Queens Park Rangers picked up their first win of the season in English soccer’s Premier League after holding on to beat Fulham 2-1.
Adel Taarabt scored both goals as QPR ended its league- record 16-match winless run to start a season. The victory lifts QPR above Reading out of last place.
“It was a fantastic performance,” QPR manager Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports. “It was well deserved. We were the better team. It would have been a gross injustice if we hadn’t won today.”
League leader Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 to maintain its six-point advantage over Manchester City, which rebounded from its first loss by winning 3-1 at Newcastle. Aston Villa beat Liverpool 3-1, Norwich defeated Wigan 2-1 and Stoke drew 1-1 with Everton.
QPR remain unbeaten under Redknapp following the home win at Loftus Road. The west London club had drawn all three games since Redknapp replaced the fired Mark Hughes on Nov. 24.
Taarabt opened the scoring early in the second half with a shot from outside the penalty area which deflected off defender Brede Hangeland. He scored again in the 68th minute, curling a shot into the net after making a run from midfield.
Mladen Petric pulled Fulham within a goal in the 88th minute but QPR was able to hold on for the victory.
United, which last weekend handed Manchester rivals City its first league loss, extended its winning streak to five league matches at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie opened the scoring by tapping in Ashley Young’s pass in the 16th minute for his 12th goal of the season, tying him with Swansea’s Miguel Michu for the league lead.
United’s Tom Cleverley scored three minutes later with a shot from the left side of the penalty area and van Persie set up the third goal in the second half by working between two defenders in the area and sending a pass which Wayne Rooney tapped in.
Fraizer Campbell scored in the 72nd minute for Sunderland, which has won just two of its past 13 league games.
Defending champion Manchester City got back on track with its sixth straight league win over Newcastle.
Sergio Aguero and Javi Garcia gave City a 2-0 halftime before Newcastle’s Demba Ba scored his 11th league goal in the 51st minute. Yaya Toure closed the scoring in the 78th minute as City extended its unbeaten run against the Magpies to 12 matches.
Christian Benteke scored two goals and Andreas Weimann had one as Aston Villa made it five league matches unbeaten by winning in Liverpool. Villa moves up to 14th place, three points clear of the three teams in the relegation places at the bottom of the standings.
Wes Hoolahan’s goal in the 64th minute gave Norwich the home win over Wigan. Anthony Pilkington also scored for the Canaries, who are unbeaten in 10 league matches and moved up five places to seventh place.
Kenwyne Jones’s goal early in the second half earned Stoke the home draw with Everton, which took the lead on Ryan Shawcross’s 36th-minute own goal. Stoke is unbeaten in eight home league matches this season.
Swansea visits Tottenham and West Bromwich hosts West Ham tomorrow, with Arsenal at Reading in two days.
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