Arsenal vs. Norwich City, 2013 EPL: Final score 3-1, Arsenal earn a controversial win over Norwich

Mike Hewitt

Norwich City were on their way to a massive victory over Arsenal before the Gunners were awarded a controversial penalty and scored a late winner to pull off the comeback.

Arsenal were saved from an embarrassing defeat and took over third place in the Premier League thanks to late comeback that included a controversial penalty and an apparent offside goal.

The Gunners certainly had plenty of possession in the first half but they didn't seem capable of doing much with it. A lack of a cutting edge in the final third certainly did help as Arsenal wasted several good chances in the opening 45 minutes to take what would have been a deserved lead.

Norwich had a lot to do with that of course playing nine to ten men behind the ball and being extremely selective about their attacking forays into the Arsenal half.

Olivier Giroud hit the cross bar in the 23rd minute, directing a header off the woodwork after Bacary Sagna found some space and delivered a nice ball into the French striker.

Gervinho probably should have put the Gunners ahead in the 29th minute after being freed behind the Norwich line by an excellent pass but his touch was poor and he forced himself extremely wide. When he finally tracked down the ball near the end line, his centering effort rolled past the goal as there were no teammates around to try and tap it in despite some disarray in the Norwich defense.

Arsenal appealed for a handball against Norwich in the 54th minute after the ball pin-balled around in the Canaries' area for a few seconds. While the players and fans seemed convinced of a foul, the referee was not and play went of.

More from our team blogs: Arsenal blog The Short Fuse

Two minutes later Norwich took the lead, much to the chagrin of the Arsenal faithful at the Emirates Kei Kamara earned a free kick after being taken down by Kieran Gibbs and they did not waste the chance. Robert Snodgrass's floated a ball towards the far post where Michael Turner got in front of his marker and headed the ball down into the corner of the Gunner's net.

Mark Bunn made a tremendous save in the 78th minute to keep Norwich in front, denying Lukas Podolski from short range. Gibbs's initial ball in to the area was chested down by Giroud right to Podolski who's effort was ever so slightly tipped by Bunn, sending the ball off the cross bar and away.

Arsenal was gifted a lifeline in the 83rd mintue after the far side linesman inexplicably awarded a penalty to Arsenal despite the play being clear across the pitch, there being traffic in his sight line, and referee Mike Jones being only 10-yards from the play and making no call. Kei Kamara was the culprit after he got tangled up with Giroud.

Norwich were furious, Bunn earned a yellow card, but in the end it didn't matter. Mikel Arteta took the penalty and scored, pulling Arsenal even at 1-1.

Arsenal scored the winner just four minutes later when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain squared the ball into the box and it was pushed over the goal line either from a touch by Giroud or Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong.

Podolski added a third goal in stoppage time to ensure there would be no late equalizer from Norwich. Theo Walcott's flick on started the play but replays showed he was offside, a second questionable call by the linesman who called the penalty a few minutes earlier.

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