Reporters' Notebook

Sky Sports takes a look at some of the talking points from the weekend's Premier League action.

Last Updated: 10/03/13 at 21:26

Jermaine Jenas celebrates after sealing QPR's 3-1 win over Sunderland

Jermaine Jenas celebrates after sealing QPR's 3-1 win over Sunderland

For individual match reports, statistics, player ratings and key moments from each game, click on the headers below.

Liverpool 3 Tottenham 2

Adam Bate

This was an even game and could have gone the other way but Liverpool fans must be encouraged by what they are seeing from their side. The Reds are up above rivals Everton in the table and following three straight wins are just two points adrift of Arsenal in fifth. Coutinho has real quality and with Suarez in this form, there is plenty to be optimistic about.

As for Tottenham, this defeat ends a run of 12 unbeaten in the top flight and what will frustrate Villas-Boas is that it was so unavoidable with individual errors to blame. Even so, it seems unlikely that this will dent confidence too much and it speaks volumes for the team's progress that it would now be considered something of a shock if they finish outside the top four.

Newcastle 2 Stoke 1

Graeme Bailey

Alan Pardew's men were looking down the barrel at 1-0 and a potential relegation dog-fight, but two goals can make a lot of difference - now level on points with Stoke, they are looking at a top-half finish.

And to be fair, with their January recruitments, this Newcastle team is not the same one which looked so poor earlier in the season - they are a different prospect.

Stoke were unlucky and there is little Tony Pulis can do other than continue to battle - his team played well and again showed they are a credit to their club. They will play worse and win.

Norwich 0 Southampton 0

Pete O'Rourke

How big a save will Artur Boruc's last-gasp penalty heroics turn out to be for Southampton come the end of the season? Boruc's stop from Norwich striker Grant Holt earned a precious point for Southampton and it could prove crucial in their battle for survival.

Defeat would have been harsh for Southampton as they were the better side for long periods of the game, but some good goalkeeping from Mark Bunn and some poor finishing denied the visitors all three points.

Southampton have two games against Liverpool and Chelsea coming up next and the point picked up Carrow Road could be valuable when they tally up the totals at the end of the season.

Norwich's problem this season has been their lack of goals and this was evident again against Southampton, but fortunately for Chris Hughton's side they have picked up a few clean sheets this term and they should be able to stay out of trouble at the wrong of the table.

QPR 3 Sunderland 1

Graeme Bailey

So the Great Escape could be on. There is no mistaking that this QPR team are hitting form at the perfect time of the season.

In Loic Remy they have a striker capable of leading the line at one of Europe's elite clubs - let alone one battling to avoid the drop to the Championship - but it is Harry Redknapp's wheeling and dealing in January that is paying dividends.

Remy got the first, whilst Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas also scored - all three brought in by Redknapp in the New Year. Some people thought the arrivals smacked of desperation but in the end they were quality additions who have given QPR the spark they needed.

For Sunderland, still only on 30 points, they will be one of the teams who are looking over their shoulders, as will many of the teams towards the bottom.

Reading 1 Aston Villa 2

Raz Mirza

Basement battle, proverbial six-pointer, make-or-break and squeaky-bum time were some of the words used to describe this massive encounter between Reading and Aston Villa at the Madejski Stadium before kick-off. Sadly for Brian McDermott's men, they seem to be destined for the Championship after a gut-wrenching loss at the hands of fellow strugglers Villa.

All-in-all Paul Lambert's side deserved the three points which helped them climb out of the drop zone at the expense of Wigan. Despite gifting the Berkshire side the lead through Nathan Baker's calamitous own goal, the Midlanders showed plenty of courage to fight back and ultimately secure victory before the break thanks to goals from Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor.

The hosts were outnumbered as Villa flooded the middle of the park and held a high line, which forced Reading into hitting the ball long time after time. In a second-half siege, Villa somehow held on, despite looking worryingly vulnerable every time the ball was delivered into the box from wide areas.

The Royals now face trips to Manchester United and Arsenal in their next two Premier League games. Victory was just Villa's second in their past 12 league games and now sets up next week's clash against bottom club QPR at Villa Park in an even bigger six-pointer.

West Brom 2 Swansea 1

Pete Fraser

Michael Laudrup did not need a second invitation to give his opinion on what should have been an equaliser for Swansea City when asked after the game. Roland Lamah's effort was incorrectly disallowed for offside when the ball clearly deflected off Gareth McAuley and Ben Foster.

Laudrup accused officials of not knowing the rules but it was clearly more a case of the officials not spotting the deflections. Technology for such incidents cannot come soon enough.

Romelu Lukaku was the Man of the Match after a performance of strength and speed which gave Ashley Williams one of his most difficult games of the season. The striker may have failed with a poor penalty but he had already scored his fourth goal in three games.

There was also some intricate link-up play in Lukaku's game, which he is not always associated with. Whoever is Chelsea manager next season will surely include the striker in his first-team plans.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer news: AC Milan yet to receive an offer from Liverpool for Mario Balotelli

AC Milan insist they have not received an offer from Liverpool for their controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Transfer news: Marco Reus said to have turned down move to Manchester United

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Onda Cero that Marco Reus rejected a move to Man Utd this summer.

Transfer News: Swansea complete deal for Napoli defender Federico Fernandez

Swansea City have signed defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli for an undisclosed fee.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property