Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Wigan beat Reading 3-0 to move out of the relegation zone in English soccer’s Premier League as Norwich rallied to end a nine-game winless run.
Arouna Kone scored twice for Wigan at Reading’s Madejski Stadium. The victory moves the Latics ahead of Aston Villa, which dropped into the three relegation spots at the bottom of the 20-team standings after losing 2-1 at Arsenal, on goal difference with both having 24 points.
Norwich scored twice after the 84th minute to beat Everton 2-1, Manchester United defeated last-place Queen’s Park Rangers 2-0 to extend its lead at the top of the standings, West Brom beat Sunderland 2-1 and Mark Schwarzer saved a penalty kick in Fulham’s 1-0 win over Stoke.
Wigan ended a six-game winless run in the league to climb over Reading, which finished the game with 10 men, and Aston Villa into 17th place.
The Latics took the lead in the 43rd minute as Maynor Figueroa’s shot hit Kone in the chest and went past goalkeeper Adam Federici. Kone doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time when he flicked a ball from Jean Beausejour over Federici.
Figueroa made it 3-0 three minutes into the second half when he ran onto a ball from Franco Di Santo and slid a shot past Federici. Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak then received a red card for a foul on Figueroa in the 53rd minute.
Grant Holt capped a late rally by scoring in stoppage time as Norwich won for the first time in 10 matches.
Leon Osman gave Everton the lead in the 39th minute and Kei Kamara headed in a corner kick with six minutes left to tie the score. Holt then won it in the last of three added minutes when he knocked in a cross from Russell Martin.
Manchester United extended its unbeaten run to 15 matches and moved 15 points ahead of Manchester City, which plays Chelsea tomorrow.
Rafael Da Silva opened the scoring with a volley from outside the penalty area midway through the first half and Ryan Giggs clinched the victory with 10 minutes remaining. The loss plunges QPR deeper into last place with 17 points, six fewer than Reading above it.
Santi Cazorla’s second goal of the game in the 85th minute gave Arsenal the win over Aston Villa. The Gunners move within a point of Tottenham, which plays West Ham in two days, in the race for fourth place and the final qualifying place in the Champions League.
Romelu Lukaku scored both goals as West Brom won its second straight to move into seventh place, two points behind Everton. Stephane Sessegnon scored for Sunderland, which is winless in four matches.
Schwarzer dived to his right to save Jonathan Walters’ penalty in the 56th minute to preserve Fulham’s win over Stoke. Dimitar Berbatov had given Fulham the lead with a volley in first-half stoppage time.
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