LONDON - Aston Villa crawled out of the Premier League relegation zone by coming from behind to beat Reading 2-1 on Saturday, while bottom club Queens Park Rangers gave themselves further hope with a 3-1 defeat of Sunderland.
Villa had won just one of their previous 11 league games and went into the weekend in the bottom three, but they took the game to relegation rivals Reading from kick-off at the Madejski Stadium.
Christian Benteke hit the bar with an early header, while Andreas Weimann dragged a shot wide from a Benteke pass.
However, Reading took the lead against the run of play in the 32nd minute through one of the most comical own goals of the season.
There was little danger in Jobi McAnuff's low cross from the left but Villa defender Nathan Baker horribly sliced his attempted clearance and sent the ball spinning into his own net.
Fortunately for Baker, Villa equalised immediately, with Weimann teeing up Benteke to beat Stuart Taylor via a deflection off Stephen Kelly.
Gabriel Agbonlahor completed the turnaround in the 45th minute, smashing a left-foot shot into the roof of the net after Barry Bannan had hit the post.
Reading remain second from bottom, while Villa move out of the bottom three at the expense of Wigan Athletic, who stunned Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup quarter-finals earlier in the day.
QPR stay bottom, four points from safety, despite overcoming Sunderland to record consecutive wins for the first time this season.