Wins for Southampton FC and Aston Villa FC boosted their prospects of avoiding relegation from the Premier League on a day when ten-man Arsenal FC moved into fourth spot.
Jay Rodriguez's determination to reach the return pass of a smart one-two gave Southampton a lead they refused to reliquish at Reading FC, managed by the Saints' former boss Nigel Adkins.
Adam Lallana's 50th goal in red and white secured a convincing 2-0 success which lifts the south coast club into 11th, seven points clear of the bottom three. The situation looks bleak for Reading, who are rooted to the foot of the table and are eight shy of safety with six games remaining. They have lost their last seven in all competitions.
Two goals in the last three minutes by Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke, meanwhile, not only provided a welcome fillip for struggling Aston Villa, but also heaped pressure on Stoke City FC. The Potters equalised late on, but the defeat – their ninth in 12 outings – leaves them just four points from danger. Stoke are a point better off than Villa and one behind Norwich City FC following the Canaries' 2-2 draw with Swansea City AFC.
Tomáš Rosický scored twice – his first league goals since February 2012 – as Arsenal FC triumphed at West Bromwich Albion FC despite Per Mertesacker's 70th-minute dismissal. The Gunners have leapfrogged rivals Chelsea FC into fourth place.
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|Last updated: 18/04/2013 18:05 CET|
Morrison 71 (P)
Rosický 20, 50
|Venue: West Bromwich|
|1||Manchester United FC||30||77|
|2||Manchester City FC||30||62|
|3||Tottenham Hotspur FC||31||57|
|8||West Bromwich Albion FC||32||44|
|9||Swansea City AFC||32||41|
|12||West Ham United FC||30||36|
|13||Norwich City FC||32||35|
|14||Stoke City FC||32||34|
|15||Newcastle United FC||31||33|
|16||Aston Villa FC||32||33|
|18||Wigan Athletic FC||30||30|
|19||Queens Park Rangers FC||31||23|