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Villa Exit Premier League Drop Zone as Last Place QPR Wins Again

March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Aston Villa beat Reading 2-1 to move out of English soccer’s Premier League relegation zone, while bottom-place Queens Park Rangers defeated Sunderland 3-1 for a second consecutive win.

West Bromwich Albion beat Swansea 2-1, while Artur Boruc saved a penalty kick in stoppage time to preserve Southampton’s goalless draw at Norwich.

Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor scored as Villa won for only the second time since mid-December. The victory moves Villa up to 17th in the 20-team standings with 27 points and drops Wigan, which beat Everton 3-0 in the F.A. Cup quarterfinals earlier today, into the three relegation spots with 24 points.

Reading falls into a tie with QPR on 23 points and the same goal difference. Loci Remy, Andros Townsends and Jermaine Jenas scored as QPR won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Steven Fletcher had the goal for Sunderland, which is winless in six matches.

West Brom moved up two spots to seventh place after beating Swansea on Jonathan de Guzman’s own goal in the 61st minute. Romalu Lukaku also scored for the Baggies, while Luke Moore had the Swansea goal.

Southampton earned the draw in Norwich as Boruc dived to his right to stop Grant Holt’s penalty, which was awarded after referee Mark Clattenburg ruled the striker was knocked over by Luke Shaw just inside the area.

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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