Over the weekend Premier League action was preempted by the FA Cup. To make up for this, us Premier League junkies were rewarded with a full slate of midweek games. Let’s take a look at how the relegation battlers fared in their quest to avoid the drop.
Queens Park Rangers, 16 Points
So far during the transfer window, QPR has been unable to find quality, well known players willing to join the squad. Even with their substantial budget, Rangers have whiffed on their attempts to permanently sign French stars Loic Remy and Yann M’Vila. The only official signing Rangers have made was the Korean left back Yun Suk-Young. The 22 year-old youngster was on the Korean Olympic team that took home the Bronze medal in London. Harry’s next signing is apparently former Arsenal “target” Christopher Samba from Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala. Not really anything that will provide too much hope for QPR fans. On the pitch the team did secure a dire scoreless draw with Manchester City. Any points against the league Champions is an excellent result for QPR, so they’ll hope to build on that. That also marks the fourth match in a row that QPR have earned at least a point, but they’ll need a few more three-pointers if they’re going to be in the PL next year.
Aston Villa, 20 Points
I’m not going to pretend that I am a scholar when it comes to the history of Aston Villa Football, but this has to be one of the worst 7 days in the history of the club. Last week they were eliminated from the League Cup by League 2 Bradford. Yes, Bradford is in League 2 – three levels below the Premier League. Villa won the match 2-1 but lost over 2 legs to a League 2 outfit! Unthinkable. They then followed that up with an FA Cup defeat to Millwall. Not as embarrassing, as it at least wasn’t played over two legs and Millwall is a nPower Championship team. They capped off the week, unsurprisingly, with a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle. Benteke scored from the penalty spot and remains their only shining light. Nothing else to say other than Aston Villa are awful and look very much like a team that will be relegated at season’s end.
Wigan, 20 Points
Wigan was able to secure a very solid result against Stoke at the Britannia. The Latics roared back from 2 goals down in the second half to grab a 2-2 draw. Under the circumstances it was a very good point for Wigan as Stoke is a notoriously tough place to play. Wigan hosts Southampton this weekend – essentially a must-win, three-pointer for the Latics.
Reading, 20 Points
Reading currently finds themselves on a great run of form. Their defense is starting to stabilize a bit and they are now getting results. This week Reading had a stunning 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Chelsea seemingly had the match won after leading 2-0 with just 3 minutes remaining. Adam Le Fondre scored 2 goals at the death and sunk the Blues. Huge momentum building game for Reading. This is the type of match that can lead them forward and out of the relegation zone. In the mean time, it did actually push them out of the bottom tree on goal difference.