Arsenal may have blown their chances of qualifying the for Champions League next season, after being held to a draw by a brilliant Norwich side in one of the more exciting league games this season. The game had everything you could possibly ask for - brilliant goals, bad penalty decisions, bookings and lots of missed chances.
The game, which finally finished 3-3, started with a bang. The Gunners took the lead after only two minutes, thanks to Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun (on loan from Chelsea). The early goal undoubtedly put enormous pressure on the visitors but, to their credit, the never-say-die spirit that coach Paul Lambert has imbued them with came to the fore and the Canaries started attacking with intent. The result was a couple of decent chances for Elliot Bennett and Norwich captain Grant Holt.
The visitors' efforts soon bore fruit when Irish midfielder Wes Hoolahan levelled scores after being fed by Kyle Naughton. In the final analysis though, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny should have easily saved this goal.
The Gunners, who were now being completely dominated, did manage to get a few meek shots off, thanks to captain Robin van Persie and Tomas Rosicky. However, Norwich, who were clearly the better side, silenced the Emirates after they a beautifully constructed move that wound up in the back of Arsenal's net from Holt, who managed to scoop the ball past Szczęsny following a lightning fast break led by Hoolahan.
Norwich, who were now completely in control of the game, would have made it 3-1 had it not been for Koscielny, who stopped Holt's effort with a brilliant slide tackle. However, the Gunners had a lucky break soon after, when the visitors were denied what seemed like a clear penalty - a very active Hoolahan was just about to pull the trigger when he was rashly challenged by Francis Coquelin.
Around the hour mark though, Arsenal, looking for help from the bench, brought teenage attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the mix. However, it was Captain Fantastic - Robin van Persie - who got the Emirates crowd back to their feet, with a 72<sup>nd minute equaliser. Eight minutes later, it was van Persie again... this time a brilliant strike from the centre of the box to give Arsenal what they no doubt fervently hoped would be a 3-2 win.
It was not to be. Norwich's Steve Morison, on a substitute, picked up on a loose ball and made the scores 3-3. The final bit of heartbreak for the Gunners (although Norwich will call it poetic justice) was a clear penalty appeal turned down after Naughton pushed van Persie just as he was about to take a shot on goal.
With barely minutes left, Wenger's men threw everything (including the kitchen sink) at their visitors but Norwich held firm to deny their hosts all three points and, potentially, throw their Champions League hopes out the window.