Arsenal arrive late to party

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Norwich City's Scottish defender Steven Whittaker reacts after defeat in the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at The Emirates Stadium in north London, on April 13, 2013. Arsenal won the game 3-1. Picture: AFP PHOTO/OLLY GREENWOOD

London – Arsenal pulled off a late winner to beat Norwich City on Saturday, bumping the Gunners into third place on the English Premiership log.

Arsenal’s struggles in front of goal continued in their vital Premiership clash with middle of the table Norwich. The Gunners held possession, pressed, and prodded, but failed to produce a goal.

And in the 56th minute, they were punished for it. Michael Turner gave the visitors the lead thanks to a headed goal from a free kick.

Arsenal seemed inspired after the goal, knowing a loss would certainly put them out of Champions League qualification, but once again failed to make any impact going forward.

With five minutes left, it looked like Arsene Wenger’s side would be contesting for the Europa League next season when Olivier Giroud was brought down inside the Norwich box, and the Gunners were controversially given a penalty. Mikel Arteta stepped up and converted to tie the game.

And, as if to hush all naysayers over the penalty goal, the Gunners scored two more goals. Oliveir Giroud tapped one in two minutes later from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross, and Lukas Podolski smashed in a goal from the edge of the box to make it 3-1 in extra time.

Arsenal are now in third place, one point above Chelsea and Tottenham, but the Blues have a game in hand over the Gunners.

The London side must therefore, win all their remaining games if they wish to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Dropping points could push them back down to fifth place, sending Tottenham through to the European showpiece.

-eNCA

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