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Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunderland still in EPL relegation scrap

ESPN.com news services

Jason Puncheon kept Sunderland in relegation danger in the Premier League by scoring a 74th-minute equalizer for Southampton in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Newcastle, meanwhile, overcame a nervy start and finish to secure a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers and ease its relegation fears.

The victory over the already relegated QPR moved Newcastle six points clear of 18th-place Wigan, which has a game in hand.

With one match remaining, Sunderland is four points clear of third-from-bottom Wigan, whose game in hand is against Arsenal on Tuesday. If Wigan loses, it goes down and Sunderland is safe.

Phil Bardsley looked like giving Paolo Di Canio's side victory -- and virtually guaranteeing its safety -- when he scored a deflected shot from the edge of the area in the 68th minute.

However, Puncheon hooked the ball into the net from close range after having an initial attempt saved only two minutes after coming on as a substitute to claim a draw for Southampton, which is five points ahead of Wigan. Also on Sunday, Norwich emphatically secured another season in the Premier League by beating West Bromwich Albion 4-0.

Robert Snodgrass gave the Canaries a halftime lead before a howler by Ben Foster gifted Grant Holt the second and former Ipswich defender Gareth McAuley's own goal put the game beyond reach. Jonny Howson scored a spectacular late fourth as Chris Hughton's team claimed just their third win in 20 Premier League games to make certain of their top-flight status ahead of next week's final day trip to Manchester City.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.




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