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Norwich City Premier League A-Z: A is for Arsenal... Holt, Robins and some classic handbags

Grant Holt wheels away after scoring in the Premier League match in 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Grant Holt wheels away after scoring in the Premier League match in 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

There have been some spectacular games against ARSENAL over the years - from big comebacks and big wins to big dust-ups, as Chris Lakey reports

Grant Holt celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game when City met Arsenal at Carrow Road in October, 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdGrant Holt celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game when City met Arsenal at Carrow Road in October, 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

October 20, 2012

City 1 Arsenal 0

It had taken City eight attempts, but Grant Holt's goal was enough to wrap up their first win of the Premier League season.

Holt struck after just 19 minutes, slotting the ball past Vito Mannone after the keeper had parried a shot from Alex Tettey.

Steve Morison scores a late equaliser at The Emirates Stadium in May, 2012 - and has a message for City fans Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdSteve Morison scores a late equaliser at The Emirates Stadium in May, 2012 - and has a message for City fans Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger knew all about Holt - he admitted he'd caused them problems the previous season - and he was right.

The match came after an international break during which time then boss Chris Hughton had managed to solve a leaky defensive issue which had seen City concede nine goals in their previous two matches - three of them at the hands of that serial Canaries killer Luis Suarez. City finished the season 11th, Arsenal fourth.

May 5, 2012

Scenes of jubilation in the directors' box as Norwich secure their first win of the 2012-13 season Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdScenes of jubilation in the directors' box as Norwich secure their first win of the 2012-13 season Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Arsenal 3 City 3

The raised finger to the mouth of Steve Morison told a story: the City striker had an up-and-down relationship with some supporters. Having had the final scoring say in a six-goal thriller, it was his way of making a point. Literally.

"It was one of my favourite moments during my time at Norwich," said Morison. "It was a sweet moment because it was on the back of not getting a lot of game time but to come on and get the goal with one of my first touches was a great moment."

Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt had put City 2-1 after Yossi Benayoun's opener. Robin van Persie's brace looked to have sorted it all out, until Morison scored with five minutes remaining.

City keep out 
Santi Cazorla's free-kick as they beat the Gunners 1-0 in October, 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdCity keep out Santi Cazorla's free-kick as they beat the Gunners 1-0 in October, 2012 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It was City's first season back in the top flight and under Paul Lambert they finished 12th, but this was to be the manager's last away game in charge. By the end of the month he had resigned, prompting a bitter departure to Aston Villa.

August 15, 1992

Arsenal 2 City 4

Mark Robins, on his debut, scored twice at Highbury on the opening day of the inaugural Premier League season Picture: ArchantMark Robins, on his debut, scored twice at Highbury on the opening day of the inaugural Premier League season Picture: Archant

Picture the scene: it's the opening day of the first ever Premier League season. The fixture compiler has sent City to Highbury, home of title favourites Arsenal.

The sun is shining, the home supporters are looking forward to a comfortable opener - and along come Norwich.

It had started well for the Gunners, who were 2-0 at half-time. Then Mark Robins entered the fray, a 58th-minute replacement for Chris Sutton. The little striker pulled one back 11 minutes into his City debut, David Phillips levelled, Ruel Fox made it 3-2 in the 82nd minute and two minutes later Robins grabbed a second. It was the stuff of dreams, as was much of that season. City were top much of the time, but faded in the final weeks to finish third - still their best ever season.

City's keeper Bryan Gunn is beaten by Niall Quinn for the Gunner's first goal on 'Fireworks Night' Picture: PACity's keeper Bryan Gunn is beaten by Niall Quinn for the Gunner's first goal on 'Fireworks Night' Picture: PA

November 4, 1989

Arsenal 4 City 3

"It was a game of football I enjoyed," said referee George Tyson.

A seven-goal thriller, with Norwich City relinquishing a 2-0 lead on a night when the Gunners David O'Leary broke the club's appearance record ... well it would be wouldn't it?

It had everything - including a 19-player brawl at the very end which gave the game its somewhat premature title, Fireworks Night.

Malcolm Allen and David Phillips put City in control, the later from a free-kick after O'Leary hacked down Allen and lit the blue touch paper for what was to follow, Niall Quinn pulled done back, a Lee Dixon penalty levelled it, but Tim Sherwood put City ahead again.

O'Leary made it 3-3 and then, in the dying seconds, Michael Thomas was harshly adjudged to have been fouled in the box by Ian Butterworth and Dixon stepped up to take the penalty. Bryan Gunn saved it, but the defender managed to prod home the rebound. And then all hell broke loose; Alan Smith, following up, celebrated and was immediately surrounded by there City players and suddenly it was handbags in the area involving just about everyone. There was definitely a kick by one City player, but the whole incident was more pushing and shoving than fisticuffs.

Arsenal were vilified by the media for the brawl. The leading TV pundits of the day, Saint and Greavsie, described it no worse than "scuffles in the January sales".

Norwich were fined £50,000 for their part in proceedings while Arsenal were fined £20,000 - it was the first time the FA had held clubs directly responsible for their players' behaviour.

Manager

Unai Emery

Been in charge of the Gunners for a year, having had the unenviable task of taking over from Arsene Wenger. Former managerial appointments include Valencia, Sevilla and Paris St Germain. The PSG won both domestic cups in each of Emery's first two seasons and claimed treble in 2017/18 as they won the Ligue 1 title. Seemed close to the perfect fit, although many thought Wenger's office would be filled by former Gunner Mikel Arteta.

Last season

Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League, just a point behind arch-rivals Spurs, and two off third place. Unai Emery has an excellent record in the Europa League, having won it three times in succession at Sevilla, but his team were thumped 4-1 in Wednesday's final and that has cost them a place in next season's Champions League. Their Premier League campaign started with defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, but they then went on a 14-game unbeaten run. Knocked out of the League Cup by Spurs and the FA Cup by Manchester United, their top-four hopes were probably ended in April when they lost three games in a row - to Palace, Wolves and Leicester.

New season

The manager has pledged to rebuild the squad, and the Gunners look set to give him time. Has lost Aaron Ramsey to Juventus, while Mesut Ozil continues to frustrate: if Emery builds a squad based on body language, he's gone. No doubt that the Arsenal defence, which has traditionally been a strong point - needs a revamp. "We need to speak with the club, speak with the players, and do one step more in our way," Emery said. "But our idea is to continue carrying on improving with the young players who arrived last year." Will those younger players have enough about them to challenge the top four? Will Joe Willock be better than Ozil? Will Eddie Nketiah become a first team regular? And who might he bring in to replace those who go through the exit door?

Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly have been mentioned, but it might take a big sale to free up some finances - that could be Ozil's biggest input.

HEAD TO HEAD

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NW Draws AW

League 9 18 23

League Cup 1 1 3

FA Cup 1 0 2

Total 11 19 28

Last 10 league games

2015/2016

PREMIER LEAGUE

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Arsenal 1 Norwich 0

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Norwich 1 Arsenal 1

2013/2014

PREMIER LEAGUE

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Norwich 0 Arsenal 2

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Arsenal 4 Norwich 1

2012/2013

PREMIER LEAGUE

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Arsenal 3 Norwich 1

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Norwich 1 Arsenal 0

2011/2012

PREMIER LEAGUE

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Arsenal 3 Norwich 3

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Norwich 1 Arsenal 2

2004/2005

PREMIERSHIP

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Arsenal 4 Norwich 1

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Norwich 1 Arsenal 4

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