Norwich City 2 Arsenal 2
Pukki 21, Cantwell 47, Aubameyang 29, pen 57

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double got Freddie Ljungeberg’s caretaker head coach role up and running to earn Arsenal a point against Norwich City at Carrow Road. Having dominated the early play, which saw Alexandre Lacazette mis hit his shot from five yards out with only Tim Krull to beat, and Shkodran Mustafi seeing his header cleared off the line, the indications were that post Unai Emery, the Gunners were growing in the mood to release the shackles. However with their first meaningful assault on Bernd Leno’s goal, the Canaries took the lead. Teemu Pukki was given too much time to shoot as both Mustafi and David Luiz backed off. The ball came off Mustafi and past Leno for the game’s opener. The Gunners were rewarded for they early efforts with a penalty when Christoph Zimmerman handled the ball from a corner. Krull’s mind games as Aubameyang was getting ready to take the spot kick enabled the Dutch keeper to save the ball.

However, VAR identified several yellow shirted players had encroached into the area, and the penalty had to be re-taken. This time Aubameyang struck beyond Krull for the Arsenal leveller. Norwich re-took the lead in first half stoppage time. Callum Chambers tried one trick too many and his side was exposed once again. Once again, the Arsenal defence afforded Cantwell too much time and he placed his low effort beyond Leno. Ljungberg and his assistant Per Mertersacker looked on at a hand held tv replay. They wouldn’t have liked what they saw. No defensive protection from any midfielder and the back line unable or unwilling to take command of their area. Arsenal levelled for the second time when Mesut Ozil’s corner found Mustafi. His mis hit shot caused panic in the Canaries defence and first to react was Aubameyang with the follow top high into Krull’s net.

That seemed to awake the home side, and Leno was soon the only reason why the Gunners didn’t fall further behind. The German keeper made a succession of saves and from gilt edged chances falling to Kenny McLean, Cantwell and Pukki in particular. Once again, the Arsenal midfield and defence were being nullified. Aubameyang kept tracking back to help out, but what where Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and later Lucas Torreira all thinking? Substitute Bukayo Saka got caught in possession when all he needed to do was to stretch Norwich at the other end, and the telling effects from Gabriel Martinelli were too late in the day. The young Brazilian should have been introduced much earlier in the game.

Ljungberg will of course take the positives from the game, and will also try to arrest the defensive woes, which in truth have been there for many years now.

“We started the game really well, that’s how I want to play football,” Ljungberg told Sky Sports

“But we need to work on the transitions, we dominated and they break us too easily. In the beginning I saw a lot of things we worked on in training, but we need to score goals and take the lead. I want this club to do well, it is only winning that counts. I wanted to win the games so I am disappointed but I have also seen some positive things.

On the penalty, he said “From what I heard it was quite obvious, that’s what the results are for. The most important thing was for Aubameyang to have the mental strength to score the second penalty after missing the first one.”

Arsenal now host Brighton on Thursday, where Ljungberg will hope for a first win after six winless Premier League games.