QPR came from behind to win their second game in a row as they overcame Sunderland 3-1 at Loftus Road.
Despite being rooted at the bottom of the Premier League, it was Rangers who had the better of the opening minutes and were extremely unfortunate to go behind when Steven Fletcher converted a Craig Gardner cross.
Harry Redknapp’s team were undeterred and grabbed an equaliser through January signing Loic Remy, who has looked like the player that has the ability to rescue QPR’s season and avoid relegation. Two second half wonder goals secured a vital three points for the London club, first through Andros Townsend, followed by Jermaine Jenas. Their second home win of the season moves QPR level on points with Reading and just four points from safety.
West Brom scraped a 2-1 win over League Cup winners Swansea City at the Hawthorns, as the Swans were denied a legitimate equaliser late on thanks to blunders from the officials.
It was the Capital One Cup winners who took the lead in the first half as Luke Moore scored on his first start of the season. However, the Baggies responded quickly as on loan forward Romelu Lukaku scored his 13th goal of the season and continued his fine run of form, which must be giving his parent club Chelsea plenty of hope for when they bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
He then had a penalty saved by Michel Vorm but even the heroics of the Swansea keeper couldn’t prevent West Brom taking the lead as an unfortunate Jonathon De Guzman own goal proved to be the winner.
The big moment of controversy came as the game was drawing to a close, Swansea’s Roland Lamah found himself nearing the West Brom goal, his cross deflected back to him courtesy of two opposition players, he then fired home only to be wrongly ruled out for offside.
Despite Swansea protests, the game finished 2-1 to West Brom as the League Cup Champions lost for the first time this season after going ahead in a game.
Aston Villa climbed out of the drop zone as they beat relegation rivals Reading 2-1 at the Majedski Stadiu, despite falling behind. In a tense relegation six pointer there were no room for mistakes for either side but mid way through the first half Villa’s young defender Nathan Baker comically mis-kicked a clearance into his own net, for what looked like a costly own goal.
However, two Villa goals before the break, from Christian Benteké and Gabriel Agbonglahor, flipped the scoreline around, much to the relief of Paul Lambert’s side, and in particular Nathan Baker.
Aston Villa held on for a vital three points which gives them rejuvenated hope of staying up, whilst Reading’s fight for survival is beginning to look desperate.
Grant Holt missed a late penalty as Norwich and Southampton played out a stalemate at Carrow Road. In a game heavily affected by difficult conditions, it was the defences who prevailed largely thanks to the two goalkeepers Artur Boruc and Mark Bunn.
Bunn made a string of saves, denying Gaston Ramirez, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriuez amongst others. Boruc also made a list of fine stops but none better than the penalty save, which came from a controversial penalty award against Luke Shaw in which Southampton felt that Holt had gone down too easily.
Referee Mark Clattenburg was surrounded by enraged Southampton players, but they were relieved when Boruc parried Holt’s effort wide of the target to leave the game finishing goalless.