Arsenal 4 Norwich City 1
(Wilshere 18, Özil 58, 88, Ramsey 83, Howson 70)

Arsenal thrashed Norwich City at the Emirates stadium with the Gunners ominously firing on full power post the international break. The win restores Arsenal to the Premiership summit. Jack Wilshere’s first ever Premiership goal at the Emirates was followed by a superb second half strike from substitute Aaron Ramsey, netting either side of Mesut Özil’s double. The Canaries threatened when Jonathan Howson reduced the score to 2-1, until Arsene Wenger’s side grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to record their sixth Premiership win of the season.

Arsenal started with Santi Cazorla for the first time since the September 1st win over Spurs. His presence alongside Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Özil posed all sorts on intricate questions for Norwich. Flamini the Gunners’ midfield enforcer however had his afternoon cut short after just 38 minutes when a nasty clash of heads with Alexander Tettey forced Wenger to bring on Ramsey. The Arsenal manager later revealed that Flamini had suffered concussion, and was feeling the affects of not only the knock on his head but also double vision. Flamini remains a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal’s bright start teased the Emirates faithful, safe in the knowledge that the reward their football deserved was on the way. Cazorla was soon into the flow of things, as was Özil, who showed no ill affects from a niggling knee concern that had threatened his inclusion. After Cazorla tested John Ruddy early, the Spain midfielder would be instrumental in the Gunners’ opener.

Wilshere’s first ever Premiership goal was a thing of beauty. The England man started the move as he pushed out from deep in defence. The ball now on the left hand side with Cazorla weaving his magic past the Norwich defence. His pass found the advanced Wilshere, and after the quickest of exchanges with Olivier Giroud, Arsenal’s number 10 had placed the ball beyond the reach of a mesmerised John Ruddy. Pure quality.

Norwich, stunned but determined continued to pass, but every time they were threatening to create an opening, this Gunners’ defence held firm. Arsenal however were playing some fine football, and should have doubled their lead when Giroud’s low powerful half volley from Kieran Gibbs cross was well saved by Ruddy diving low to his right. Unable to add to their first half lead, the Gunners appeared to have remembered the fact that bar Arteta and Flamini, every player had been involved with their national sides, and the exertions of two tough World Cup qualifiers seemed to sap the energy of some player.

Norwich sensed that fact, and the almost redundant Wojciech Szczesny was pressed into action with two saves to end the half, when Leroy Fer’s pile-driver could so easy have seen the Canaries level at the break.

Just shy of the hour mark, Arsenal doubled their advantage. Ramsey gained midfield possession and fed the ball to Cazorla. He spread the ball out wide to Giroud, and the France striker’s pinpoint cross for Özil to head past Ruddy was the reward the Gunners’ had hoped for and a 2-0 scoreline.

Stubbornly determined however, Norwich grabbed a lifeline after 70 minutes, when Per Mertersacker’s sliced clearance fell to Howson. The Norwich midfielder struck powerfully beyond Szczesny’s dive.

Arsenal however seemed to find an extra gear when it mattered. By that stage Cazorla had been replaced by Tomas Rosicky, with Ramsey and Arteta now coming to an agreement on their respective roles. The former Wales captain may have expected to start this game and duly began to remind Wenger of his natural ability.

Ramey raced away and unleashed a venomous shot which Ruddy did well to keep out, and the Norwich keeper also thwarted Özil from Ramsey’s pass. The Gunners now went in for the kill. Nicklas Bendtner replaced Giroud and the Dane quickly established his presence in the Gunners’ attack. Ruddy stood firm to Ramsey and Bendtner efforts, but could do nothing for Arsenal’s third goal of the afternoon.

Ramsey now raced centrally but checked back towards the right. He twisted and turned his away past a succession of Norwich defenders before picking his spot past Ruddy. The goal just symbolises the form Ramsey and his team mates who had time to add a fourth goal.

Rosicky was enjoying a barnstorming cameo role, and it was his cross which Ramsey cushioned back to Özil saw the German net his second of the afternoon for a thoroughly deserved 4-1 scoreline.