Head Coach, Daniel Farke made 4 changes to the side that lost to Leicester City two weeks ago, handing Premier League debuts to Andrew Omabamidele and Christos Tzolis as well as starts for Kieron Dowell and Lukus Rupp. Replacing Ben Gibson, Billy Gilmour, Milot Rashica and Todd Cantwell who all dropped to the bench.
From the start, Norwich's game plan was to sit back, keep Arsenal at bay, and hit them on the counter-attack, using Dowell's intelligent movement to drift into open spaces and capitalize on Tzoli's pace.
Norwich held off an abundance of pressure from Arsenal and managed to soak it all up for their first attack of the game. As Rupp intercepts the ball in midfield, Norwich burst into life - Dowell smartly picks out Tzolis who in turn plays a quick one-two with him (in the box) to provide a cross that Teemu Pukki couldn't quite get on the end of.
Norwich pressed high up the pitch on a rare occasion for their second attack of the game. On the right flank, Dowell and Max Aarons jostle Bukayo Saka to regain possession - Aarons crosses the ball to an onrushing Kenny Mclean who cannot quite get his header on target.
The Canaries appeared to be getting a foothold of the game after a shaky start and a few half chances. Pierre Lees-Melou scrapes a nonchalant diagonal ball to Aarons on the right-wing who tests the Gunners keeper, Aaron Ramsdale on the edge of the box with a curling left-footed shot that wasn't troubling the keeper too much.
There were a few half-chances for the Canaries nearing the end of the first half. Pukki did well to win a free kick on the edge of the box (centre) from Arsenal defender, Ben White. Dowell stepped up and hit the wall to go behind for a corner that didn't come to anything. Tzollis, on the left flank, picking out Pukki who poked a shot at goal but it was blocked expertly by Gunners defender Gabriel.
The second half began with Rupp firing a speculative shot from 35 yards going miles over the bar.
However, Arsenal throughout the game had threatened Norwich on the turnover as well - Ainsley Maitland-Niles chipped a ball to the right flank for Aubamayang to latch onto it, who picked out Saka in the Canaries box and fired a low driven shot which deflected and was trickling into the path of Nicholas Pepe who had a tap, but from out of nowhere Brandon Williams (who was excellent in the game) put his body on the line, celebrating his block like he scored a goal.
Unfortunately for Williams, his punch to the sky (celebration) proved to be meaningless as Arsenal took the lead in the 65th minute. Krul picks out Aarons (who had struggled with his distribution all game) but misses controls and loses possession in his own half. Substitute Thomas Partey found Saka who set up Pepe. His left-footed curler was finger-tipped saved by Krul as he pushed the ball onto the inside post.
As a result, the rebound fell to Pepe, who after hitting another shot off the woodwork managed to bicycle kick the ball onto the floor into Aubameyang, who tapped in from close range.
To try and find an equalizer, Daniel Farke brought on Adam Idah and Milot Rashica for Tzolis and Rupp. Unfortunately, Norwich did not test Ramsdale in the second half. It was more likely that the Gunners would bury the game with counterattacks, but Krul managed to keep the scoreline from being embarrassing.
In the final moments, Norwich's ever-reliable frontman had two chances to equalize: Pukki's movement was brilliant, and he was found in the box by Idah, but his shot was tame and therefore blocked. The Finn was denied one final chance by a Grant Hanley header, which Pukki controlled from a Norwich free-kick and fired a low shot that was blocked in the dying minutes.
Norwich had a couple of slithering opportunities but never really did they look like they were going to snatch the equaliser in front of those travelling supporters.
Norwich fought hard but ultimately they are now rock bottom of the table with a minus ten goal difference - worrying times for Daniel Farke and his team who are in desperate need of even a point, making Saturday's fixture vs Watford a must-win game in front of those home fans to get them off the mark and to build from a performance worth three points.
Norwich's season starts now (again)
Norwich has faced four teams that will undoubtedly all finish in the top 6 (at least) this season. However, now it's crunch time for the Canaries as they have favourable fixtures where they would expect to pick up points to shoot them out of the relegation zone.
Norwich have been written off by plenty of neutrals to finish bottom of the Premier League before a ball had even been kicked. This hasn't been helped by their disrupted pre-season and extremely difficult hand of fixtures. However, no body expected Norwich to pick up many points in these games - what will define them this season will be games against the teams around them. Starting with Watford on Saturday afternoon.
Striking a balance
Daniel Farke is still persisting with a 4-3-3 counter attacking formation. Against Arsenal they conceded 30 shots on their goal and didn't manage to test the opposing goalkeeper anyway near enough.
Farke wants to use a midfield 3 to make his team solid and competitive in this unforgiving division. Currently, at this moment in time his team is struggling to strike a balance between defence and attack.
With the players at his disposal it does feel like reverting back to his 4-2-3-1 formation could be beneficial to players such as Todd Cantwell, Billy Gilmour and Teemu Pukki.
Does Farke stick or twist with Pukki?
It's no question that Norwich's trusty frontman has struggled in Farke's new 4-3-3 system. Holding the ball up with his back to goal isn't Pukki's strength and for some reason it seems as if Farke wants him to do just that. This is affecting how Norwich want to progress up the pitch and without a player who has a broad frame about him to hold the ball up, it's looking even clearer that Norwich are going to struggle to score goals to keep them up.
Don't write off Pukki just yet given what has been said - as long as you can thread through balls behind the opposition's back line, the Finn will always be making darting runs. He also scored City's only goal so far this season.