Welbeck winner eases pressure on Wenger

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Danny Welbeck came off the bench to fire Arsenal to a 1-0 win over Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, much to the relief of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

  • Arsenal 1-0 Norwich City
  • Sub Welbeck grabs winner
  • Organised fans protest against Wenger
  • Gunners take big step to top four finish
  • Norwich relegation worries increase

Match Summary

Wenger had come under fire from Arsenal fans after another season of perceived underachievement, with two different supporters’ groups staging organised protests during and around the fixture against the relegation-threatened Canaries.

However, a well-struck winner from Welbeck just before the hour mark stifled the protests and all-but cemented Arsenal’s top four finish this season.

Full Report

Wenger named an unchanged team from that which drew with Sunderland last time out and again Arsenal looked to be struggling at times to break down a stubborn side still scrapping for precious points.

In fact, the best of the first half chances went to the visitors, with winger Nathan Redmond twice declining presentable chances to break the deadlock following slack Arsenal defending.

The Gunners, for their part, enjoyed plenty of possession laboured to find any real penetration. Apparently intent on playing their way through a narrow Norwich side, they repeatedly ran out of room before any meaningful final pass could be played.

Norwich came into the game in increasingly desperate mood after already seeing relegation rivals Sunderland and Newcastle pick up points in earlier games, and you always sensed that as long as Arsenal opened the scoring it would probably be enough to guide them to victory – and so it proved.

With the frustration mounting, Wenger sent Welbeck on for Alex Iwobi and the former Manchester United man needed just four minutes to make his presence felt, firing into the bottom corner from just inside the box after an Olivier Giroud cushioned knock-down.

Not long after coming on, Danny #Welbeck has given #Arsenal the lead! #AFCvNCFC

A photo posted by Arsenal Official (@arsenal) on

The game opened up as Norwich abandoned their plan to contain, and Arsenal began creating a few more opportunities, with Mesut Ozil’s stinging saved volley the most eye-catching of them.

They struggled to put the game to bed, though, and had to withstand late Norwich pressure before finally being assured of the three points that looks to have realistically all but guaranteed them another Champions League campaign next season.