Apr 30, 2016 at 5.30pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,989
NorwichNorwich City
Welbeck (59')
Ozil (85')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-0 Norwich City - as it happened

Aaron Ramsey in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Norwich City on April 30, 2016
© Getty Images
Relive Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Norwich City at the Emirates as Danny Welbeck comes off the bench to fire his side up to third in the table.

Arsenal moved up to third in the Premier League table courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.

The Gunners failed to have a single shot on target in the first half, but Danny Welbeck's introduction after the break changed things and the striker got the only goal of the game shortly before the hour mark.

The defeat leaves Norwich two points from safety and down in 19th in the table, while Arsenal are now eight points clear of fifth.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.

4.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's late Premier League kickoff as relegation-threatened Norwich City travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal! It is a big game for both teams, and while on paper it looks like a safe bet for a home win, nothing can be taken for granted in this season of all seasons. Before we get into all that, though, let's take a look at the team news...

4.32pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Elneny, Ramsey; Iwobi, Sanchez, Ozil; Giroud

4.32pmARSENAL SUBS: Ospina, Gabriel, Coquelin, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Welbeck

4.34pmNORWICH STARTING XI: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin, Bassong, Olsson; Redmond, Howson, O'Neil, Brady; Hoolahan; Jerome

4.34pmNORWICH SUBS: Rudd, Whittaker, Naismith, Mbokani, Jarvis, Dorrans, Mulumbu

4.36pmWe'll take a more in-depth look at that team news a little later, but for now let's start with Arsenal and what looks like being a difficult afternoon for Arsene Wenger even before a ball is kicked. The Frenchman is celebrating his 750th Premier League match in charge of the club today, second only to Sir Alex Ferguson's tally of 810, but if a growing amount of supporters get their way then there won't be too many more to come for the long-serving boss.

4.38pmTwo prominent supporters' groups have announced plans to protest against the way that the club is being run, both at board level and by Wenger himself, and an increasing number of fans do seem to be losing patience with arguably the greatest manager in Arsenal's long history. There is no doubt that it has been another disappointing campaign for the Gunners - arguably the worst of their 12-year title drought considering the chance they have missed this season - but they also need to ensure that they get things right. They need only look at Manchester United's post-Sir Alex Ferguson plight to see what can happen if they get it wrong.

4.40pmArsenal actually come into today's match unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games, but it is draws that have seen them really slip away from the title race once and for all, and now they find themselves embroiled in a battle just to stay in the top four. The Gunners have dropped points to West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Sunderland in each of the past three weekends, with a midweek triumph over West Bromwich Albion their only win in that time.

4.42pmThe most recent of those draws came last weekend when they were held to a goalless draw by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light - a typically underwhelming way for the title to move mathematically beyond their reach. There were chances for both sides in that game, but Arsenal couldn't find the breakthrough and the pressure on Wenger's shoulders was edged up another notch. Should they also fail to beat another relegation candidate in Norwich this afternoon then the calls for Wenger to end his long spell at the club will grow even louder.

Olivier Giroud looks dejected after a missed opportunity during the Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal at Stadium of Light on April 24, 2016© Getty Images

4.44pmThat point at Sunderland didn't do too much for their hopes of staying in the top four either, although as things stand their fate is still in their own hands in that regard. They sit five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, although the Red Devils have played a game more than both Arsenal and Manchester City. Arsenal will expect victories against Norwich and Aston Villa in two of their final three games, but sandwiched between them is a huge clash with Manchester City. Should Arsenal lose that and United go on to win their remaining four games of the season then the Gunners would miss out on a place in the top four.

4.46pmThere is, of course, no guarantee that United will win all of their remaining games, particularly as they have some difficult games to come, and Arsenal could pile the pressure on the two teams around them in the table with a victory here. Both Manchester clubs are in action tomorrow, so a win would move the Gunners into third this afternoon and see them go eight clear of United - a big gap psychologically. Another other than a win, though, would hand the initiative to the Manchester clubs ahead of their difficult games tomorrow, with City at Southampton and United hosting a Leicester City side gunning for the title at Old Trafford.

4.48pmOne of the main concerns for Arsenal right now will be their home form, which is usually their main strength in a season. They have only won two of their last seven outings in front of their own fans and have not won back-to-back league games at the Emirates so far in 2016, although that should change with their remaining two home games coming against Norwich and Villa. They only have the fifth best home record in the top flight this season which, while not being terrible, is certainly below their usual standards.

