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Saturday, May 4, 2013
Wigan earns massive win at West Brom news services

Wigan twice came from behind to win 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion and raise hopes of once again avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

Callum McManaman scored in the 80th minute at the Hawthorns to complete the comeback and move Wigan, which still occupies the last relegation place in 18th, to within two points of safety with three rounds remaining.

Elsewhere, Gabriel Agbonlahor grabbed an 89th-minute winner for Aston Villa in a 2-1 victory at Norwich on Saturday, keeping Villa five points clear of the drop.

Norwich drops below Villa, just three points ahead of Wigan but having played a game more.

Newcastle couldn't find a way through in a 0-0 draw at West Ham and is even on points with Norwich.

Sunderland, which hosts Stoke on Monday, is in 17th place, two points above Wigan and one behind Norwich and Newcastle.

At the Hawthorns, Shane Long gave West Brom a 29th-minute lead from close range by converting a squared pass by Markus Rosenberg. The lead lasted only 10 minutes with Arouna Kone leveling for Wigan with a well-placed header.

Gareth McAuley restored the Baggies' advantage in the 50th before James McArthur equalized with a diving header in the 58th, setting up the dramatic finale for McManaman.

Wigan has made late charges to retain its Premier League status the past few seasons.

"We have worked really hard for two months to get us in the position where, with two weeks of the season left, we are still involved in two competitions," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, whose team will contest the FA Cup final against Manchester City next Saturday. "If we stay up it would be like winning the title."

Agbonlahor, who gave Villa the lead in the 55th minute, sealed victory by running onto Ashley Westwood's through ball and slotting home to keep his team five points clear of the bottom three with two games left.

Grant Holt converted a 74th-minute penalty to equalize for Norwich, which drops below Villa and just three points ahead of third-from-bottom Wigan but having played a game more.

It was a successful return to Carrow Road for Villa manager Paul Lambert, whose acrimonious departure from Norwich last offseason led to a bitter legal wrangle.

At Upton Park, Papiss Cisse came closest to breaking the deadlock on an afternoon of few clear-cut opportunities, with his first-half effort cleared off the line by West Ham's Winston Reid.

Newcastle conceded six goals at home to Liverpool last weekend but the Magpies were shored up at the back with the return of captain Fabricio Coloccini from a knee injury that had sidelined him since Feb. 24.

Also Saturday, Manchester City dropped points in its bid to secure second place by drawing 0-0 with Swansea in a lackluster match on Saturday.

Edin Dzeko and David Silva missed gilt-edged late chances at Liberty Stadium for the deposed champions, who are provisionally seven points clear of third-place Chelsea, having played a game extra.

Swansea, which has won just once since capturing the League Cup in February, started well with Pablo Hernandez and Michu wasting excellent opportunities.

Yaya Toure may be an injury concern for City for the FA Cup final against Wigan next weekend after being substituted at halftime, while Michu, Swansea's top scorer, hobbled off with a right hamstring complaint in the second half.

"I am not sure if he has torn it but, even if it is less than that, this will be his last game of the season," said Swansea manager Michael Laudrup.

Relegated Reading ended a 10-match winless streak in the Premier League by beating host Fulham 4-2 on Saturday.

Reading's fate was sealed last weekend, but the team showed plenty of heart and style at Craven Cottage to give coach Nigel Adkins, six weeks in the job, his first win.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored the first two goals on either side of halftime for Reading. Bryan Ruiz halved the deficit for Fulham with 20 minutes to go, but replacement Adam Le Fondre restored the two-goal cushion moments later.

Ruiz headed in his second, but Jem Karacan capped the scoring with his strike seven minutes from the end to seal Reading's first win since Feb. 2, and Fulham's fourth straight defeat.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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