Three huge Premier League games are coming your way on Wednesday, with so much on the line at the bottom of the table ahead of the finale this Sunday.
Liverpool host Chelsea as Jurgen Klopp‘s side aim to boost their top six hopes, while Sunderland know a win against Everton would mean they will be safe from relegation. Norwich must beat Watford to have any chance of staying up.
Bournemouth dominated the first half and Harry Arter‘s through ball found Afobe on the edge of the box and goalkeeper Declan Rudd took him out. Amid cries of a red card from the home fans, referee Bobby Madley booked Rudd with two Norwich defenders covering.
After pushing hard with at the start of the second half, Bournemouth deservedly doubled their lead after winning a penalty. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe grabbed Pugh as he rushed into the box and Daniels hammered home the spot kick off the post and in. 2-0.
The home side continued to pour forward at every opportunity and Steve Cook forced a superb stop from Rudd as he headed towards the top corner.
Late in the game the Cherries sat back and soaked up Norwich pressure and then scored a third as new signing Afobe netted his first goal for the club as he volleyed home Daniels’ superb cross. If this was a boxing match it would’ve been stopped before the hour as the Cherries cruised to a classy win.
Norwich City found themselves relegated on the final day of the Premier League season, losing 2-0 to Arsenal. That capped off a run of seven games in which the Canaries managed just a point, in a goalless draw with Chelsea. In fact, Norwich scored in just one game in that stretch, a 3-2 loss to Liverpool.
In total, the team notched just 28 goals from 38 Premier League games last season, the lowest total in the league. So it wasn’t all that surprising to see them relegated.
It was, however, surprising to see them post a 13-0 scoreline against Italian side SC Vallee d’Aoste. Sure, Vallée d’Aoste play in Serie D, Italy’s highest level of non-professional soccer. But still…it was Norwich.
Well, Norwich really did score that many goals. But not against Vallée d’Aoste. The Canaries had been scheduled to play recently relegated side Novara, now in Italy’s third division. Novara canceled, and Norwich scrambled to find replacements. After beating the assembled side 13-0, Norwich took to the Twitter and their website to announce the win over Vallée d’Aoste.
So in reality, Norwich beat a hastily put-together side of likely amateurs 13-0. But hey, at least they can score on someone, right? Perhaps this bodes well for their time in The Championship next season.
Both Norwich and Arsenal had reasons to make the goals flow. If either side treated the match as simple target practice, notching eighteen or more goals, it could’ve changed their season. Arsenal may have wound up in third place. And, more vitally, Norwich could’ve saved themselves.
The dream was never realistic, but still it was expected that there might be a bit more excitement from this match. Alas, anyone watching was bound to be disappointed.
There were just four shots on target in the first half. With just five minutes gone, Nathan Redmond did make a decent attempt at goal, cutting inside to get past the Arsenal defense. But Lukasz Fabianski was up to the challenge, pushing the swerving shot out of danger.
John Ruddy, too, had work to do. At the other end, he performed a great reaction save to make sure that Lukas Podolski was unable to score. Later, he rescued a shot from Olivier Giroud that was destined for the top corner of the Norwich net.
In the second half, however, Arsenal were finally able to break down the Canaries’ defense. Giroud, heading down the left, chipped the ball over to where Ramsey was hanging out on the right. Ramsey caught the floated cross on the volley, hammering the ball into the top corner of the net.
If Norwich weren’t already broken, that goal sure seemed to do the trick. Sure enough, less than ten minutes later the visitors had doubled their lead – and Norwich were generous enough to allow the goal to go to Carl Jenkinson. The full back tapped in from close range to score his first goal for Arsenal.
With the Gunners up 2-0, Arsène Wenger decided to have mercy on the team’s supporters and bring off Ramsey, possibly preparing to wrap him in cotton wool until next week’s FA Cup final. In his place came Jack Wilshere, getting his first appearance since early March.
Elliott Bennett, on for Nathan Redmond with fifteen minutes left to go, tried to at least give his side a consolation in extra time. Fabianski refused to play nice, however, and of the 17 goals Norwich needed, they wound up scoring exactly zero.
And so Norwich finish the day in 18th, and will spend next season in the Championship. Arsenal, meanwhile, will go into Champions League qualifying, as they ultimately wind up in 4th.