4.50pmNorwich may feel that they have a chance to pull off an upset today, then, and it would be priceless for them if they managed it. They are currently embroiled in a three-way relegation battle with Sunderland and Newcastle, and with the North-East duo currently in action, Norwich will know exactly what they need to do at the Emirates here by the time they kick off. They are only in the bottom three on goal difference as things stand, but with the other two in slightly better form, things are beginning to look a little bleak for the Canaries.

4.52pmThat would certainly change with a win at the Emirates, but Norwich's last two results have quickly ended any momentum built up by a brief revival. Victory over West Brom was followed by a dramatic last-gasp triumph at Newcastle that seemed to push them towards survival, but they have failed to build on that win and come into this match off the back to successive defeats at the hands of fellow strugglers Crystal Palace - who hadn't won in 2016 before that result - and Sunderland.

4.54pmThe latter of those results looks like being the most damaging, with Sunderland now not only above them in the table, but seven goals better off when it comes to goal difference. Victory would have all but secured safety for the Canaries at Carrow Road, and Sunderland went into the game with a 'must-not-lose' attitude rather than a must-win one, yet goals from Borini, Defoe and Watmore gave the Black Cats what could prove to be a pivotal 3-0 win.

Fabio Borini scores from the penalty spot during the Premier League game between Norwich City and Sunderland on April 16, 2016© Getty Images

4.56pmNorwich have had a week off since that defeat, which may be a good thing or may be a bad thing from Alex Neil's point of view. What it has done is left the Canaries with a game in hand over Newcastle, which could prove vital considering the Magpies take on relegated Aston Villa and a Tottenham side who may not have anything to fight for in their final two games. Intriguingly, Norwich and Sunderland both have very similar run-ins, with the Canaries taking on Manchester United, Watford and Everton in their final three games, while Sunderland face Chelsea, Everton and Watford.

4.58pmTwo of those games come at home for Norwich, which will come as welcome relief considering their recent away form. The Canaries have lost seven of their last eight away games, with a solitary victory at West Brom being their only triumph in that period. That game also saw them score just one of the two goals that they have managed over those eight games, and with one of the worst defensive records in the division as well, that is clearly not a winning formula.

5.00pmLooking even further back, Norwich have picked up just eight points on the road since the opening day of the season - second only to Aston Villa as the worst record in the league over that time. They have lost 12 and won just two of those 16 games, so they may not be expecting too much from their final two away games of the season - here at the Emirates and then against Everton at Goodison Park on the final day of the campaign.

5.02pmGoals have been a major issue for Norwich this season, with only three teams having found the back of the net less than the Canaries. They also have the lowest-scoring top-scorer in the division, with Nathan Redmond and Dieumerci Mbokani leading the way with five goals apiece. It's not as though they have been particularly wasteful in front of goal either - they simply haven't been creating the chances. Norwich have had the fewest amount of touches in the opposition area this season (569), while Arsenal, incidentally, have had the most (1158).

5.04pmNow, let's take a closer look at that team news, shall we? Well, Wenger has opted to name an unchanged side to the one that drew 0-0 with Sunderland last time out, which includes another start for Giroud despite the striker having now gone 14 Premier League games without a win - his longest ever drought in the competition.

5.06pmOzil is also struggling to hit his earlier-season form and has now gone eight games without registering an assist, leaving him stuck on 18 after it looked for all the world as though he would break Thierry Henry's single-season record of 20 earlier in the campaign. The German cannot be entirely to blame, though, having created 137 goalscoring chances for his teammates this season - more than any other player in a Premier League season since 2003-04.

5.08pmWenger keeps faith with the youngster Iwobi ahead of the likes of Walcott and Welbeck, who both sit on the bench once again today. Alongside them on the bench is Wilshere, who made his first appearance of the season as a late sub against Sunderland last time out and may get a few more minutes today. Cazorla is another who has been sidelined for a while now, but he is back in the matchday squad too today.

5.10pmMertesacker continues at the heart of the defence alongside Koscielny having been left out of the side for a spell not too long ago. He seems to have overtaken Gabriel in the pecking order once again, though, while Bellerin and Monreal have now firmly established themselves as the first-choice full-backs for Wenger this season. Behind them, as ever, is Petr Cech.

5.12pmNorwich, meanwhile, make five changes to the side that was beaten by Sunderland last time out, including a return for Jerome up front. He actually has the worst chance conversion rate of any Premier League player to have had 10 or more chances this season having tucked away just 16.7% of them. However, he is certainly not the only Norwich player to have struggled in front of goal this season, although joint-top scorer Mbokani may feel aggrieved at being left out.

5.14pmRedmond, who Mbokani is joint with, does start as one of those five changes, while Hoolahan should act extra support just in behind Jerome. That means that Naismith drops out of the starting XI, as does Jarvis in the two Norwich switches in midfield.

