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Robin van Persie denies former club Arsenal

Robin van Persie returned to frustrate Arsenal as the Manchester United striker rescued a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium, while Reading and QPR were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday after playing out a 0-0 draw.

sports Updated: Apr 29, 2013 01:25 IST

Robin van Persie returned to frustrate Arsenal as the Manchester United striker rescued a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium, while Reading and QPR were relegated from the Premier League on Sunday after playing out a 0-0 draw.

Van Persie was making his first appearance in north London since last year's £24 million transfer to United and he was given a hostile reception from Arsenal's supporters.

But, after Theo Walcott gave Arsenal a second minute lead, the Dutch forward silenced the boo-boys when he fired home from the penalty spot after being fouled by Bacary Sagna in the 44th minute.

With the title already wrapped up, champions United were happy to settle for a draw, but the result was a setback for Arsenal, who dropped down to fourth place following Chelsea's 2-0 win over Swansea.

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A win for either Reading or QPR at the Madejski Stadium would have kept alive their slender chances of staying up at least until Aston Villa's clash with Sunderland on Monday.

But both looked wracked with nerves during a goalless stalemate which condemned Nigel Adkins' Reading and Harry Redknapp's QPR to starting next season in the Championship.

Bottom club Reading and second bottom QPR are both nine points behind fourth bottom Aston Villa with three games remaining, but a complicated equation means there is no chance of either avoiding the drop.

If Wigan and Villa lose their next three games they will go into the final day on 32 and 34 points respectively, while back to back wins for QPR and Reading win would give them 31 points ahead of the last match.

However, with Wigan and Villa playing each other on the last weekend, only one of them could be overtaken by QPR and Reading, meaning QPR and Reading are guaranteed to be in the bottom three at the end of the season.

Real Win, Barca draw
Madrid: Barcelona must wait at least another week to wrap up the La Liga title after conceding a late goal to draw 2-2 at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday before second-placed Real Madrid won 2-1 at city rivals Atletico.

Victory for Barca at the San Mames and defeat for Real in the Madrid derby at the Calderon would have given the leaders an unassailable 16-point advantage with five matches left.

Real's comeback win meant Barca's lead was cut to 11 points and they also pulled six points clear of Atletico, who are third and almost assured of a Champio-ns League place for next season.

Barca must wait until after their likely elimination from Europe's elite club competition at home to Bayern Munich on Wednesday for another chance to secure a fourth Spanish crown in five years.

“We are leaving with a bitter taste in our mouths but feeling satisfied with the job done,” Barca forward Alexis Sanchez, who netted his side's second goal, told reporters.