QPR 2-0 Aston Villa: Austin double hands Villa fifth straight loss (video)

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Charlie Austin scored twice and QPR held Aston Villa to pull themselves off the bottom of the table and pull within two points of escaping the drop zone.

The visitors, meanwhile, have now gone a disastrous 531 minutes without scoring a goal, going all the way back to a ninth-minute score against Liverpool on September 13th. The loss is their fifth straight – shut out in all five – something never been done in Aston Villa history.

Villa started the match at Loftus Road with the most creativity and meaningful possession, and they forced home goalkeeper Robert Green to do some early work on shots from Ashley Westwood and Carlos Sanchez.

So of course, in typical Premier League fashion, QPR struck first on 17 minutes. A long ball from Richard Dunne that covered at least two-thirds of the pitch fell to Bobby Zamora at the edge of the box, and with his back to goal he chested down expertly to Charlie Austin. The 25-year-old ripped a punishing low shot past Brad Guzan to ignite the home crowd.

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Villa continued to pound Green’s goal, but the England international performed well, coming off his line multiple times to collect crosses or sweep outside the box. But the half ended without much else to get excited about.

It was quite a typical Villa first half looking at their recent performances, given they have failed to score in a whopping four matches coming into this game.

The second half drudged on and painfully devolved into a dreadful affair at Loftus Road, the antethisis of QPR’s insane loss to Liverpool the weekend before.

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Eventually, substitute Junior Hoilett put an impressive effort on goal from a tight angle that pinged the far post and came out. But QPR would have their second on Hoilett’s revitilazion.

Sanchez gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch with 21 minutes to go, and Eduardo Vargas burst down the right flank. He crossed perfectly to Austin following the play, and he redirected well into the back of the net from point blank range under pressure from Ron Vlaar.

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Villa continued to show some promise forward, as Matthew Lowton whipped a good cross in, but in typical Villa fashion Christian Benteke and substitute Joe Cole both went for the ball and put each other off. The visitors nearly broke their horrific goal streak with 10 minutes to go but Green made two fantastic saves – one with the palms and one with his foot – to keep out Tom Cleverley and Cieran Clark.

Time eventually ran out on a meek and wasteful Villa side without another serious challenge, and QPR pulled themselves off the bottom of the Premier League table into 19th, just a point behind Sunderland and two behind 17th.  Villa, meanwhile, has all but wasted its brilliant start to the season and is now in 15th, just three points beyond today’s opponent.

LINEUPS:

QPR: Green; Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Suk-Young; Vargas (Traore 87′), Sandro, Henry, Fer (Kranjcar 90′); Austin, Zamora (Hoilett 63′).

Goals: Austin 17′, 69′

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Cissokho, Westwood (Cole 70′), Cleverley, Sanchez, Weimann (Bent 70′), Agbonlahor, Benteke.