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England: Arsenal fights back to climb to third place

Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Getty Images

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski (right) breaks past David Fox of Norwich.

Arsenal climbed to third in the Premier League by coming from behind Saturday to beat Norwich 3-1 on Saturday, making a strong finish to the season to make amends for its miserable start.

Michael Turner put Norwich in front at the start of the second half. But Mikel Arteta leveled from the penalty spot in the 85th minute before Arsenal benefited from Sebastien Bassong's own goal and Lukas Podolski's late strike.

Arsenal climbed a point above Chelsea and Tottenham into third. Chelsea has a game in hand.

Everton strengthened its grip on fifth place and plunged Queens Park Rangers closer to relegation by winning 2-0, while bottom-place Reading held Liverpool 0-0.

Wigan, which is also in the drop zone, is playing Millwall on Saturday in the FA Cup, and Chelsea faces Manchester City in the other semifinal at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

City's season hinges on cup success, with Manchester United 12 points in front at the top of the standings.

Arsenal's priority is finishing in the four Champions League spots, and now has qualification back in its hands.

Early in the second half, it appeared Arsenal would remain in fifth when slack defending allowed Turner to rise to meet a free kick from Robert Snodgrass.

Manager Arsene Wenger responded with a double change, with Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski replacing the returning Jack Wilshere and Gervinho.

It took until the 85th to pay off, with Arsenal winning a penalty when Kei Kamara pulled Olivier Giroud's shirt and Arteta converted form the spot.

Arsenal was in front inside three minutes, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cut the ball back to Giroud, who went to slide the ball into the net, although Norwich's Bassong appeared to get the final touch.

There was no uncertainty over the final goal, with Podolski firing home.

"I thought we wouldn't give in and fight until the end,'' Wenger told the BBC. "No one could predict we would score three goals but we have great attitude, spirit and desire - and it got us there.

"We deserved to win but we were against a strong side and needed something special.''

It was a routine win for Everton at Goodison Park, with Darron Gibson netting with a deflected strike before half time and a smart finish from Victor Anichebe after the break to leave QPR seven points from safety with just five games remaining.

QPR is only off the bottom because of its superior goal difference over Reading, which ended an eight-game losing run by drawing with Liverpool.

Aston Villa went three points clear of the relegation zone after drawing 1-1 with Fulham, having played two games more than Wigan.

Charles N'Zogbia put Villa in front in the 55th when he bent a shot into the top left of the net, but Fabian Delph flicked a header into his own goal 11 minutes clear.

There was also a 1-1 draw in a clash of mid-table Southampton and West Ham.

Andy Carroll earned West Ham a hard-fought point in miserable conditions at Southampton, ending the hosts' three-match winning streak.

Having proved a nuisance all afternoon, the striker, who is on loan at West Ham from Liverpool, fired low past Artur Boruc in the 66th minute.

Southampton had been in front for just seven minutes after Gaston Ramirez had netted his fifth goal of the season for Southampton.

Southampton is 11th, ahead of West Ham on goal difference.

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