Mark Hughes's men record third home win on the bounce to move three points clear of Blackburn Rovers and give themselves a fighting chance of Premier League survival
Barton netted on the stroke of half-time with a fine drive into the corner, before Jamie Mackie and Akos Buzsaky scored superb goals to earn the Hoops a priceless three points against Brendan Rodgers' men.
||QPR are 5/4 with Bet365 to be relegated this season.
QPR recalled Joey Barton and Bobby Zamora to the starting line-up, and were seeking their third straight home win after surprise victories over Liverpool and Arsenal, knowing that another win on Wednesday night would put them three points clear of the dropzone.
Swansea had lost their last three fixtures, but were chasing a fifth win in eight away matches to move them back into the top half of the table. Rodgers handed starts to Scott Sinclair and
Danny Graham after the pair were rested for the visit of Newcastle.
The hosts were desperate for a bright start following the ignominy of Shaun Derry’s early red card at Old Trafford, and came close to breaking the deadlock inside the first four minutes when Buzsaky fired a controlled volley just past the left-hand post from 20 yards out.
Swansea were controlling the ball with their usual precision passing, but were almost undone on the break just before the 10 minute mark as Jamie Mackie was denied at the near post following good work from Barton and Samba Diakite, although the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
The recalled Barton looked lively in the early stages and did well to stop his team going behind after 15 minutes. Sigurdsson’s corner was deflected to the far post were Sinclair was waiting, but Barton challenged at the far post to ensure the ball was diverted the other side of the post.
Nedum Onuoha was a good outlet down the right for the Hoops, and he almost provided the opener when Zamora teed up his cross for Mackie to strike from 12 yards, but he scuffed it into the ground and Michel Vorm gathered safely.
Mark Hughes would have been pleased with his side’s spirit in the first half as they defended from the front, denying the visitors enough time on the ball to settle into their passing rhythm.
Indeed, Brendan Rodgers’ side almost found a way through with a route one ball into the box, but Sinclair’s shot on the turn was blocked by Clint Hill before Wayne Routledge lashed the rebound high and wide.
The Rs had a penalty shout waved away when Buszaky’s shot clipped the elbow of Ashley Williams, and they were gifted an opportunity from the resulting corner when Vorm made a hash of his punch clear, but Zamora scuffed his effort over the bar from close range.
The scores looked destined to stay level until the break as both sides struggled to break through a congested midfield, but on the stroke of half time, Barton finally broke the deadlock.
Swansea failed to clear Adel Taarabt’s free kick from the right. The ball ended up at the feet of the skipper, who cut inside and fired right-footed into the bottom-right corner of Vorm’s goal to send the home fans into raptures.
The visitors started brightly in the second period and Joe Allen tested Paddy Kenny with a stinging drive after some good interplay in midfield.
The hosts were playing full of confidence after Barton’s opener, however, and doubled their lead shortly before the hour mark.
Mackie turned superbly away from Williams, before dragging the ball away from Angel Rangel and finding the bottom corner with a deflected effort from the edge of the box.
It was another moment of refereeing controversy as Mackie looked to be offside when receiving the pass, but his finish was simply superb and set his side well on their way to a crucial victory.
Mark Hughes had Hill to thank for keeping his side’s two-goal cushion when he headed away brilliantly from under his own crossbar following Sigurdsson’s free kick, and 10 minutes later, Buzsaky made the game safe in sumptuous style.
Taarabt found the Hungarian in space in 25 yards from goal. He took a touch to settle the ball, and hammered a right-foot shot which flew past the despairing dive of Vorm.
The hosts were in dreamland as a three-point gap to the drop beckoned, and minutes later they should have added a fourth.
Zamora jinked his way into the box and cut the ball back for Diakite, but some crucial last-ditch defending from Williams denied the midfielder a certain goal from point-blank range.
It had been a poor night for the Swans with few chances to speak of. Danny Graham missed probably their best of the half when he headed over from close range following Sigurdsson’s delivery, and the Icelander saw his half-volley deflected wide moments later.
The visitors continued to plug away as they sought some consolation from the game, but the Hoops were able to see out proceedings comfortably in front of their vociferous support to put a little daylight between themselves and the drop zone.