Lewis Grabban leveller earns Norwich City draw with Arsenal
A first-half equaliser from Lewis Grabban to cancel out Mesut Ozil’s opener has earned Norwich City a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal this afternoon. Arsenal were in complete control for the game’s opening 40 minutes, as Alexis Sanchez fired wide early on, before Olivier Giroud volleyed wide from a Nacho Monreal cross.
The visitors took a deserved lead on 30 minutes when Norwich keeper John Ruddy cleared as far as Sanchez, who picked out Ozil for a clinical finish into the corner of the net.
The Canaries finally had an effort on goal in the 41st minute, as Robbie Brady forced a comfortable save from Arsenal keeper Petr Cech. The hosts scored the equaliser two minutes later, as Grabban outmuscled substitute Gabriel Paulista – who replaced the injured Laurent Koscielny early on – before placing a composed finish into the bottom corner of the net.
Alex Neil’s side were close to taking the lead before the break as Andre Wisdom found Wes Hoolahan with an inviting cross, only for the veteran midfielder to blaze his effort over the bar. Both sides struggled to create any opportunities for much of the second half, as Ozil smashed a free kick into the Norwich City wall from a good position on 58 minutes, while Hector Bellerin fired narrowly wide minutes later.
Alexis Sanchez was forced off on the hour mark after picking up a hamstring injury, further adding to Arsene Wenger’s injury list ahead of the Christmas schedule. Cech produced an impressive save to deny the hosts on 70 minutes, as the former Chelsea man dove low to parry away a header from Gabriel that was creeping into his side’s own net, before Jonny Howson fired over the bar from the corner that followed.