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Saints stay out of bottom three
7:42am Sunday 16th December 2012 in Sport
SAINTS stayed out of the bottom three in the Premier League after a set of mixed results on Saturday.
QPR gave Harry Redknapp a boost with a 2-1 win over Fulham and Aston Villa scored a shock win at Liverpool.
But Norwich kept Wigan below Saints with a 2-1 beating and Sunderland and Newcastle both lost.
Manchester United maintained their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side produced a convincing display with Robin van Persie and Tom Cleverley netting inside the opening 20 minutes.
Van Persie then brilliantly set up Wayne Rooney on the hour to seal a fifth consecutive league win. Substitute Fraizer Campbell grabbed a consolation for the Black Cats on 72 minutes.
QPR hauled themselves off the foot of the table with a belated first win of the season – 2-1 over Fulham.
Adel Taarabt’s quickfire double in the second half finally secured victory after 17 games and lifted Harry Redknapp’s side above Reading, who host Arsenal on Monday night.
Mladen Petric pulled a goal back two minutes from time but it served only to make QPR sweat for a win that the home fans celebrated at the final whistle.
Aston Villa produced the shock of the day as they thumped Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.
Christian Benteke struck twice, either side of an Andreas Weimann goal, to inflict a first home loss on the Reds in six. Steven Gerrard curled in a late goal but by then a majority of the home fans had left.
Ex-Saint Kenwyne Jones scored his first league goal in more than a year as Stoke battled back to draw 1-1 at home to Everton.
Ryan Shawcross gifted the Toffees a first-half lead when he headed over his own goalkeeper but Jones levelled when he outjumped Phil Jagielka to head in on 52 minutes.
In-form Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini could find himself in hot water after he appeared to headbutt Shawcross during the second half, with referee Mark Halsey missing the incident.
Wes Hoolahan marked his new Norwich contract with the match-winner in a 2-1 success over Wigan.
The Canaries announced just before kick-off that Hoolahan had penned a new deal until 2015 and the Republic of Ireland midfielder took centre stage.
He robbed a defender to set up Anthony Pilkington’s opener and, after Shaun Maloney equalised, Hoolahan secured a third successive league win in the 64th minute.
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