Reading, QPR relegated; Van Persie thwarts Arsenal

Updated: April 28, 2013, 7:54 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Reading and Queens Park Rangers were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday, while Robin van Persie of Manchester United faced his former club in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

Reading and QPR were demoted after they drew 0-0, leaving just one more spot to be determined in the drop zone.

Booed relentlessly on his return to Arsenal, Van Persie gave away the ball that resulted in newly crowned champion Manchester United conceding an early goal. He then made a penalty kick to clinch the draw.

In the top-four race, Chelsea to dislodge Arsenal from third place by beating Swansea 2-0. Arsenal is now only two points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham having played an extra game.

While second-place Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal look to join Manchester United in the Champions League, QPR and Reading are bound for the League Championship next season.

Wigan occupies the third spot in the relegation zone, and is two points from safety with four games remaining.

For QPR, returning to the Premier League won't be easy after two years in the top tier of English soccer.

"QPR have got no divine right to come back up next season," QPR manager Harry Redknapp said.

Added Reading manager Nigel Adkins: "We've got a really good group of players -- they won the Championship last season. But, unfortunately, the Premier League got away from us this year."


PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain closed in on the French league title with a 1-0 victory at Evian that featured the dismissal of PSG midfielders David Beckham and Marco Verratti plus two other players after the match ended Sunday following a mass confrontation.

Javier Pastore scored in the 50th minute to keep PSG nine points ahead of second-place Marseille with four rounds remaining. Evian is one place above the relegation zone.

But the win will do little for PSG's image, with midfielder Blaise Matuidi running over to gloat in front of the Evian bench moments after the final whistle and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu clashing with several Evian players.

Sirigu and Evian striker Saber Khlifa were sent off after the final whiste.

PSG hosts Valenciennes next Sunday and can seal the title with a win if Marseille fails to beat Bastia on Saturday. However, PSG will be without Beckham, Verratti, Sirigu and holding midfielder Thiago Motta, who is also suspended.

Lyon held onto third place after fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to bitter local rival Saint-Etienne.


MILAN -- Defending champion Juventus moved closer to its 29th Italian league title, using two late goals to beat Torino 2-0 in the Derby della Mole.

Arturo Vidal scored with three minutes left shortly after Torino had been denied what looked to be a clear penalty. Torino defender Kamil Glik was then sent off in the final minute before Claudio Marchisio sealed the result.

Antonio Conte's team is 11 points ahead of second-place Napoli and can secure the title against Palermo next weekend.

Fiorentina leapfrogged AC Milan into third place and the last Champions League spot after beating Sampdoria 3-0. It is two points ahead of Milan, which plays Catania later.

Elsewhere, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo scored a hat trick to help Roma to a 4-0 win over struggling Siena, which slipped into the relegation zone after Palermo beat Inter Milan 1-0.


BARCELONA, Spain -- Real Sociedad striker Imanol Agirretxe scored two goals and set up a third in a highly entertaining 4-2 comeback win over Valencia on Sunday.

Sociedad's victory strengthened its hold on fourth place and Spain's last Champions League berth by increasing its lead to five points over fifth-place Valencia with five rounds left.

Sociedad extended its unbeaten run to 15 games. It has only lost once in the past 23 rounds.

Also on Sunday, Granada won 1-0 at Espanyol to escape the relegation zone, Malaga beat Getafe 2-1, and Sevilla drew 1-1 at Valladolid.


BERLIN -- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat trick and set up another goal on his return from injury to lead Schalke to a 4-1 win against Hamburger SV that consolidate fourth place in the Bundesliga.

Huntelaar hadn't played for six weeks since injuring his left knee in the Ruhr derby win over Borussia Dortmund.

With three games remaining, Schalke is three points ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt in the last Champions League qualification place.


PARIS -- Lyon held onto third place in the French league after fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to bitter local rival Saint-Etienne.

The draw leaves Saint-Etienne two points behind Lyon and one ahead of Lille as the race for third place intensifies with four matches remaining.

Later Sunday, leader Paris Saint-Germain looked to restore its nine-point lead with a win at Evian.


AMSTERDAM -- Feyenoord thrashed Heracles Almelo 6-0 to keep the pressure on Dutch Eredivisie leader Ajax, which remains on track for a third straight league title after winning 2-0 at NAC Breda a day earlier.

Ajax cemented its first-place standing behind Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's goal during first-half injury time and an own goal by Tim Gilissen seven minutes into the second half.

Feyenoord is even on points with PSV but the Eindhoven club has a better goal difference.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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