Arsenal continues winless streak despite new caretaker manager
Freddie Ljungberg failed to end Arsenal’s unwanted winless streak in his first game as caretaker manager on Sunday.
The London club was playing its first fixture since the sacking of former boss Unai Emery on Friday but the new regime could only hold on for a 2-2 draw against English Premier League minnows Norwich City.
In truth, the Gunners could have lost at Carrow Road if it wasn’t for goalkeeper Bernd Leno saving impressively on a number of occasions in the second half, but two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved enough to take a point from the game.
The result means Arsenal is now eight games without a win in all competitions, a record which leaves it eighth in the Premier League.
Ljungberg would have been reasonably happy with how his side started the game but its familiar defensive fatalities began to kick in after just 20 minutes.
Norwich’s talisman Teemu Pukki was able to glide into space and put his side ahead with a deflected effort.
However, Arsenal reacted well and found themselves level before the break thanks to a controversial penalty, following an accidental handball by defender Christoph Zimmermann.
Aubameyang’s initial effort was saved by Tim Krul but referee Paul Tierney ordered that the penalty be retaken after VAR (video assistant referee) had spotted a handful of Norwich players had encroached into the box before the Arsenal striker was able to take the kick.
Aubameyang made no mistake with his second effort, firing it into the corner of the net.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke was less than happy with the decision to retake the penalty.
“It’s not up to me to judge VAR — when the foot is inside the box and another part is outside you shouldn’t replay the penalty,” he told Sky Sports after the game, before praising his own players.
“It was a great performance. We delivered what we wanted to do. I’m disappointed to some extent — we should have got three points. Some of that was due to a world class Bernd Leno.”
Norwich might well be struggling at the foot of the table but its dramatic win over Manchester City in September proves just how dangerous the newly promoted side can be and it rightly found itself back in front after the break.
Todd Cantwell produced a wonderful finish after yet another decisive counter attack but once again the underdog was pegged back thanks to a lashing effort from Aubameyang.
With the scores level, the game turned into a thrilling affair with both sides gunning for the win.
Despite a point being a good result for the hosts, Norwich will be ruing its luck after missing a handful of golden opportunities to take the lead.
Meanwhile Ljungberg, clearly disappointed after the match, was keen to focus on the positives for Arsenal.
“In the beginning, I saw a lot of things we worked on in training, but we need to score goals and take the lead,” he told Sky Sports.
“I want this club to do well, it is only winning that counts. I wanted to win the game so I am disappointed but I have also seen some positive things.”
Arsenal faces Brighton on Thursday in its next league game as the search for Emery’s permanent replacement continues.