Arsenal draw at Norwich City
London, November 30
Arsenal lost Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny to injury during a 1-1 draw at Norwich City on Sunday that prevented them drawing level with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Sanchez set up Mesut Ozil for Arsenal’s 30th-minute opener at Carrow Road, but after Lewis Grabban had equalised just before half-time, the influential Chilean left the fray clutching his right hamstring. Centre-back Koscielny had already departed by that stage, having been replaced by Gabriel in the 11th minute, leaving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger with eight senior players on the treatment tables.
Defending his decision to select Sanchez, who had complained of a tight hamstring after Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, Wenger told Sky Sports: “At the moment on the striker front we have not much choice because (Theo) Walcott is out, (Danny) Welbeck is out. I would have rested him today, but he felt perfectly alright before the game. He declared that he had no problem.” Wenger also revealed that midfielder Santi Cazorla had finished the game nursing a leg problem.
Sanchez released Ozil to lift a cool finish over John Ruddy, but Norwich levelled when Robbie Brady’s incisive pass found Grabban, who rolled Gabriel and slotted the ball past Petr Cech. Arsenal are now two points below City in fourth place, with Leicester City and Manchester United between them, having squandered an opportunity to move level on points with Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Liverpool had much happier injury news to report in their 1-0 win over Swansea City at Anfield as they welcomed back England internationals Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge after spells on the sidelines. James Milner’s 62nd-minute penalty, awarded for a handball by Neil Taylor, lifted Jurgen Klopp’s side up to sixth place and increased the pressure on Swansea manager Garry Monk, who has overseen one win in 10 league games.
Henderson, Liverpool’s captain, made his return after three months out with a broken foot as a replacement for Roberto Firmino, while Sturridge made his first appearance under Klopp following a knee problem. Milner said: “It was brilliant to see them out there as they are big misses when they are out.” Liverpool have lost only once in 10 games since Klopp succeeded the sacked Brendan Rodgers and finished the weekend four points below fourth-place Arsenal, who occupy the last of the Champions League places. “I am proud of the lads,” said Klopp. “It was really difficult for both teams — the wind was in the stadium more than the stands.”
West Ham United are now without a win in four league games following a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion. Mauro Zarate put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute with a free-kick, but West Brom equalised early in the second half when Rickie Lambert’s shot deflected in off Winston Reid for an own goal.