Saturday Premier League Round-Up: Villa and QPR Win in Relegation Fight

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 9, 2013

Saturday Premier League Round-Up: Villa and QPR Win in Relegation Fight

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    Aston Villa eased out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 2-1 victory at Reading.

    Paul Lambert's side moved three points clear of the drop zone with Wigan Athletic, who were in FA Cup action, dropping into the bottom three.

    Queens Park Rangers continued to claw back with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Loftus Road.

    West Bromwich Albion moved up to seventh place in the table after defeating Swansea City 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

    Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved an injury-time penalty at Norwich City to claim a point for his team.

    Read on for more match details.

Reading 1 Aston Villa 2

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    Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor propelled Aston Villa out of the relegation zone with his winning goal in the 2-1 victory at Reading.

    A goal Nathan Baker had given the Royals a 31st-minute lead before Villa forward Christian Benteke grabbed an equaliser just a minute later.

    With Wigan in FA Cup action, both Reading and Villa knew a win would lift them above the Latics and out of the bottom three.

    And just after the opening half-hour, the home side drew first blood through unfortunate Villa defender Baker, who turned the ball into his own net after Jobi McAnuff's low ball was backheeled toward goal by Hope Akpan.

    Villa wasted no time in hitting back, though, and Benteke levelled with the help of a deflection after Andreas Weimann had crossed from the right.

    On the stroke of halftime, Agbonlahor slammed the ball into the roof of Reading goalkeeper Stuart Taylor's net after Barry Bannan had struck the post.

    Noel Hunt thought he had put Reading ahead in the 54th minute, the Republic of Ireland international was ruled offside from McAnuff's cross from the left.

Queens Park Rangers 3 Sunderland 1

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    Queens Park Rangers (QPR) claimed their first back-to-back wins of the season with a 3-1 triumph over Sunderland at Loftus Road.

    Steven Fletcher had given Martin O'Neill's side a 19th-minute lead, but Loic Remy equalised eight minutes later.

    Andros Townsend produced a strike from 22 yards to give QPR a 69th-minute lead before Jermaine Jenas sealed the win in the last minute.

    Sunderland took the lead when Fletcher converted from close range after Adam Johnson had driven across the face of the QPR goal.

    Townsend attempted a hopeful shot in the 27th minute, but the ball struck a Sunderland defender and dropped invitingly for Remy to slide it past Simon Mignolet to equalise.

    In the 69th minute, Townsend put Harry Redknapp's side ahead with a thumping volley from 22 yards which left Mignolet with no chance of saving.

    Jenas ensured the points stayed in west London and gave QPR fresh impetus in their battle for survival when he drove home in the 90th minute.

Norwich City 0 Southampton 0

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    Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc was the hero as he saved a last-minute penalty to claim a point for his team in the 0-0 draw at Norwich City.

    The game had appeared to be heading for a stalemate when Saints defender Luke Shaw was adjudged to have tripped Norwich striker Grant Holt in the area.

    The Carrow Road captain took the penalty himself, but the former Celtic keeper dived to his right to deny the forward.

    Poland international Boruc and defender Maya Yoshida were both in fine form, as they prevented Norwich claiming all three points through Robert Snodgrass and Holt earlier in the game.

    Southampton's best chance came in the 27th minute when Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn got a hand to Gaston Ramirez's chip after a great through ball from Rickie Lambert, while Adam Lallana, Lambert and Jay Rodriguez also went close.

West Bromwich Albion 2 Swansea City 1

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    Romelu Lukaku was again the star of the show as West Bromwich Albion defeated Swansea City 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

    The on-loan Chelsea striker cancelled out Luke Moore's opener for the Capital One Cup winners, but then missed a second-half penalty for Albion.

    However, the home side claimed the points with the help of Swansea midfielder Jonathan De Guzman's 61st-minute own goal.

    The Dutchman had helped Michael Laudrup's side claim the lead in the 33rd minute when his corner found Moore in space to direct a header past Ben Foster in the Albion goal.

    Seven minutes later, though, the home side equalised when Lukaku turned the ball past Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm from a Graham Dorrans cross.

    The West Brom forward was granted the chance to put his side ahead in the 55th minute when Wayne Routledge fouled James Morrison inside the area, but Lukaku saw his spot-kick saved by Vorm.

    But, in the 61st minute, Gareth McAuley fired at goal from a Chris Brunt corner. Swansea midfielder Angel Rangel cleared on the line, but the ball struck De Guzman's shoulder and bounced back over the line.

    Swansea substitute Roland Lamah had the ball in the net in the closing stages, but the goal was ruled for offside to the surprise of Laudrup and his players.