UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Comeback maintains Arsenal's Europe bid

Gunners third in race for Champions League place after three goals in last five minutes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 4:44am
AFP

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Arsenal scored three times in the last five minutes to beat Norwich City 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium and leap to third place in the Premier League table yesterday.

Michael Turner's header looked to have consigned Arsene Wenger's men to defeat, but Mikel Arteta equalised with an 85th-minute penalty before a Sebastien Bassong own goal and an injury-time strike from Lukas Podolski completed the comeback.

Victory takes Arsenal above Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, neither of whom play in the league this weekend, and keeps them firmly on course to qualify for the Champions League.

The hosts had the best of the first half but the closest they came to scoring was an Olivier Giroud header in the 23rd minute that came back off the crossbar.

Turner put Norwich ahead in the 56th minute, ghosting in to meet Robert Snodgrass' inswinging free-kick with a close-range header.

It looked destined to be a frustrating afternoon for the home side, but Kei Kamara's tug on Giroud allowed Arteta to equalise from the spot before Bassong turned the ball into his own goal from Podolski's cut-back.

Podolski sealed victory in added time, beating Bunn with a low shot from Walcott's lay-off.

Norwich remain only four points above the relegation places.

News of Arsenal's late rally was a blow for Everton, who appeared to be closing on them after winning 2-0 at home to second-bottom QPR with goals from Darron Gibson and Victor Anichebe.

Reading are still bottom of the table but they drew level on points with QPR after withstanding a Liverpool onslaught in a 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Aston Villa spurned an opportunity to haul themselves out of the relegation picture in a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham.

Meanwhile, Andy Carroll marked his return to the West Ham United starting XI with a second-half equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Southampton.

 

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