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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Norwich 1-4 Arsenal

Arsenal scored three first-half goals to cruise to victory and take an early stranglehold on the Premiership.

Jose Antonio Reyes scored from close range, but Norwich were angry referee Graham Poll did not send off Lauren for a first-half foul on Darren Huckerby.

Thierry Henry then headed home Freddie Ljungberg's cross, before Robert Pires added a third when he took advantage of poor defending from Adam Drury.

Huckerby pulled one back from the spot before Dennis Bergkamp's late fourth.

Norwich rallied after the break as Arsenal eased up, but the Gunners had no trouble extending their unbeaten sequence to 44 league games.

Arsenal slipped smoothly into top gear and took the lead after 21 minutes when an electrifying burst of pace from Henry ended with a perfect cross for Reyes to tap in.

Norwich can rightly claim that any chance they had of clawing Arsenal back ended with a decision from referee Graham Poll seven minutes later.

Lauren clearly hauled Huckerby back as he raced through, but Poll consulted a fourth official before showing the Arsenal defender a yellow card for what was clearly a sending off offence.

Arsenal took advantage of the reprieve 10 minutes before the interval when a stunning passing move ended with a cross from Ljungberg that was powered past Robert Green by Henry.

Arsenal sealed the points after 39 minutes when Pires added the third from close range after an error by Norwich defender Adam Drury.

Norwich made a half-time change, sending on Youssef Safri for Mattias Jonson.

And it was rewarded four minutes after the re-start when Huckerby scored from the spot after he was fouled by Justin Hoyte.

Suddenly Norwich were threatening and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was forced to save well from Huckerby and Gary Holt.

Cesc Fabregas missed an opportunity to ad a fourth for Arsenal, but ultimately it was another comfortable win for the Gunners.

And the win was complete when subsitute Bergkamp added a fourth with a stunning right-foot drive in the dying seconds.


Norwich: Green, Edworthy, Charlton, Fleming, Drury, Jonson (Safri 45), Francis, Holt, McVeigh (McKenzie 63), Doherty (Svensson 82), Huckerby. Subs Not Used: Ward, Helveg.

Booked: Safri.

Goals: Huckerby 50 pen.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Hoyte, Toure, Cole, Pires (Clichy 84), Fabregas Soler (Edu 73), Silva, Ljungberg, Henry, Reyes (Bergkamp 73). Subs Not Used: Almunia.

Booked: Lauren.

Goals: Reyes 22, Henry 36, Pires 40, Bergkamp 90.

Att: 23,944

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Arsenal's Thierry Henry


Interview: Norwich boss Nigel Worthington




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