75), Tettey(58), Johnson, Snodgrass, Howson, Elmander(58).
Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Bennett(75), Fer, Murphy, Loza(58), Hooper(58). 

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Sagna, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey(63), Rosicky(74), Ozil, Podolski, Giroud(74).
Subs: Szczesny, Monreal, Flamini, Kallstrom, Wilshere(63), Diaby(74), Sanogo(74). 

My man of the match: Bacary Sagna. 

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 26,848.    

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