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EPL Relegation Fight Takes Centre Stage

28 Apr 2012

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Wigan Athletic's Nigerian international, Victor Moses celebrates after scoring the second goal for his side against Newcastle 

AP

Wigan demolished Newcastle 4-0 Saturday for another remarkable win in its attempt to avoid relegation from the Premier League and severely dent its opponent's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

With the fight for the title not resuming until leader Manchester United makes the short trip to second-place Manchester City on Monday, much of Saturday's play centered on the teams fighting to stay in the lucrative Premier League, reports The Associated Press.

Newcastle had won six straight to move into fourth place but Wigan, which looked certain to be relegated just over a month ago, followed recent wins over Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal with first-half goals from Victor Moses (2), Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo.

Wigan was still last in the standings on March 17 after just one win in 14 Premier League matches but kept up its passing, attacking game to become one of the division's better teams.

Wigan is three points ahead of the three-team relegation zone. Bolton remained in 18th place despite rallying for a 2-2 draw at Sunderland through Kevin Davies' second goal of the game, while Aston Villa is still in danger after a 0-0 draw at mid-table West Bromwich Albion.

At the other end of the table, Robin van Persie scored his 28th league goal of the season to earn third-place Arsenal a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Nikica Jelavic scored twice as Everton scored four for the third straight league game to beat Fulham 4-0, while Liverpool was at Norwich in the late game. Last-place Wolverhampton Wanderers, which has already been demoted, fought back from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 at Swansea.

Queens Park Rangers plays Sunday at Chelsea. Blackburn, the other side in the relegation zone, is at Tottenham also on Sunday.

Southampton was promoted Saturday after a 4-0 win over Coventry sealed its return to England's topflight after a seven-year absence.

The Saints scored twice in each half to clinch a second straight promotion as runner-up to Reading in the second-tier League Championship.

''We've put a lot of hard work in and a lot of hours and we've achieved something special this season,'' Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said. ''Everyone works so hard at this football club and it's great to see the smiles and delight on the supporters' faces.''

West Ham finished third despite a 2-1 win over Hull and will enter the playoffs with Blackpool, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Tags: Sports, World, EPL, RELEGATION, WIGAN

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