By JUSTIN FERGUSON
The ten Premier League teams in action on Saturday definitely saved their best for last as nine of the day’s 10 goals were scored in the second half.
Four of those second half goals came from one match, a 3-1 Arsenal win over Norwich City. As a 55th-minute header from Norwich’s Michael Turner began to put hopes of an Arsenal move to third place in jeopardy, the host Gunners equalized in the 85th minute off of a controversial penalty.
After Arsenal were awarded a corner kick on a close call, former Sporting Kansas City man Kei Kamara was whistled for pulling Olivier Giroud’s jersey inside the box. Arteta slotted his penalty try past a diving Mark Bunn, who had received a yellow card seconds earlier for his protests of the Kamara penalty.
Arsenal grabbed the lead three minute later when substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross was deflected into Bunn’s net by Sebastien Bassong. Lukas Podolski finished the late rally two minutes into stoppage time with a fine goal from just outside the box.
The win gives Arsenal a one-point lead over London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League table. The Gunners face fellow Champions League hopeful Everton on Tuesday at Emirates Stadium.
Here are the rest of Saturday’s results from the Premier League:
EVERTON MOVE CLOSER TOP FOUR WITH 2-0 WIN OVER QPR
Everton kept their dreams of a spot in continental competition alive on Saturday with a 2-0 win over woeful QPR, who are looking like locks to return to the Championship next season.
It was not the best of matches from Everton, but their performance was more than enough to handle a shockingly uninspired QPR squad. The visiting Rangers did not put up much of a fight in their trip to Goodison Park and are now seven points from safety with only five matches left in the season.
Darren Gibson got Everton opened the scoring with Saturday’s lone first half goal in the Premier League, a long-range strike that took a favorable deflection off of Clint Hill. The Toffees were relieved to see Gibson’s ball find the back of Julio Cesar’s net after missing much better chances during the opening frame.
Instead of Harry Redknapp’s squad coming out of the locker room for the second half ready to snatch a crucial equalizer, Everton was the side that improved their play out of halftime. After Sylvain Distin’s header was kept out by Cesar, Victor Anchiebe curled in a shot in the 56th minute for the home team’s second and final goal.
PREMIER LEAGUE SCOREBOARD
– Aston Villa missed a golden opportunity to go six points clear of the drop zone as Fabian Delph’s own goal doomed the host Villans to a 1-1 draw with Fulham. The 10th-place Cottagers were lucky to get a point from the trip to Villa Park as they failed to put a single shot on Brad Guzan’s goal.
– Andy Carroll’s 66th-minute equalizer brought host Southampton’s three-match winning streak to an end as West Ham played out a 1-1 draw on the south coast. Gaston Ramirez opened the scoring seven minutes earlier with his fifth goal of the season.
– Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy turned in a magnificent performance against Liverpool, making 11 saves to secure a scoreless home draw with the Reds. The Royals youth product was making an emergency start as first-choice goalkeeper Adam Federici sat out with an ankle injury.
What do you think of these results? Think Arsenal can hold onto a Champions League spot? See Everton making it into Europe? Are QPR going down for sure now?
Share your comments below.