Premier League Roundup: Wigan must beat Arsenal and Aston Villa to avoid relegation
With Sunderland and Southampton playing to a 1-1 draw, Newcastle nipping QPR 2-1, Norwich hammering West Brom 4-0, and Fulham losing 2-1 to Liverpool, only victories against Arsenal on Tuesday and Aston Villa next Sunday can save Wigan Athletic from relegation.
Sunderland 1 Southampton 1
At the Stadium of Light everything looked to be going Sunderland’s way as Phil Bardsley, recalled to the starting line-up in place of the suspended Craig Gardner, hammered a fantastic 68th minute shot past Artur Boruc. But in the 73rd minute Jason Puncheon (pictured) came off Southampton’s bench and just three minutes later fired his own rebound into the roof of the net.
The point takes Sunderland and Southampton four and five points clear of Wigan. If the Latics are to catch either side they’ll need to win their final two fixtures (Arsenal (A), Aston Villa (H)) and hope that either Sunderland lose to Spurs or Southampton lose to Stoke on the final day of the season.
QPR 1 Newcastle 2
Things at Loftus Road got off to a quick start when Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy fouled Junior Hoilett on the edge of the box, handing the R’s a 10th minute spot kick. Loic Remy sent Rob Elliot the wrong way to give QPR a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes later Lee Probert pointed to the spot a second time as Jose Boswinga tugged down Hatem Ben Arfa. The Frenchman smashed his ensuing effort into the top corner to level the match. Newcastle then took the lead in the 35th minute as Rob Green’s failed clearance found Yoan Gouffran, who dispatched the ball into the empty net from 25 yards out.
The 2-1 win virtually assures Newcastle another season of Premier League football as Wigan would have to win both of their remaining fixtures and Newcastle would have to lose before goal differential could save the Latics.
Norwich 4 West Brom 0
Over at Carrow Road it was party-time football for Norwich as the Canaries clobbered West Brom 4-0 behind goals by Robert Snodgrass, Grant Holt, Jonathan Howson and an own-goal by Gareth McAuley.
The victory not only took Chris Hughton’s men six points clear of Wigan but also gave them a five goal cushion meaning only a Wigan double and a Canaries thrashing would see Norwich go down.
Fulham 1 Liverpool 3
At Craven Cottage, a Daniel Sturridge hat-trick cancelled out Dimitar Berbetov’s opener to provide Liverpool a 3-1 victory over Fulham.
With the loss, the Cottagers remain stuck on 40 points meaning a Wigan win on Tuesday will put the Latics within two points of Martin Jol’s squad, who end their season at Swansea City next Sunday.
Other results from Sunday are as follows:
Stoke City 1 Tottenham 2
Everton 2 West Ham 0
Manchester United 2 Swansea City 1