Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City – How it happened

Eddie Nketiah had a home debut he will never forget as he equalised 15 seconds after coming on, before heading home the winning goal in extra-time of our Carabao Cup fourth-round clash against Norwich City.
Trailing to the Championship club with six minutes of normal time remaining, Arsene Wenger took a gamble and threw on the 18-year-old, who has been so prolific at youth level.
Nketiah barely broke stride as he ran on before converting a corner from close range to spark jubilant celebrations.
It was a ‘goosebumps’ moment for those watching on, so you can only imagine what it was like for the teenager. But, scarcely believably, things got even better for him at the start of extra-time when he powered a header into the roof of the net.
That proved to be enough to send us into the quarter-finals, but this rush of excitement was at odds with much of the match that had gone before it.
In a first half of few chances, Rob Holding came closest for us with a close-range header that was pushed away spectacularly by Angus Gunn.
We were struggling to fashion any real opportunities, and then, with 34 minutes on the clock, the visitors hit us with a suckerpunch as Josh Murphy was played in on goal and he beat Matt Macey with a cool finish.
We were indebted to our debutant goalkeeper minutes later when the Canaries broke again, with Nelson Oliveira bending a shot towards the bottom corner that Macey did really well to palm away.
Walcott twice had efforts saved by Gunn before the interval, but there was no way through – and our frustration continued after the interval, too.
Chuba Akpom stepped off the bench with 20 minutes remaining as we sought an increased goal threat, but it was Norwich who were next to go close as Murphy’s first-time effort sailed over the bar.
Mario Vrancic should have wrapped things up for the visitors moments later when played in on goal, but he dragged a left-footed shot wide from inside the area.
With six minutes remaining, Nketiah’s moment arrived – and how he took it. Then, in extra-time he did it again.
On to the quarter-finals we go – but this night was all about Eddie Nketiah. What a debut, what an incredible debut for this young man.

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Michael Freeman

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