Arsenal 3 Norwich City 1 match report: Arsenal deserved lucky break, says Arsene Wenger after controversial victory

Late goals see Gunners maintain push for Champions League

Rules are rules, whether you are Guan Tianlang, Tiger Woods, or Richard West. Leaving aside the fact they are actually laws, what irks sportspeople most is their inconsistent application. Thus the perception around Augusta is that Guan has been made a scapegoat while Woods was treated with undue leniency.

At the Emirates on Saturday the focus was on the official rather than the player. West is the linesman who, from 40 yards, spotted Kei Kamara tugging Olivier Giroud's shirt as the two tussled for a loose ball. Referee Mike Jones, 10 yards away, waved play on. Giroud himself made no appeal. On Match of the Day ex-Arsenal stalwart Martin Keown thought it a penalty, but neither Alan Hansen nor Everton manager David Moyes did.

But West was certain. He flagged, buzzed Jones over the earpiece, and signalled a penalty. At that point Arsenal were pressing for, and threatening an equaliser to Michael Turner's header, but with seven minutes remaining Norwich felt they would hang on. Mikel Arteta's spot-kick broke their resistance, Arsenal ran out comfortable winners enabling them to move up into third place and force the visitors to continue to look down the Premier League table nervously.

Their manager, Chris Hughton, one of the most measured of men, conceded there probably was a foul, but questioned why the linesman gave it and not the referee.

His counterpart Arsène Wenger, who one suspects would have been apoplectic had such a penalty been given against his team, said: "A deliberate foul in the box is a penalty. Can you give every pull of the shirt? I don't know. Probably not."

While keen to reduce the grappling that now permeates every set-piece a balance does need to be struck. Had West been officiating at the infamous Champions League tie between Celtic and Juventus in February, the Scottish champions would have been given a penalty every time they had a corner. Kamara's tug was mild by the standards of the modern game.

Wenger said he was pleased that Giroud did not complain about the tug. "Don't reproach me that my players don't surround the referee. Maybe it's a bit naïve, but when they do people complain as well," he said. "We don't do it. I never encourage that but I have seen in some clubs it's a real culture."

Norwich certainly complained once the kick was given, so vociferously it may have contributed to their subsequent collapse, Giroud and Lukas Podolski giving Arsenal a 3-1 win . "I won't level everything at the officials because I'm almost as frustrated we didn't show that calmness and composure to see the game out at 1-1," said Hughton.

If fortune was with Arsenal, Wenger insisted it was hard earned. "Luck is a combination of attitude as well. When you attack 10 times, one time you have luck, five times maybe it doesn't work, and one or two times there is bad luck," he added.

Arsenal will hope to take that luck, and the momentum gained in the closing minutes, into tomorrow's match against Everton. Before then Wenger must decide if Podolski and Theo Walcott, both of whom made a significant impact off the bench, have done enough to earn a starting pace.

Goals: Arsenal Arteta pen 85, Giroud 88, Podolski 90. Norwich City Turner 56.

Subs: Ars Walcott 7 (Wilshere, 59), Podolski 8 (Gervinho, 59), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Sagna, 80). Nor Fox 5 (Johnson, 62), Jackson (Tettey, 90). Booked: Arsenal Sagna. Norwich Bunn, Snodgrass. Man of the match Cazorla. Match rating 6/10. Poss: Ars 49%. Nor 51%. Attempts on target: Ars 7. Nor 5.

Referee M Jones (Chester). Attendance 60,095.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London