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Norwich 2-2 Arsenal: Aubameyang brace salvage a point for Ljunberg’s side on first game in charge

Freddie Ljungberg’s first game in temporary charge of Arsenal ended in a 2-2 draw against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Teemu Pukki put Norwich ahead via a deflected effort before Aubameyang equalised with a retaken penalty kick, having seen his initial effort from the spot saved.

Todd Cantwell restored Norwich’s advantage with a smart finish before Aubameyang levelled for a second time from a corner.

Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007, was promoted from a coaching role to interim boss after Unai Emery was sacked on Friday.

He made five changes from Emery’s final game against Eintracht Frankfurt and retained Granit Xhaka for a first Premier League start since he was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in October.

Norwich took the lead when Pukki latched on to a clever pass from Kenny McLean and, afforded time by the backpedalling Arsenal defence, saw his shot deflect off Shkodran Mustafi’s legs past the dive of Bernd Leno.

Arsenal were awarded a penalty when Mesut Ozil’s free-kick caught the arm of Norwich defender Christoph Zimmermann – who protested he was pushed but did not earn a VAR reprieve.

Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul’s histrionics on the line appeared to unsettle Aubameyang and his spot-kick was saved by the Dutchman – who pointed in the direction he wanted to Arsenal striker to shoot.

However, VAR determined there was encroachment in the penalty box before the rebound was cleared and Aubameyang regained his composure to emphatically dispatch the retake.

Norwich regained the lead on the stroke of half-time, when Cantwell finished off a counter-attack with an adroit side-foot finish from a tight position.

Aubameyang equalised for a second time just before the hour when the ball fell to him following a corner and he hooked it past Krul.

Both sides pressed for a winner – with Leno the busier goalkeeper – but settled for a share of the spoils.

MATCH FACTS

Norwich City (4-3-3): Krul 8; Aarons 7, Zimmermann 5, Godfrey 6, Byram 6.5; Amadou 6, Trybull 6; Cantwell 7.5 (Buendia 82), McLean 7, Hernandez 7.5; Pukki. 

Unused substitutes: Fahrmann, Roberts, Vrancic, Lewis, Stiepermann, Srbeny

Manager: D Farke 7

Arsenal (4-3-1-2): Leno 7.5; Chambers 5.5, Mustafi 5, Luiz 5.5, Kolasinac 6; Willock 6 (Torreira 71 6), Xhaka 5.5, Guendouzi 6 (Saka 78); Ozil 6 (Martinelli 89); Lacazette 6.5, Aubameyang 7.5. 

Unused substitutes: Martinez, Tierney, Sokratis, Pepe

Interim manager: F Ljungberg 6

Referee: P. Tierney 6

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