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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Arsenal 4-1 Norwich
A Thierry Henry hat-trick helped Arsenal go second in the Premiership.

He slotted his first after collecting a Robert Pires pass on the edge of the area and then arrowed in a second from the left two minutes later.

Darren Huckerby gave Norwich hope with a carbon copy of Henry's second, but it was a mere moment of respite.

Freddie Ljungberg headed in a Lauren cross early in the second half and Henry was on hand to make it four when he stabbed home a Jose Reyes pass.

With the Premiership's most potent attack coming up against the league's worst defence, Arsenal's easy win came as no surprise.

The hosts were full of intricate, incise passing and attacking intent, while Norwich inexplicably opted to stand off their opponents and give them the space to play in an open game.

Arsene Wenger made five changes after the fortnight's Premiership break, the most notable being the return of Gilberto Silva, after a long lay-off with a career-threatening back injury, who set in motion the move to the first goal of the game.

His clipped cross from the left was only half cleared and after Matthieu Flamini and Pires worked the ball to Henry, the Frenchman dug it out from under his feet, shrugged off the attentions of two defenders and drilled it into the corner with aplomb.

Two minutes later Highbury again lauded their talismanic striker.

Lauren played Henry into space in his favourite left-hand channel before he stepped back inside the defender on to his right foot and arrowed a shot into the goal.

Arsenal's much-maligned defence had been unbeaten in almost nine hours, but against the run of play Norwich ended their seven hours and 51 minutes on the road without a goal.

Jens Lehmann flapped at Huckerby's corner and when Graham Stuart's wayward shot found its way back to the hard-working Huckerby on the left, he stepped inside a lackadaisical Pires and lashed the ball into the net through a body of players.

Damien Francis cleared a Ljungberg shot off the line in Arsenal's opening salvo after the break, but moments later the Swede was not to be denied.

He climbed at the far post to nod in Lauren's flighted cross to all but kill off the game, which Henry duly did on 66 minutes, stabbing a Reyes pass under the on-rushing Robert Green.


  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
    "Going forward we have had a remarkable season and Thierry's an important part of that.

    "He played well but we are a little bit spoilt because he has had so many great games this season.

    "It was important to get the three points and score some goals and once the third went in we were cruising."

    Norwich manager Nigel Worthington
    "We've got seven games to go and we'll fight until the death.

    "We're battling to hang in there. We gave it a go but quality showed through at the end of the day.

    "At 2-0 down you're looking for character and my players got a goal back, but then gave a sloppy third away that put Arsenal on the front foot."


    Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Flamini (Fabregas 36), Silva, Pires (Clichy 77), Henry, Reyes (Van Persie 70).
    Subs Not Used: Almunia, Eboue.

    Booked: Cygan.

    Goals: Henry 19, 22, Ljungberg 50, Henry 66.

    Norwich: Green, Edworthy (Helveg 73), Fleming, Shackell, Drury, Stuart, Holt (Safri 59), Francis, Huckerby, Ashton, McKenzie (Svensson 71).
    Subs Not Used: Ward, Doherty.

    Goals: Huckerby 30.

    Att: 38,066

    Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).




  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Interview: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger


    Interview: Norwich boss Nigel Worthington


    Interview: Arsenal striker Thierry Henry




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