EPL 2005: Day 4 (Norwich 1 – Arsenal 4)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
August 29th, 2004 • 7:25 am

Another day, another victory for Arsenal and for Chelsea… It’s starting to look more and more like a race between those two! Which team will be the first to drop points? It’s rather hard to predict at this point, but Arsenal is certainly providing better entertainment: 16 goals in 4 games!

In the continuing absence of Vieira (and Campbell) and with Dennis Bergkamp on the bench, Henry was appointed captain of the team for the day, and he certainly took on that role with enough panache and conviction, creating goals and scoring one himself with a nicely taken header. The other goals were scored by the (now) usual suspects, Reyes, Pires, and… Bergkamp, who came in for Reyes later on.

Still, it wasn’t as easy as the score might suggest, and, while you could sense that the Gunners never really kicked into high gear, Norwich certainly tried to cause some anxiety among Arsenal fans, especially early in the second half. Arsenal were also helped by the refereeing, with Graham Poll being surprisingly lenient with Lauren, who probably should have been sent off at some point during the game. (Anyone who remembers the infamous game against Newcastle at Highbury a few seasons ago, where Parlour was sent off very harshly by the same Poll, with devastating effect, will be rather surprised with this new development in that referee’s career.)

Then again, the penalty awarded to Norwich was also rather harsh on newbie Arsenal defender Justin Hoyte. All in all, it would be rather far-fetched to argue that Arsenal didn’t deserve the three points.

Elsewhere, Manchester United dropped two more points against Blackburn at Ewood Park, thanks mostly to an astonishing performance by Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel. Still, after Arsenal’s comfortable victory against the same team in the mid week encounter, it reinforces the feeling that Manchester might just be a notch or two behind Arsenal and Chelsea this season.

Next up for the Gunners is an away fixture against Fulham on September 11, which, given the fixture’s recent history, might prove to be more of a challenge, although Fulham appear to be rather inconsistent in the early proceedings this season.

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