Many feared that Mikel Arteta’s return to the Etihad would be a painful one after back-to-back defeats to Brentford and Chelsea, and those concerns were proven correct on a day where everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Arsenal.
The Gunners were forced to play most of the encounter with 10 men following Granit Xhaka’s sending off – although Ferran Torres and Ilkay Gundogan had already put City 2-0 up by that point – and the former would score again after further strikes from Rodri and Gabriel Jesus in a Pep Guardiola masterclass.
With his job coming under increasing scrutiny, Arteta is still thought to retain the faith of those upstairs, in spite of his side’s standing at the bottom of the Premier League table with zero points and zero goals to their name, but the Gunners have not opened the season with four defeats since 1923-24.
A 6-0 EFL Cup thrashing of a youthful West Bromwich Albion side represents the only silver lining in Arsenal’s season so far, and they can only boast two wins from their last six league games at the Emirates, where 60,000 supporters are growing all the more frustrated by the week.
Should Arsenal fail to find the back of the net this weekend, it will mark the first time ever that they have registered zero goals in their opening four games of a league season, but Norwich are not exactly renowned for any form of defensive resolve either.
Coincidentally, Norwich’s highlight of the 2021-22 season so far has also been a 6-0 triumph in the EFL Cup, with the Canaries seeing off Bournemouth with complete ease amid their tough start to life back in the big time.
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Also victims of a 5-0 thrashing against Man City, Norwich would open their account for the season against Leicester thanks to Teemu Pukki’s penalty, but Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton netted either side of the Scandinavian’s spot kick to take all three points home from Carrow Road.
In fairness, Daniel Farke’s side were never expected to produce any shocks against Liverpool, City or Leicester in August, but that taxing opening to the season has not done wonders for the Canaries’ morale as they occupy 19th spot in the table.
Defeat to the Foxes stretched Norwich’s losing run in the Premier League to 13 matches since victory over Brendan Rodgers’s men in February 2020, and not since 2012 have the Canaries prevailed in a Premier League encounter in London – beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1