Daley leads Norwich to victory over Arsenal
Michael Bailey Norwich City Res 4, Arsenal Res 2: Luke Delay and the rest of Norwich City's class of 2008 taught Arsenal's wonderkids a lesson of their own at Carrow Road's high profile reserve fixture last night.
Norwich City Res 4, Arsenal Res 2
Luke Delay and the rest of Norwich City's class of 2008 taught Arsenal's wonderkids a lesson of their own at Carrow Road's high profile reserve fixture last night.
Over 7,000 fans saw the Canaries striker help himself to a hat-trick, while Kris Renton also got his name on the scoresheet as the pair outshone their Premier League opponents and Austrian international Roman Kienest, currently on trial at Norwich and hoping to make an impression on boss Glenn Roeder.
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In the end, the watching City manager saw the 24-year-old limp out of the game after only 18 minutes with a slight knock - by which time Arsenal had taken the lead; Emmanuel Frimpong's low 25-yard free-kick fizzing into the net after the flight of the ball appeared to deceive goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.
Kienast's exit allowed Luke Daley to take on the vacant striker berth - a move that would pay dividends later. But Norwich were still on the back foot as Arsenal looked bright and breezy with the ball.
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Only a brilliant tackle from Simon Lappin, playing at centre-back, prevented Amaury Bischoff from making it two after Jay Emmanuel-Thomas took two City defenders out of the game with two touches.
From that moment however, Arsenal's defensive frailties became apparent as Josh Dawkin set up Robert Eagle on the left and although his drive was beaten away by Gunners' keeper Vito Mannone, Norwich had the goal their pressure deserved three minutes later as Eagle bombed down the left again before his curling centre was confidently side-footed home by Daley at the far post in front of a packed Lower Barclay.
It looked like striker Jay Simpson would restore Arsenal's advantage on the half-hour mark, but his chip was eventually held by Nelson and moments later, Norwich took the lead when substitute Sam Habergham's long ball caught defender Kyle Bartley napping.
Daley took full advantage, nipping the ball away before running on goal and tapping home at the second attempt from a couple of yards, his first effort having been deflected by Mannone.
City's third soon followed, Dawkin working his way into the box from the right and after Eagle and Adeyemi failed to score, Renton stepped up from 12 yards out to drive the ball in.
Arsenal had no answer during the first half and the script continued eight minutes into second, this time Lappin's beautiful 60-yard cross-field ball found Dawkin and although his effort was palmed away, Daley was on hand to bury the rebound and bag his hat-trick.
Nelson produced a fine stop from Simpson before he was replaced by 16-year-old Jed Steer on the hour, with Arsenal continuing to pick passes on the edge of the Norwich area, and City defending extremely well.
Steer had a couple of nervous moments, one failing to claim a corner while later grabbing Wilshere's effort at the second attempt after the midfielder threatened to run through on his own.
Top Gunner Tom Cruise was introduced late on and former Canaries loanee Kieran Gibbs, playing at left-back, was sent through after a lovely ball from Wilshere, but Gibbs' left-foot effort finished in the side netting.
The final word went to the Gunners, as Wilshere's corner was only half-cleared and Bischoff lashed home a stunning injury-time volley from just outside the area, but Norwich were well worth their win in front of a noisy home crowd.
t Norwich (4-4-2): Nelson (Steer 63); Francomb, Dumic, Lappin, Eagle; Daley, Adeyemi, Lathrope, Dawkin; Renton (Omoregie 90), Kienast (Habergham 18). Subs not used: Clark, Stephens.
Goals: Daley 23, 30, 53; Renton 34
Bookings: Francomb 57
t Arsenal (4-5-1): Mannone; Eastmond, Bartley, Ayling (Steer 55), Gibbs; Bischoff, Frimpong, Wilshere, Coquelin (Cruise 63), Emmanuel-Thomas (Sunu 55); Simpson. Subs not used: Shea.
Goals: Emmanuel-Thomas 4; Bischoff 90
t Referee: S Artis
t Attendance: 7,138