MATCH REPORT: CITY 0-2 ARSENALNORWICH City lost 2-0 to Arsenal at Carrow Road on the final day of the season and were subsequently relegated from the Premier League after a three-year stay.
The Canaries knew their fate was all but sealed before kick-off but had aimed to finish the campaign on a high, although goals from Aaron Ramsey, a stunning volley, and Carl Jenkinson secured victory for the visitors.
The match was symptomatic of the season for the home side as they spurned a number of chances, although they also had John Ruddy to thank for keeping the Gunners' restricted to two at the other end.
After a hugely disappointing campaign, Norwich finished 18th in the final standings, with focus now turned to a crucial summer ahead of next year's Championship campaign.
Neil Adams made just a single change from last week’s draw at Chelsea, with Nathan Redmond stepping in for Steven Whittaker, while there was a place on the bench for young forward Jamar Loza.
Winger Robert Snodgrass was presented with the Barry Butler Memorial trophy for winning Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Season prior to kick-off, to warm applause from the home crowd. Martin Olsson was the runner-up for the award, with John Ruddy rounding off the top three.
Norwich started well and Lukasz Fabianski had to scramble across his goal on 18 minutes to keep out an arrowed drive from Nathan Redmond.
Lukas Podolski shot wide from distance for Arsenal, before the German forward had a clearer opportunity on 27 minutes when released on the left-side of the box, but Ruddy was fast out to block.
City’s goalkeeper was then forced into an even better save as some fluid Gunners football saw Olivier Giroud play a one-two with Podolski, with Ruddy having to stretch high to his right to keep out the striker’s effort.
The rest of the half played out without incident, as with an end-of-season feel certainly discernible at Carrow Road.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City 0-0 Arsenal
A poorly dealt with corner almost gave Podolski the chance to edge Arsenal ahead, but it was Ramsey who broke the deadlock in outstanding fashion eight minutes after the break.
Giroud held the ball up effectively on the edge of his own box, before chipping a ball to Ramsey at the back-post, with the Welshman’s first-time volley rising into the top scorer, leaving Ruddy helpless.
Loza came on for his Norwich City debut as Adams made a double change, with him and Gary Hooper replacing Elmander and Alex Tettey.
However, it was Arsenal who took control of the game with their second goal four minutes later.
Kieran Gibbs’ pull-back was scuffed by Podolski into the path of Jenkinson, who was afforded too much space inside the six-yard box and saw his poke deflected beyond Ruddy.
Loza stung the gloves of Fabianski soon after Elliott Bennett made his long-awaited return from injury as a replacement for the sprightly Redmond.
Bennett soon had a great chance to score when slid into the area by Snodgrass, but his connection with the ball wasn’t as he intended and Arsenal’s stopper could make the save.
Hooper then played in Snodgrass, but he too was thwarted by Fabianski and City drew another blank to end the season with a defeat.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 0-2 Arsenal
GOALS: Gunners: Aaron Ramsey (53), Carl Jenkinson (62)
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Martin (c), R Bennett, Turner, Olsson; Tettey (Loza 58); Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Redmond (E Bennett 76); Elmander (Hooper 58). Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Whittaker, Fer, Josh Murphy.
ARSENAL: Fabianski; Jenkinson, Sagna, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta (c), Rosicky (Diaby 74), Ramsey (Wilshere 63), Ozil, Podolski, Giroud (Sanogo 74). Subs not used: Szczesny (GK), Monreal, Kallstrom, Flamini.
REFEREE: Lee Mason