Arteta goal gives Arsenal win over QPR

Arsenal beat the Premier League's bottom club 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta celebrates scoring the third goal during their English Premier League football match against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London, England on 24 March, 2012. Picture: AFP

LONDON - A late Mikel Arteta goal ended some determined resistance from Queens Park Rangers, as Arsenal beat the Premier League's bottom club 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Arteta struck from close range after 84 minutes, turning the ball in from the rebound after the ball hit the bar.

The goal came soon after Rangers' Stephane Mbia was sent off for lashing out at Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen.

He was the ninth QPR player to be red carded during 2012.

Reading and Fulham drew 3-3 in a thriller at the Madejski Stadium, Wigan Athletic beat West Ham 2-1, Aston Villa drew 1-1 with Norwich City and Stoke City and Sunderland drew 0-0.

Arsenal's win halted a run of two successive defeats to Norwich City in the Premier League and Schalke 04 in the Champions League over the last seven days.

The Gunners welcomed back Jack Wilshere after the England midfielder missed the last 17 months with ankle problems and he played well for the 67 minutes he was on, helping Arsenal move into fourth place while QPR are still without a win in their opening nine league games and have only three points.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports the victory came as a relief after a difficult week.

"When you lose two games the confidence goes quickly and for us today the most important thing was to win the game," he said.

"It was a fight against a good QPR side and a fight against our nerves. But QPR are a good team and they will not stay bottom of the league."

SIX-GOAL THRILLER

Reading and Fulham shared the points in a six-goal thriller which left Reading still looking for their first win of the season, although they moved up a place from 19th to 18th, ahead of Southampton who play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Mikele Leigertwood put Reading ahead with a fine strike after 26 minutes before Brian Ruiz equalised for Fulham in the 61st minute three minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Chris Baird put Fulham 2-1 up after 77 minutes but had to go off after injuring himself on the advertising hoardings as he celebrated his goal.

Three goals then followed in the closing stages as Gareth McCleary made it 2-2 after 85 minutes before Dimitar Berbatov looked to have scored Fulham's winner two minutes from time with a thunderous drive.

Then, almost with the last kick, Hal Robson-Kanu earned Reading a point, scrambling home from close range.

Goals from Ivan Ramis and James McArthur gave Wigan their second win of the season and halt West Ham's strong start to the season despite a late reply by James Tomkins.

Aston Villa continue to labour towards the relegation zone after a disappointing home draw with Norwich.

Villa, whose manager Paul Lambert was up against his old club, were reduced to 10 men when Joe Bennett was sent off early in the second half.

They had taken the lead through Christian Benteke but Michael Turner replied for Norwich late on.