Soccer / English Premier League / Saints Stun Manchester City; QPR Survival Hopes Take a Hit

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Manchester City’s hopes of retaining their Premier League title received a potentially fatal blow after they were beaten 3-1 at Southampton Saturday.

Goals from Jason Puncheon, Steve Davis and a Gareth Barry own goal sealed City’s fate, leaving them nine points behind leaders Manchester United with 12 games remaining.

Manchester United can increase their lead over City at the top to 12 points with 12 games left if they win at home to Everton today.

Southampton were 2-0 up within 22 minutes through Puncheon and Davis and though Edin Dezko pulled one back, an own goal from Barry just after half-time finished off City’s hopes.

Queens Park Rangers’ hopes of survival suffered another blow as they were beaten 4-1 at Swansea City.

Two goals from Michu and one each from Angel Rangel and Pablo Hernandez gave Swansea victory, moving them to seventh and leaving QPR bottom and six points away from safety with 12 games to go.

Chelsea stayed ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal in the race for third place as they beat Wigan 4-1 through goals by Ramires, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard and Marko Marin.

“We deserved to win,” manager Rafeal Benitez said. “To win is something you have to do. Top sides, if you want to win something, you have to be consistent winning. It’s normal.

“But it’s not the end of the world if you draw a game you deserve to win. The problem for me would be if we don’t create chances; we create chances every game.

“We score goals. We’re making some mistakes, but we have a lot of positives. Today four goals could be six goals at the end.”

Gareth Bale scored both goals as Tottenham stayed one point behind Chelsea in fourth thanks to a 2-1 win over Newcastle.

The Wales midfielder put Spurs in front with a brilliant free kick after just five minutes but Newcastle equalized 20 minutes later through Yoan Gouffran.

Jason Puncheon celebrating his goal Saturday. Credit: Reuters