Arsenal 4-1 Norwich: Teamwork and individual class both on display for the Gunners (video)

1 Comment

The home side had their first goal before 20 minutes were up. The opener truly showcased Arsenal’s talents, with Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud all exchanging tight one-touch passes as they wove through the Norwich defense. Wilshere slipped through the back line to latch on to the end of the final ball from Giroud, using his right foot to knock it into the back of the net.

Arsenal were kind enough not to score any more during the first half, and by the last five minutes, Norwich finally came to life. Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer both saw their shots saved. It seemed like there might be hope for the visitors, after all.

Sure enough, the Canaries continued to pressure Arsenal after the break. Wojciech Szczesny saved another from Snodgrass, followed immediately by an attempt from Martin Olsson. But the Gunners seemed to thrive on that pressure. A quick counter attack saw Giroud flying up the right. He sent the ball into the middle where Mesut Ozil, after a great run down the left, was waiting. And, wonder of wonders, Ozil headed the ball into the back of the net for his first Premier League goal.

But, with 20 minutes left to play, Arsenal let down their guard and the visitors took advantage. Per Mertesacker failed to adequately clear a cross and Kieran Gibbs didn’t do quite enough to chase it down. Jonny Howson controlled it wonderfully before sending a low drive into the back of the net.

Yet Howson’s goal turned out to be a mere consolation, with Arsenal hitting back with two more of their own. The second was another beauty, this time from Aaron Ramsey. Receiving the ball from Wilshere, Ramsey executed not one but two dummies, throwing off the Norwich defense and leaving him clear on Ruddy’s goal.

Ramsey turned provider for the fourth and final goal. Tomas Rosicky, on for Cazorla, sent the cross over for Ramsey, who pulled it back beautifully for Ozil to fire in his second goal. Another lovely display of team work, and another reason why the other title challengers should feel very worried indeed.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Flamini (Ramsey 37), Cazorla (Rosicky 59), Ozil, Giroud (Bendtner 78)

Subs not used: Vermaelen, Monreal, Fabianski, Jenkinson

Goals: Wilshere 18′, Ozil 58′, Ramsey 83′, Ozil 88′

Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Turner, Olsson; Tettey (Hoolahan 79), Fer, Howson; Snodgrass, Pilkington (Redmond 70), Hooper

Subs not used: Bunn, Whittaker, Johnson, Becchio, R Bennett

Goals: Howson 70′

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
Leave a comment
Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

Leave a comment

Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]