Van Persie's brace spoiled as Norwich holds Arsenal
London, England (Sports Network) - Robin van Persie scored twice to reach 30 Premiership goals, but Steve Morison notched a late equalizer as Norwich City held Arsenal, 3-3, on Saturday at Emirates Stadium.
Yossi Benayoun fired Arsenal into the lead just over one minute into the game, but Norwich responded with goals from Wesley Hoolahan and Grant Holt later in the first half.
Van Persie, the leading scorer in England, notched a brace in an eight-minute span of the second half to put Arsenal back in front, but Morison raced behind the Gunners' defense in the 85th and slotted past Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal picked up one point in the Champions League qualification race against Tottenham and Newcastle, but both challengers have played one less match. The Gunners two-point cushion could be erased by both in the next few days.
The Gunners are third, which earns the last direct qualification to the group stage. Norwich had previously secured safety, and climbed one place to 13th.
Benayoun opened the match with a curling shot over Norwich goalie John Ruddy, but Hoolahan slipped a shot past Szczesny in the 11th to tie the match, and Holt shot off Kieran Gibbs' boot to fool Szczesny in the 27th.
Van Persie eventually pulled Arsenal level in the 72nd when he volleyed home a pass from Alex Song, and added his second of the match in the 80th off a loose ball in the area.
Norwich did not buckle, as Morison followed with the tying goal and Ruddy made a few saves down the stretch to preserve a point.