New manager, same old Arsenal held at Norwich
Norwich, UK - Caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg could not end Arsenal’s long wait for a win as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double only salvaged a 2-2 draw at struggling Norwich on Sunday.
The Canaries twice led through Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell only for Aubameyang to level, first from the penalty spot and then with a clinical finish after the break.
But Arsenal also had goalkeeper Bernd Leno to thank for coming away with a point as the German saved brilliantly from Kenny McLean, Pukki and Emiliano Buendia.
Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager after seven games without a win in all competitions that had seen the Gunners fall well off the pace in the race for a top-four finish.
Ljungberg remains a fans’ favourite from his title-winning days as an Arsenal player, but he suffered the same problems as his predecessor as the visitors’ firepower up front was needed to cover up their defensive problems.
Granit Xhaka returned to the Arsenal side for the first time in the Premier League since an explosive clash with the club’s fans as he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month that cost him the captaincy among four changes from Emery’s last starting line-up in the league.
Shkodran Mustafi was surprisingly recalled for his first outing in the Premier League this season, but it did not take Ljungberg long to realise the German is not his answer to Arsenal’s problems a centre-back.
Ljungberg’s side had made a bright start, but fell behind to Norwich’s first dangerous attack when McLean’s pass played in Pukki, who twisted and turned David Luiz before seeing his shot deflect in off Mustafi for his first goal in nine games.
However, Norwich have also made a habit of giving themselves a mountain to climb this season with defensive errors and gifted Arsenal a route back into the game when captain Cristoph Zimmerman handled a free-kick inside his own box.
Aubameyang saw his first spot-kick saved by Tim Krul, but was given a second chance after a VAR review for encroaching by the Norwich players and fired home the retaken penalty.
Aubameyang has now scored half of his side's 20 Premier League goals this season as the Gunners’ new captain led by example to smash home at the back post from a corner just before the hour mark.
Norwich remain in the bottom three, but inch to within three points of safety.
Wolves, Sheff Utd maintain unbeaten runs
Wolves and Sheffield United edged closer towards the European places in the Premier League after sharing the points from a 1-1 draw at Molineux on Sunday.
Victory for either side would have taken them up to fifth in the table and the visitors got off to a flying start as Lys Mousset struck in the second minute to give Chris Wilder's men the lead.
United had chances to extend their advantage, but were wasteful and they were punished when Matt Doherty headed home an equaliser 26 minutes from time.
The draw means Wolves extended their unbeaten run to nine league matches, while the Blades are now without a defeat in seven games and remain unbeaten on the road this season.
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal