Queens Park Rangers beat 10-man West Bromwich Albion 4-1 on Saturday, as the west London club gave their survival bid a much-needed shot in the arm with their first win in six.
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Three first half goals from Eduardo Vargas, Charlie Austin and a stunner from Bobby Zamora did the damage, with Victor Anichebe pulling one back for the Baggies in the second half but a red card for Youssuf Mulumbu and a late goal from Joey Barton rubber-stamped the win for QPR.
With the victory QPR are now on 25 points and move up to 18th, just one point from safety. West Brom stay in 14th on 33 points after a disappointing home defeat.
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After an even start at the Hawthorns, the away side took the lead courtesy of a wonderful run and finish from Vargas. The Chilean picked up the loose ball 35-yards out, ran towards goal and smashed a shot towards the bottom corner which was out of Boaz Myhill’s reach.
QPR were well in the ascendancy after that opener and Matt Phillips tested Myhill from distance before Austin doubled the R’s lead. In typical fashion the Englishman flew in late at the back post and glanced a header into the net. 2-0 to the R’s.
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Before half time it got even better for Ranger, as Zamora lobbed in a goal of the season contender from an audacious angle out on the right-hand side of the box. 3-0 to QPR as the R’s were cruising to just their second away win of the season.
The Baggies must have had a rollicking from manager Tony Pulis at half time because they improved drastically in the second period with Anichebe heading home Saido Berahino’s cross to make things interesting. 3-1. Brown Ideye missed a glorious chance from inside the six-yard box to pull another goal back but he sent his header straight at Rob Green. Mulumbu came on as a sub and got sent off after 10 minutes for an elbow on Barton as West Brom’s task got even tougher late on.
In stoppage time a breakaway saw Phillips and Austin combine for a scramble in the box and Barton cleaned up with a fine finish to make it 4-1 and boost QPR’s chances of staying up. Huge win for Chris Ramsey’s men after five-straight defeats.
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Baird, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Gardner (Mulumbu, 72′), Fletcher, Morrison, Sessegnon (Anichebe, 45′), Berahino, Ideye
Goal: Anichebe (58′)
Red card: Mulumbu (83′)
Queens Park Rangers: Green; Isla, Onuoha, Caulker, Suk-Young (Hill, 82′); Phillips, Sandro, Barton, Vargas (Kranjcar, 30′); Austin, Zamora (Henry, 75′)
Goals: Vargas (15′), Austin (37′), Zamora (43′), Barton (90′)