QPR 2 Aston Villa 0
A brace from Charlie Austin lit up an otherwise forgettable game as QPR moved off the bottom of the Premier League and eased the mounting pressure on manager Harry Redknapp.
Having proved the architects of their own downfall with two own goals in the recent defeat to Liverpool, Rangers came out on top at Loftus Road in a game against an Aston Villa outfit bereft of confidence.
When Austin struck a sweet half-volley in the first half the writing was already on the wall for Paul Lambert’s visitors, who have now gone over eight hours since scoring a goal, and another predatory finish the other side of the interval secured what could be a vital 2-0 win.
They may have faced Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton in recent weeks – with an 11-0 aggregate reverse scoreline – but these sorts of evenings need to produce results if Villa are to stay clear of the pack squabbling at the foot of the table.
But, for Redknapp and QPR, this was a much-needed second win of the campaign which lifts them above fellow newly-promoted side Burnley and to within two points of 17th-placed Leicester as the 67-year-old continues to face questions about his future.
As well as Austin’s two efforts, Redknapp would have been pleased with the developing link-up play his goalscorer is enjoying with the industrious Bobby Zamora – whilst the league’s worst defence kept just their second clean sheet of the campaign with Rio Ferdinand again an unused substitute.
Ciaran Clark was brought back into the Villans’ defence but he wasted their best chance to grab just their fifth league goal of the season, with five defeats in succession leaving Villa only three points clear of their Monday night hosts.