By Isaac Moore at Carrow Road
Arsenal Under-21s were denied their first victory of 2014 by a late Jacob Murphy penalty at Carrow Road.
Rod Young gave the Canaries an early lead before Austin Lipman levelled on 21 minutes. Arsenal went on to dominate the rest of the game and took the lead 10 minutes after half-time when Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill slammed home from close range.
But, in stoppage time, Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have pushed Young when trying to shepherd the ball out of play and Murphy sent the resulting spot-kick past Macey to keep the Canaries above Arsenal.
SETTING THE SCENE
Steve Gatting was forced to make two changes from the team that valiantly beat Chelsea in the League Cup on Monday. Tafari Moore and Lipman came in for Daniel Boateng and Benik Afobe, who had both gone out on loan.
The Gunners came into this game buoyed by that win over Chelsea and could take confidence from the fact they had already won at Carrow Road this season.
Arsenal knew a win would take them above their hosts in the league, but it was never going to be straightforward on a wet and windy evening in East Anglia.
Arsenal's evening got off to the worse possible start when Norwich took the lead in the third minute. Jacob Murphy sent in a deep cross from the left and Young was there at the back post to nod past Macey.
Things could have got worse for the Gunners eight minutes later when the Canaries squandered a glorious chance to double their lead. Carlton Morris got the wrong side of Julio Pleguezuelo to get a clear run on goal but the forward sent his shot wide.
After a slow start, Arsenal gradually grew into the game. Thomas Eisfeld flashed a left-foot shot wide before Isaac Hayden's long-range drive forced Norwich keeper Remi Matthews to tip over.
Arsenal's equaliser was fortunate. In the 21st minute, Norwich captain Kyle McFadden misjudged a backward header towards Matthews which Lipman latched onto and tapped into an empty net.
The hosts had a chance to regain the lead three minutes later. Murphy held off the challenge of two Arsenal defenders before sliding a pass through to Reece Hall-Johnson, whose shot crashed into the side-netting.
The equalising goal settled the visitors down and they dominated the rest of the half, but couldn't create any clear-cut chances.
Much like the first half, it was Norwich who made a fast start. In the 51st minute, Cameron Norman whipped in a searching cross from the right towards Murphy, whose header looped over Macey and off the bar.
But Arsenal took the lead four minutes later. Eisfeld found space in the left channel before weighting a superb pass through to the overlapping Ormonde-Ottewill, and the left-back thundered a shot under Matthews. Again, a goal seemed to settle Arsenal down and allowed them to find their passing game.
Substitute Jon Toral went close to increasing the Gunners' lead after exchanging passes with Eisfeld on the edge of the box before lifting an effort inches over.
In the 82nd minute, Eisfeld, who was excellent in the second half, forced Matthews to push the ball behind with a curling shot before Toral had a shot cleared off the line from Moore's cut-back.
Norwich almost equalised with six minutes remaining when Cameron Norman sent in a low cross to McFadden, but Kris Olsson made a crucial block.
Arsenal looked like they would hold on for a welcome win until the 93rd minute when Ajayi was controversially penalised for a push on Young. Murphy kept his cool to slot past Macey and ensure the points were shared.
- Ormonde-Ottewill Goal!
- Zelalem 46
- Lipman Goal!
- Toral 46
- McFadden Yellow Card
- Murphy Goal!
- Morris 78
- Young Goal!
- Browne 78