Aston Villa prevailed in a relegation six pointer at Villa Park as they edged out bottom club QPR 3-2.
With QPR’s mini revival in recent weeks it was of little surprise that they took the lead in the first half. The goal was created and finished by Jermaine Jenas after Villa gave the ball away cheaply in their own half to give Jenas his second goal in successive games.
Paul Lambert’s side grabbed a priceless equaliser just before half time through a Gabriel Agbonglahor header, despite rarely troubling Julio Cesar all half. In a second half with increased importance it was Villa who got the first breakthrough, courtesy of Andres Weimann’s powerful shot into the corner of the net.
The lead was short lived however, as Andros Townsend scored his second goal in two games to match ex-Spurs team mate Jenas’ record.
The winner came in the 80th minute and sent Villa Park wild as frontman Christian Benteké scored his 13th goal of the season to lift Villa six points clear of the relegation zone and seven clear of bottom of the table QPR.
Roberto Mancini lost his fourth game in four at Goodison Park as ten man Everton all but ended Manchester City’s title hopes with a 2-0 win. A commanding first half display from David Moyes’ men received its rewards when Leon Osman struck a 30 yard screamer past Joe Hart into the top corner to give Everton a half time lead.
City pushed for an equaliser in the second half, and should have had a late penalty when Marounanne Fellaini handled well inside the box but referee Lee Probert astonishingly pointed for a free kick instead.
It would have been an undeserved point for the Champions however, and Nikita Jelavic’s deflected strike in injury time gave European chasing Everton a deserved three points.
Manchester United strolled fifteen points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over struggling Reading at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney grabbed the only goal of the game as he profited from some nimble footwork from newly recalled England centre back Rio Ferdinand and then a deflection to beat Stuart Taylor.
Reading, under caretaker boss Eamonn Dolan, were denied a clear penalty late in the game as Nemanja Vidic pushed Adrian Marriappa in the box but referee Lee Mason somehow didn’t see the shove. United held on for another victory and surely another Premier League title and left Reading with a mountain to climb to avoid relegation, as they now sit seven points from safety.
Southampton ended Liverpool’s recent run of form with a 3-1 victory at the St Mary’s Stadium to further their gap from the relegation zone.
First half goals from Morgan Schneiderlin and Ricky Lambert put the Saints in a commanding lead, before Coutinho got Liverpool’s only goal just before the break.
A piece of individual brilliance from Jay Rodriguez secured the three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and moves them seven points clear of the drop zone.
Arsenal overcame League Cup Champions Swansea 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium as goals from Nacho Monreal and Gervinho gave Arsene Wenger a huge win in his quest to secure Champions League football next season.
Arsenal now sit just two points behind European Champions Chelsea and four behind their North London rivals Spurs.
West Brom and Stoke played out a forgettable 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium in a game which lacked entertainment, attacking intent and a great deal of quality.
Tony Pulis is under increasing pressure as his side continue their winless run and will be the unhappier of the two teams as Steve Clarke’s Albion managed to secure their first away point since their victory at Anfield in early February.