5.16pmWith Wisdom now out for the rest of the season and being returned to parent club Liverpool as a result, Pinto comes in at right-back for the Canaries this afternoon. Martin also returns, but he is playing in a central role today, with Bennett missing out. Bassong and Olsson retain their places in defence from the side that conceded three times against Sunderland.

5.18pmRuddy is also retained between the sticks for Norwich having wrestled his starting role back from Rudd, who was preferred to his near-namesake for a while earlier in the season. He is likely to be a busy keeper tonight if past meetings between these two sides are anything to go by, although he he may be glad to see a misfiring Giroud up against him.

5.20pmPREDICTION: We're 10 minutes away from kickoff at the Emirates now, which means that it is time for a prediction! Norwich need something out of this game with the results earlier after Newcastle beat Palace and Sunderland picked up a point at Stoke, but it certainly won't be easy for them and they also have to keep one eye on goal difference. You can never be 100% sure with Arsenal at the moment, but it would be a major shock if they didn't win this game. I'm going for 2-0 to the hosts.

5.22pmArsenal have actually failed to win in seven of the Premier League games in which they have led at some point this season, which is their highest tally since 2004-05 (also seven). They will be buoyed by their good record against the Canaries, though, having lost just one of the last 16 meetings in all competitions.

5.24pmLooking just at the league, Arsenal have only lost one of their last 14 meetings with Norwich, drawing six and winning seven of those. Norwich would probably be pretty happy with a point today to leave them one behind Newcastle and level with Sunderland, bearing it mind that they do have a game in hand over the Magpies still. That will be far easier said than done, though.

5.26pmNorwich haven't won a game at Arsenal since the very first day of the first Premier League season, and on that occasion they did it in some style. They found themselves 2-0 down at Highbury, but came from behind to win 4-2. They are winless in their last 11 Premier League games against London teams, stretching back to February 2014, while in the top flight that record goes all the way back to April 2012.

5.28pmNorwich will take heart from the fact that they held Arsenal to a draw in the reverse fixture, though, with Grabban coming out of the wilderness to cancel out Ozil's goal and earn his side a valuable point in November. Things weren't quite so good for the Canaries on their most recent visit here, though as Wilshere, Ozil (2) and Ramsey were all on the scoresheet in a 4-1 victory for the Gunners back in October 2013.

1 minKICKOFF: Arsenal get us underway here as they look to climb up to third and put the pressure on the Manchester clubs.

3 minNorwich make an early break forward and Jerome looks to be in behind, but the linesman's flag is raised - wrongly as it turns out.

4 minLow-key start to the match here as Norwich sit back and allow Arsenal the majority of possession as expected.

6 minCHANCE! Big chance for Norwich to take an early lead! Having soaked up a small about of pressure Norwich come forward, with Olsson playing the ball in from the left flank. It reaches Redmond at the back post and his first touch is good before getting a shot away, but Cech makes a big save.

7 minOn the very next attack Jerome gets to the ball ahead of the defence from a cross, but he hooks his effort well off target.

9 minAlex Neil will be delighted with the opening 10 minutes here. His side have defended well when they've needed to and have looked dangerous when going forward too.

10 minArsenal string their first good passing move together to release Iwobi down the left channel, but he low cross into the middle goes across the face of goal and all the way to safety.

11 minCHANCE! Decent opening for Arsenal here as Giroud picks up Ramsey's pass inside the area and works space to shoot, but his effort is blocked well by Martin.

13 minHere is the planned protest as fans hold up banners saying that it is 'Time for change'. It is certainly not a unanimous protest, though, with murmurs of jeers accompanying those holding the signs up.

14 minSAVE! Another save for Cech to make, but this one is routine for the keeper. Jerome curls one towards goal from range, but it is straight at the keeper.

15 minThis is a very strange atmosphere inside the Emirates at the moment - I haven't quite seen anything like it before. The fans are almost in a civil war with each other, with the protest being following by chants of 'There's only one Arsene Wenger'. Fair to say that opinion is divided between both sets of fans.

17 minMatters on the pitch are almost taking second billing to what is going on in the stands at the moment. It has been almost constant chanting for the last five minutes, and it's still hard to tell which of the camps is larger - pro-Wenger or anti-Wenger.

19 minAlmost a chance for Arsenal as Sanchez advances down the right flank and tries to drill a cross into the middle, but it hits a yellow shirt and Giroud is just beaten to the rebound.

21 minArsenal are dominating possession at the moment, as Norwich would have expected, but the opening 10 minutes of the match showed the visitors' game plan to perfection. They will look to soak up all of this pressure and then strike on the break.

