October 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, October 22, 2012
Sebastian Bassong was delighted Norwich City enjoyed a “perfect” evening, as they shocked Arsenal and, for the first time this season, lifted the lid off Carrow Road.
The Gunners were second best throughout as Chris Hughton’s men set about their visitors with tempo, purpose and a discipline they have occasionally promised during the season’s early skirmishes.
And even more pleasing was City’s defensive solidity – keeping Arsenal quiet off the back of conceding nine goals in their previous two games with Liverpool and Chelsea.
“It’s a good taste to win, a first win of the season and the crowd was fantastic, a really good atmosphere,” said Bassong, who featured alongside fellow centre-back and summer signing Michael Turner for the first time on Saturday.
“It really worked. We kept a clean sheet and that is most important as a defender, to try to do our best.
“And Michael and me, we did well together and as a team, the whole team worked really well defensively. We looked solid.
“This is a really good result for us as a defence and if you’d have said before the game 0-0, I would have taken it. So 1-0 against Arsenal at home, that’s perfect.”
Plenty have taken the time to point out Arsenal’s failings at the weekend, and they clearly failed to meet their previous heights this season at Carrow Road.
But Bassong, who enjoyed his tussle with French international striker Olivier Giroud, felt the result was just as much about the Canaries’ performance.
“Arsenal not at it? It was still difficult,” smiled Bassong. “Arsenal is such a good team. They’ve got such good players and I think we made the game easier for us because we were really at it from the start – and when as a defender the strikers then take advantage, it is just a plus for us. We had the chance to score first, which made a big difference.
“With Giroud, it was nothing because that’s just football. I went for a header and I went slightly strong and he wasn’t happy and he came back. We spoke in French and we got it sorted fairly quickly.
“When I first came to England and Newcastle I hardened up myself pretty quick. I think he’s going to do well. He scored a good goal for France against Spain in the week and the week before he scored against West Ham, so he’s on his way to performing and I’m not worried for him.”
As for City, their first win of the campaign made a difference to the Premier League table, but also brought a huge change to the feeling around Carrow Road – which saw it’s first win over the Gunners since 1984.
Having endured a difficult start to their second season in the top flight, there is hope Saturday’s win will be the catalyst for a campaign that pans out differently to what many feared.
“I’m really proud of the good result and the team,” added Bassong. “We worked our socks off. At the end we were really exhausted because we worked so hard, but we knew we needed to do that against such a good team. And we deserved it from the start of the game.
“We really needed that win because we’ve been working so hard since the beginning of the season, and all the staff and the manager deserved that.
“Defensively we were really solid from the front to the keeper. We worked as a unit and that’s what gave us our strength. And that was such a good atmosphere. The crowd was lifting the stadium and it was really good to play in that. That can get us going hopefully.”
Bassong, who expected a few texts from friends at his former club and Arsenal’s arch rivals Spurs, also enjoyed a wander down City’s left wing as the hosts wound down time.
“I love football, so as a defender there’s nothing not allowing me to go forward. If it’s on, you’ve got to go forward and enjoy yourself a bit.”