FREDDIE LJUNGBERG was unable to stop the Arsenal rot as the faltering Gunners failed to win for the eighth game in a row.
Two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were not enough to see off a lively Norwich side who highlighted just how much of a task the interim boss has on his hands after replacing Unai Emery on Friday.
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The relegation-threatened Canaries more than deserved the draw, twice leading in the first half through Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell.
And they would have claimed all three points but for the defiance of overworked Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.
Ljungberg had ordered his team to play with a smile on their faces and they certainly enjoyed the lions’ share of possession in the opening exchanges.
Shkodran Mustafi’s header was cleared off the line by Onel Hernandez and Calum Chambers was denied by a flying save from Tim Krul as the visitors looked to get the new era off to a flying start.
But all their old defensive shortcomings came back to haunt them midway through the first period when Joe Willock was muscled off the ball by Kenny McLean deep in the Norwich half and within two passes Pukki was in on goal.
VAR CRUCIAL AGAIN
The Finnish striker had not scored in his last eight games but took full advantage of Arsenal’s hesitancy to wrong-foot Leno with the help of a massive deflection off Mustafi.
It was a major blow for Ljungberg after watching such a dominant early performance from his team.
But within three minutes the visitors received a much-needed lifeline when Christoph Zimmermann handled Mesut Ozil’s 24th minute free-kick under pressure from David Luiz.
Referee Paul Tierney had no doubt that it was a penalty and his verdict was eventually backed up by VAR official Michael Oliver.
Aubameyang’s tame spot-kick was easily saved by Krul but Tierney was alerted to encroachment by four Norwich defenders and ordered a retake.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was again the Arsenal goal hero on another disastrous day for their defence
It was a huge let-off for Aubameyang, who made no mistake with his second effort to level things up.
Yet Arsenal did not learn from Norwich’s opening goal and in stoppage time at the end of the first-half allowed Hernandez to get in behind the struggling Chambers once again.
The dangerous Cuban winger weighed up all his options before rolling the ball into the path of Cantwell for a precise low shot into the far corner.
Suddenly Ljungerg knew exactly what Emery must have gone through before the axe finally fell on Friday.
But whatever he said at half-time had the desired effect because within 12 minutes of the restart his team were back on level terms when Norwich were unable to clear Ozil’s corner and Aubameyang fired high into the nete from close in.
Norwich, though, were far from finished and McLean brought two brilliant saves from Leno as they looked to escape the relegation zone.
Pukki was also thwarted by the keeper’s outstretched leg and Max Aarons thought he had snatched a last-minute winner until his deflected shot was brilliantly turned round by Arsenal’s German international.