24 minThere is just no way through for Arsenal at the moment. Their latest move takes them right to the edge of the area, but it is all so congested in there and eventually the visitors just crowd it out and win possession back.

26 minThe biggest talking point so far in this game has been the protests from the fans, with a number of them holding up the banner pictured below. Not everyone was behind the protest, though.

A fan holds up an itimidating piece of A4 paper in protest at Arsene Wenger during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Norwich City on April 30, 2016© Getty Images

28 minConcern for Alex Neil here as Pinto goes down following a heavy challenge from Koscielny. Norwich are already short on full-backs so certainly won't want to lose him.

30 minPinto is now back on and looks like he will be fine to continue. Norwich, meanwhile, will be pretty pleased with this opening half an hour.

32 minShooting chance for Arsenal as Iwobi cuts the ball back to Elneny in a yard of space just outside the area. That space is quickly closed down by Bassong, however, and the shot is deflected behind for a corner.

34 minThis looks like it will be an afternoon for patience as far as the home side are concerned. Norwich are just getting everyone behind the ball and packing the middle of the park so it is so hard for Arsenal to find a way through.

36 minArsenal win a free kick in a good crossing position here after Howson bundled into the back of Ozil. What can the German do with this delivery..?

37 minCHANCE! It's put into a decent area, but Norwich deal with it well as Bassong glances it behind for yet another corner. Koscielny attacks that at the near post, but it is a difficult header to get it back in and sure enough the ball flies off target.

39 minArsenal have had all of the possession in this match, yet they still haven't tested Ruddy so far. Cech has had two saves to make, but the Gunners are yet to have a single shot on target.

41 minThose Arsenal fans who are in the 'Wenger out' camp won't have seen anything in this first half to change their minds. It has been a bit of a nothing display from the hosts so far.

42 minCHANCE! Another big chance for Norwich, and again it falls to Redmond! This time Hoolahan supplies the cross, which takes a deflection on its way through to Redmond. It is a similar one to his early chance in that he takes a touch before letting fly, and once again Cech is needed to make a big save.

44 minCHANCE! One more chance for the visitors as they channel their inner Arsenal with a lovely little passing move. O'Neil breaks forward and beats Koscielny to the ball, playing a one-two with Redmond. He tries to open his body up and curl a finish into the corner from the edge of the box, but he gets it all wrong and fires it well off target.

45 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.

45+1 minCLOSE! Norwich are getting closer here! It is another one for Redmond as Mertesacker and Koscielny both stand off him, allowing him to flash a shot narrowly past the post.

45+3 minCHANCE! Half a chance for Arsenal at the end of the half as a free kick is swung in to the box which Mertesacker meets, only to steer a header well off target.

45+3 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Norwich

6.26pmMike Jones brings an end to the first half at the Emirates Stadium, and it is another half of frustration for the home side as it remains goalless at the break. Norwich have carried the greater threat despite seeing much less of the ball than their hosts, with Arsenal failing to have a single shot on target in that opening 45 minutes.

6.28pmThe Canaries created a clear chance after just six minutes when Olsson's ball fro the left flank dropped to Redmond, but Cech was quick off his line to close the angle and made a big save to keep things goalless. Indeed, the majority of the chances have fallen the way of Redmond, who has also been denied by Cech on a further occasion as well as flashing one shot narrowly wide.

6.30pmO'Neil has had a decent chance for the visitors too having broken forward from midfield, exchanged passes with a teammate but then fluffed his lines with the finish. It was poor defending from the Gunners and sparked a spell of good chances for Norwich as they finished the half on top.

6.32pmAs far as Arsenal are concerned, there has been nothing to shout about going forward. Giroud has barely been involved at all, and Ruddy has not had a single save to make, with Arsenal failing to find a way through a congested middle of the park. Norwich have defended well, but Arsenal haven't done enough on their end either.

6.34pmThe most notable moment of the first half as far as Arsenal are concerned were the fan protests, and they were by no means unanimous. A number of fans did hold up the signs calling for change at the club, but there were jeers from other fans and Wenger's name rang out around the stadium shortly afterwards. Opinion is very much split on where the future of Arsenal should lie.

46 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Norwich get us back underway for the second half at the Emirates as they look to build on that impressive display from the opening 45 minutes.

48 minArsenal have an early injury concern here as Mertesacker is not moving freely at all. The German was almost caught in possession and appeared to twist something when holding off the challenge, although play continues to go on.

49 minOlsson drives a cross into the middle after a cross had just evading Jerome in the middle, but Cech collects it and then boots it out so Mertesacker can get some treatment.

