Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers both won 3-1 to move out of the relegation places in English soccer’s Premier League.
QPR defeated Wigan to end a nine-game winless run in the league and climb two spots to 16th place, while Bolton beat Liverpool to jump up two places to 17th. The bottom three teams in the 20-team league drop to the second-tier Championship after the season.
Clint Dempsey’s hat trick helped Fulham beat Newcastle 5-2, while Robbie Keane scored twice as Aston Villa won 3-2 at 10-man Wolverhampton. West Bromwich defeated Stoke 2-1, Sunderland beat Swansea 2-0, Everton and Blackburn drew 1-1, and Norwich and Chelsea finished 0-0.
Heidar Helguson, Akos Buszaky and Tommy Smith scored as QPR gave new manager Mark Hughes his first league victory. Hughes replaced the fired Neil Warnock on Jan. 10.
Helguson scored with a penalty kick in the 33rd minute and Buzsaky doubled the lead just before halftime. Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega scored midway through the second half before Latics goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi stopped another Helguson penalty attempt in the 72nd minute. Smith then clinched the win with a shot from about 25 yards out in the 81st minute.
Mark Davies, Nigel Reo-Coker and Gretar Steinsson scored as Bolton ended a 10-game losing run against Liverpool.
Davies and Reo-Coker gave Bolton a 2-0 lead after 29 minutes before Craig Bellamy scored for Liverpool before halftime. Steinsson then scored in the 50th minute to secure Bolton’s second home win of the season.
Fulham scored all of its goals in the second half in beating Newcastle. Dempsey notched his second halt trick of the season, while Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora scored with penalty kicks. Danny Guthrie and Hatem Ben Arfa had the Newcastle goals.
Keane made his first start for Villa after his loan move from the Los Angeles Galaxy and netted twice in the second half, including the game winner with seven minutes left. Darren Bent also scored with a penalty for Villa. Michael Kightly and David Edwards had the Wolves goals, while Karl Henry was red-carded in 73rd minute.
Gramah Dorrans’s goal in stoppage time lifted West Brom past Stoke. West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster stopped Jonathan Walters’s penalty kick in the second half to help in the win.
Goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner carried Sunderland to its third win in four games. David Goodwillie’s goal in the 72nd minute gave Blackburn the draw at Everton, which had Tim Cahill score for the first time since December, 2010.
Norwich posted its first shutout of the season by drawing with Chelsea at home. Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, seeking his first goal since October, was denied by a diving save from John Ruddy in the first half and poked a shot wide from eight yards out in the second half.
League leader Manchester City hosts third-place Tottenham and second-place Manchester United visits Arsenal in tomorrow’s games.