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Arsenal cement top four spot with 5-0 win at Norwich

Saka opened
the scoring early on before Kieran Tierney added another goal just before the
break. The England forward got his brace midway through the second half, while
Alexandre Lacazette, with a penalty, and Emile Smith Rowe wrapped up the
victory.

The win
takes Arsenal to 35 points from 19 games following their fourth straight league
victory, just over two years since manager Mikel Arteta’s first match in charge
of the Gunners.

They have a
six-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, although their London
rivals have three games in hand.

“It’s a
very satisfying result because in this festive period we have to keep
performances to a high level,” said Arteta. “We looked really sharp
and committed.

“It’s a
big win for us. The amount of chances we create is pleasing. We go to every
ground to try and impose our game. Today was a really good example.”

The visitors
took the lead after six minutes through Saka, who stroked the ball past
goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who was making his Premier League debut, following a
neat passing move that led to Martin Odegaard laying the ball into the
forward’s path.

Arsenal
continued to test the Norwich defence with Saka the danger man thanks to his
jinking runs down the wing and Gabriel Martinelli also posing a threat as the
Gunners dominated.

Norwich’s
last top-flight Boxing Day win was in 1987 so the signs were ominous for the
struggling Canaries from the start.

However, it
took Arsenal until just before halftime to score again on the break when
Scotland left back Tierney fired home a low shot, with Odegaard again providing
the killer pass.

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Norwich
stayed in the game until the 67th minute but then the floodgates opened as the
visitors struck three times.

England
forward Saka got Arsenal’s third goal with another precise strike after
cleverly weaving his way past Brandon Williams on the right edge of the area.

Lacazette
was then fouled in the box by Ozan Kabak, and the Frenchman got up to convert
the spot kick in the 84th.

Substitute
Smith Rowe complete the rout with a goal in added time, leaving Norwich on 10
points – three adrift of fourth-bottom Watford having played two games more.

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