51 minARSENAL SUB: Indeed, Mertesacker will not be able to continue as he limps off with what looks like a hamstring injury. Gabriel Paulista comes on in his place.

53 minThere is just no way through for Arsenal in this match. They aren't altering their game plan either - they need to stretch the game move and create more width as it is all too crowded in the middle.

56 minARSENAL SUB: The Arsenal fans are delighted to see Danny Welbeck coming on here, but then they see that it is Iwobi - not Giroud - who is going off and their cheers turn to boos.

57 minWelbeck is immediately involved down the left flank as he picks up a poor Pinto clearance. He cuts it back to Elneny, but his strike is deflected behind for another Arsenal corner.

59 minArsenal are showing increased urgency now as we approach the final 30 minutes. They still haven't had a shot on target in this game, though, and Norwich haven't looked like conceding.

59 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Norwich (Danny Welbeck)

59 minSorry Norwich, I believe that is known as the commentator's curse. The sub Welbeck finally gets the breakthrough for Arsenal as a ball into the box is knocked down well by Giroud to the sub, whose half-volley deflects off Bassong and into the bottom corner. No chance for Ruddy there.

61 minThat really is a sucker punch for Norwich to take. They have been the better team for the majority of this one, but Welbeck's introduction has changed the course of the game.

63 minThat goal has given Arsenal a new lease of life. Suddenly they seem to be playing without tension, and it has lifted the atmosphere in the stadium as well.

65 minSHOT! Suddenly Arsenal are looking more threatening, and Sanchez has a go here. The Chilean has been very quiet today, but he picks the ball up just outside the area and curls one a few yards wide.

67 minNorwich make an increasingly rare break forward as Hoolahan picks the ball up after good work from Jerome and then slides it out to Brady. Brady tries to whip the ball into the box with Hoolahan darting in for the return, but the winger puts too much on it.

68 minNORWICH SUB: Alex Neil makes a change here as Hoolahan departs to be replaced by Dieumerci Mbokani.

70 minCHANCE! Brilliant defending from Gabriel to deny Norwich a great chance! Redmond slides a pass in to Mbokani running in at the front post, but Gabriel slides in and makes a perfect challenge.

71 minCHANCE! The resulting corner pings around in the area for a while, but then Arsenal have a chance to break. It looks for a moment as if their momentum has been halted, but Ozil then picks out a beauty of a pass to release Sanchez. He carries it forward but then toe-pokes it straight at Ruddy.

73 minSHOT! Great effort from Ozil as a loose ball breaks to him and he unleashes a fine half-volley first time. It may be going over, but Ruddy tips it higher just in case, although the referee then gives a goal kick.

75 minThis has certainly not been a vintage display from Arsenal, but they are now just 15 minutes away from a valuable three points that would see them move up to third in the table.

78 minNORWICH SUB: The visitors make another change here as Steven Naismith replaces Brady.

78 minMore signs are raised 12 minutes from time in protest against the way the club is being run, but this one is even less convincing than the first.

79 minCHANCE! Half a chance for Norwich as they win a corner that is flicked on at the near post and finds Bassong on space. However, he can't react in time to get above it and puts his header off target.

81 minGiroud has a chance to get in behind as a long ball forward finds him stealing a march on Bassong, but the Norwich defender gets back to make a challenge. The assist for the goal aside, Giroud has not had a good game today.

82 minSAVE! Flying stop from Ruddy here as Elneny collects the ball on his chests and steers a good effort towards the top corner with the outside of his boot. Ruddy is across well to make a good one-handed stop, though.

84 minARSENAL SUB: A third and final change for Arsenal, and it is a defensive one as Sanchez is replaced by Francis Coquelin.

85 minYELLOW CARD! Ozil goes into the book for just shrugging the referee off and continue to walk away from him.

87 minNorwich win a free kick in a really good position and it has a big build up, but Redmond then puts it straight into the wall.

89 minNORWICH SUB: The visitors make their final change of the game, and it is Matt Jarvis who replaces Bassong in a final throw of the dice.

90+1 minThere will be four minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Norwich

7.28pmArsenal pick up the victory at the Emirates and, while it wasn't entirely convincing, it is enough to see them climb up to third in the Premier League table ahead of both Manchester clubs playing tomorrow. Danny Welbeck came off the bench to net the winner - a goal which leaves Norwich 19th in the table and two points from safety despite an encouraging performance today. It is now three defeats in a row, all without scoring, for the Canaries.

7.30pmThat is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Premier League clash as Arsenal move up to third with a narrow victory over Norwich. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

Wes Morgan celebrates scoring the opener during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Southampton on April 3, 2016
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