Saturday 04 May 2013
A late Gareth Bale goal boosted Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of UEFA Champions League football as they edged past Southampton 1-0 at White Hart Lane. At the other end of the table, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic both claimed away victories in their fight to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
In a week when he had won the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards the former Southampton player had had a quiet match until scoring the only goal with 10 minutes remaining. The three points put Spurs temporarily into fourth position in the Barclays Premier League above Chelsea, who take on Manchester United tomorrow. It was Bale’s 20th league goal of the season, the first Spurs player to do so since Jurgen Klinsmann in 1994/95.
Arsenal moved above Chelsea into third place with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers. Theo Walcott got the only goal after just 20 seconds, the fastest of the season, but thereafter Arsene Wenger's side struggled to make their domination against relegated QPR count and had to hang on for the three points that put them on 67, two above Chelsea and Spurs, but having played two more matches than the former and one more than the latter.
Athe bottom, Villa moved to 13th place and 40 points thanks to a brace from Gabriel Agbonlahor as they beat Norwich City 2-1. After a goalless first half Agbonlahor put Villa ahead on 55 minutes but Grant Holt equalised for Norwich from the penalty spot. Just as the match appeared to heading for a draw, Agbonlahor got a a second with a minute remaining. The defeat means Norwich are on 38 points with two matches remaining.
Wigan twice came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at The Hawthorns and put pressure on the teams above them. The home side went ahead through Shane Long but Wigan equalised just before half-time with an 11th Barclays Premier League goal of the season from striker Arouna Kone. Gareth McAuley took advantage of some slack marking to put West Brom back ahead but Shaun Maloney levelled the scores again. Wigan led for the first time as Callum McManaman scored with 10 minutes remaining.
The win put Wigan on 35 points, two behind Sunderland who play Stoke City on Monday night, and three behind Newcastle United who were on the back foot for the most of the match against West Ham United at Upton Park but claimed what could be a vital point in a goalless draw. Wigan have a match in hand, against Swansea City on Tuesday.
Swansea City and Manchester City shared a goalless draw.
Reading got their first away victory since January as they beat Fulham 4-2, who went down to their fourth defeat in a row. Nigel Adkins’ team took an early lead from the spot through Hal Robson-Kanu, who doubled the score after the break but Bryan Ruiz got a goal back for Fulham. Just as the home side were looking to get back in the match substitute Adam Le Fondre hit a third for Reading. Ruiz got another goal back but Jem Karacan restored the two-goal lead.
Tottenham Hotspur’s match at home to Southampton kicked off 30 minutes late because of traffic problems and was goalless at half-time.
With our Matchday Live service you can follow how the matches unfolded, check out the best photos from all the grounds with stats. Read match reports including manager reactions. For Matchday Live just click on the links below.
Fulham 2-4 Reading | #FULRDG | Matchday Live >>
Norwich City 1-2 Aston Villa | #NORAVL | Matchday Live >>
Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Arsenal | #QPRARS | Matchday Live >>
Swansea City 0-0 Manchester City | #SWAMCI | Matchday Live >>
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Southampton | #TOTSOU | Matchday Live >>
West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Wigan Athletic | #WBAWIG | Matchday Live >>
West Ham United 0-0 Newcastle United | #WHUNEW | Matchday Live >>