1) Robin van Persie scored two goals to equal Thierry Henry’s Arsenal record of 30 Premier League goals in a 38-game season. The record for the most goals is 31 (held by Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo) which the Dutchman can beat if he scores a brace against West Brom next weekend.
2) Bacary Sagna has broken leg… again. Sagna went down in the 33rd minute with what appeared to be an ankle problem and was stretchered off the picth. However, Arsène Wenger has now confirmed that Sagna has broken his fibula in the same leg that he broke in October. This rules Bacary out of Euro 2012 and means that he will probably miss much of Arsenal’s pre-season training. Then again, this is an injury to an Arsenal player so we have to presume that there will be loads of setbacks in his rehabilitation and he will miss the start of next season.
3) Yossi Benayoun deserves to be at Arsenal next season. The Israel captain has scored 5 goals in 25 appearances for Arsenal this season despite being used mostly as a substitute (although he has been preferred to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the starting line-up for the last 5 or 6 games). Benayoun’s goal today was fantastic and further proves the point that he would be a very good squad player next season. The experience that players like Benayoun and Rosicky add to the team cannot be underestimated.
4) Arsenal have the unbelievable ability to make teams in the middle or bottom of the Premier League table (in this case a team who were only promoted from the Championship this season) look like they are challenging for the Champions League places. Credit where credit is due; Norwich played well on the counter-attack and were good for their point. However, the Arsenal defending (in particular man-marking and tracking runs) was very poor and we rarely won any headers in/around the box.
5) Arsenal’s Champions League future is now no longer in our hands. Tottenham and Newcastle are only 2 points behind us with a game in hand. Admittedly Newcastle are playing Manchester City tomorrow so 4th place is still pretty likely, but then we will end the season behind Spurs and having to rely on Chelsea not winning the Champions League.
6) The absence of Mikel Arteta has a hugely detrimental effect on Arsenal’s fortunes. Including the game in which Arteta was taken off in the 9th minute against Wigan, we have lost 1 and drawn 3 since his recent injury. If you also include the 3 games without him at the beginning of the season (the 8-2 loss to United being the best example) and games against Swansea and Manchester United missed in January with a calf injury, you will see that we have taken a total of 4 points in the 8 Premier League games where Mikel Arteta didn’t play.