Premier League – Podolski double keeps Arsenal’s top-four hopes alive

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Lukas Podolski scored twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 and keep the pressure on Everton in the race for the fourth Champions League place.

Arsenal should have led through Olivier Giroud after half an hour, but the below par Frenchman lacked any conviction as he failed to trouble Adrian with a weak flick with the outside of his boot.

Giroud’s miss was punished by West Ham, who opened the scoring with a scrappy goal by Matt Jarvis, who headed in after Arsenal failed to deal with Antonio Nocerino’s run and cross.

The Hammers led for only four minutes as Podolski levelled with an instinctive finish into the bottom corner from the impressive Santi Cazorla’s through-ball, after a lazy clearance by Stewart Downing.

Giroud made amends for his earlier miss with a superbly taken goal, reminiscent of Gunners favourite Dennis Bergkamp in his pomp, that put Arsenal ahead 10 minutes after the break. Bringing down Thomas Vermaelen’s cross with a silky first touch, the striker drilled under Adrian with an explosive right-footed finish.

Arsenal avoided a nervy finish when substitute Aaron Ramsey created the third with a perfectly-cushioned header for Podolski, who drilled into the roof of the net.

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