With Tottenham Hotspur not playing this weekend and Chelsea playing Manchester City on Sunday in the second FA Cup semi-final, the Gunners took advantage against their struggling opponents.
However, for the longest time it looked like Norwich were going to collect the double over Arsenal on the league this season when Michael Turner had headed in a free-kick from Robert Snodgrass in the 56th minute.
But then with five minutes to go Norwich’s Kei Karama was adjudged to have hauled Olivier Giroud to the ground in the penalty area five minutes from time and Mikel Arteta tied the game from the resulting penalty.
Oliver Giroud then turned in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross to put the Gunners ahead and Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski twice denied Norwich an equaliser before Podolski wrapped up the victory with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.
Two places and a point below are Aston Villa FC, who let slip a lead in drawing 1-1 at home with Fulham FC. Southampton FC continued their ascent up the table by drawing with West Ham United FC, for whom Andy Carroll (66) equalised.
David Moyes’ side cruised to a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers to move to within three points of UEFA Champions League qualification. Darron Gibson put Everton ahead with a deflected strike five minutes before the interval and Victor Anichebe wrapped up the points, sending QPR a step closer to relegation.
QPR had chances through Junior Hoilett and Loic Remy but they were punished for a lack of quality and endeavour.
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was the hero as the bottom club ended an eight-game losing streak with a goalless draw at home to Liverpool. Time and again McCarthy came to the Royals’ rescue by producing a succession of world-class saves to deny Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
Coutinho also had a goal disallowed for offside and Suarez saw a chip cleared off the line by Chris Gunter.
Aston Villa missed the chance to pull clear of the relegation zone when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham, with Fabien Delph’s own goal cancelling out Charles N’Zogbia’s curling strike. Delph also wasted a golden chance to atone for his mistake in the 73rd minute but he blasted high and wide from the back post after a cross from Andreas Weimann.
Villa could have moved five points clear of the relegation zone but their cushion is just three points and their position remains precarious. Villa’s goal difference of minus-24 is inferior to both Sunderland and Wigan, who are immediately below them.
Southampton were also held at home after taking the lead, drawing 1-1 with West Ham striker Andy Carroll cancelling out the Saints’ opener from Gaston Ramirez.