QPR Beats Arsenal in Premier League; Man. City Rallies to Draw

Arsenal lost 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers in English soccer’s Premier League, while Manchester City rallied late to tie 3-3 with Sunderland.

Samba Diakite’s goal in the second half gave QPR the win over their north London visitors, while Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov scored in the final five minutes to earn Manchester City a home draw.

Chelsea defeated Aston Villa 4-2, Everton beat West Brom 2- 0, Fulham beat Norwich 2-1, Wigan defeated Stoke 2-0 and Bolton was a 3-2 winner at Wolverhampton.

Diakite’s goal at Loftus Road, west London, gave QPR a second win in nine games and ended Arsenal’s seven-match winning run.

QPR’s Adel Taarabt scored his first goal of the season in the 22nd minute and Theo Walcott answered for Arsenal in the 37th minute. Diakite then converted a pass from Jamie Mackie in the 66th minute for the victory.

The win gives QPR 28 points but keeps it in the three relegation places at the bottom of the standings behind Blackburn because of an inferior goal difference.

Manchester City’s late rally kept it unbeaten at home this season and denied Sunderland a first-ever league win at the Etihad Stadium.

Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson opened the scoring and Balotelli tied it with a penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Nicklas Bendtner then scored with a header in stoppage time to put City, which had won its 15 previous home games, behind at the half for the first time.

City Trails United

Larsson scored his second goal 10 minutes after the break to extend the Sunderland lead to 3-1. Balotelli scored again in the 85th minute and Kolarov tied the score a minute later.

City now trails first-place Manchester United, which visits Blackburn on April 2, by two points with seven games remaining.

Branislav Ivanovic scored two goals as Chelsea beat Aston Villa. Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres also scored for the Blues who led 2-0 in the second half. James Collins and Eric Lichaj scored three minutes apart to pull Villa even before Ivanovic scored his second goal in the 83rd minute.

Torres clinched the victory in stoppage time with his first league goal since October. The win moves the Blues within two points of fourth-place Tottenham in the race for the final Champions League place.

Fans of both teams stood and applauded during the 19th minute in honor of Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed yesterday with acute leukemia. Petrov, who wears No. 19, wiped his eyes as he sat in the stands before standing to applaud back to the crowd.

Own Goal

Wolverhampton fell further into last place after its home defeat to Bolton, which got goals from Martin Petrov, Marcos Alonso and Kevin Davies. Wolves remain on 22 points, six fewer than Wigan in 19th place above it.

Goals from Antolin Alcaraz and Victor Moses gave Wigan its second straight win, against Stoke, and its first at home in seven months. Everton used an own goal from Gareth McAuley and a score from Victory Anichebe to beat West Brom and move one point ahead of city rival Liverpool into seventh place.

Fulham ended a three-match losing run by beating Norwich on goals from Clint Dempsey and Damien Duff in the opening 13 minutes.

Newcastle hosts Liverpool tomorrow, while Swansea visits Tottenham.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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