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3 vs 2
QPR
QPR
Played
March 16, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
Villa Park — Birmingham
Referee:‬ K. Friend‎
Attendance:‬ 38594‎
 
Top of the Match
Adel Taarabt
Adel Taarabt
QPR
Andreas Weimann
Andreas Weimann
Aston Villa
Flop of the Match
Fabio Da Silva
Fabio Da Silva
QPR
Fabio Da Silva
Fabio Da Silva
QPR

Aston Villa 3-2 QPR: Rangers left on the brink by Benteke winner

A late goal from the Belgian star striker secured a vital victory for the home side and robbed the Hoops of a point, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table

By Ben Cullimore

A late goal from Christian Benteke secured up a hugely important 3-2 win for Aston Villa and put an end to a truly thrilling Premier League relegation clash against QPR at Villa Park.

QPR bossed possession for the vast majority of the first half and made their dominance count when Jermaine Jenas poked the away side into the lead with 22 minutes played.

But a late header against the run of play from Gabriel Agbonlahor in the final moments of the first half made the scores level, and Villa went ahead 14 minutes into the second half through Andreas Weimann.

QPR, given new life after Adel Taarabt entered the field of play after 66 minutes, fought their way back and Andros Townsend fired in an equalizer of their own with little over quarter-of-an-hour to play.

But Villa kept on fighting and Benteke steered the winner into the back of the net with only 10 minutes left to play.

Clearly encouraged by its victory over fellow relegation candidate Reading last weekend, Aston Villa arguably started the stronger of the two sides, keeping hold of good possession in the opening 10 minutes.

But the tables turned quickly and it was QPR who had the best opportunity to go ahead early on when Brad Guzan pulled off two world-class saves to deny Christopher Samba in the space of a minute. The American first saved a dipping header from the Congolese defender and then acrobatically kept out Samba's shot from the edge of the penalty area just moments later.

However, Guzan was unable to stop Jenas from putting the away side ahead after 22 minutes when poor passing from Aston Villa in the center of the field resulted in Bobby Zamora breaking away and forcing Guzan into saving his shot, allowing Jenas to slide in and poke the ball into the back of the empty net.

The home side, hanging on for its life, could have gone two or three goals down before halftime through great chances from Zamora, Loic Remy and a free kick effort that hit the post from Jose Bosingwa, but Guzan, ever the savior for Villa, was on hand to keep out the constant QPR attacking onslaught.

Despite their dominance, QPR lost their lead on the stroke of halftime when Matthew Lowton crossed in to Agbonlahor to head past a stationary Cesar. The Brazilian goalkeeper had little, if anything, to do all half up until the goal but let his concentration slip when it was most needed.

Clearly spurred on by Agbonlahor's late equalizer in the first half, Aston Villa went 2-1 up just before the hour mark after QPR failed to clear a corner, allowing Weimann to turn inside the QPR box and fire low past Cesar.

Clearly frustrated by his attacking options, Redknapp took off Fabio and replaced him with the ever-threatening Taarabt, and the Moroccan immediately made an impact, putting plenty of pressure on the Villa defense.

The QPR pressure culminated in their equalizer with 73 minutes played after great build-up play led the ball to Townsend just outside the penalty area, the on-loan winger's shot finding its way past Guzan thanks to a wicked deflection.

But Aston Villa refused to give up and Benteke scored the all-important winner with 10 minutes to go after Weimann rushed into the box and forced out Cesar, playing the ball horizontally past the Brazilian and back into the path of the Belgian striker who coolly put away the winning goal.

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Aston Villa

1
Bradley Guzan
Goalkeeper
4.00
4
Ron Vlaar
Defender
2.50
6
Ciaran Clark
Defender
2.50
2
Nathan Baker
Defender
20′
2.50
34
Matthew Lowton
Defender
48′
2.50
15
Ashley Westwood
Midfielder
2.50
18
Yacouba Sylla
Striker
31′ 60′
1.50
46
Barry Bannan
Midfielder
42′
2.50
11
3.50
20
C. Benteke
Striker
81′
3.50
10
4.00

QPR

2.00
30
Julio César
Goalkeeper
2.50
22
2.50
6
Clint Hill
Defender
2.00
3
1.50
35
2.50
13
Ji-Sung Park
Midfielder
73′ 87′
3.00
8
Jermaine Jenas
Midfielder
23′
3.50
17
2.50
17
2.00
14
Loïc Remy
Striker
2.50
25
B. Zamora
Striker
46′

Substitutes

31
Shay Given
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
2.00
-
 - 
14
Brett Holman
Midfielder
 - 
40
 - 
21
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
26
Brian Murphy
Goalkeeper
 - 
15
4.00
7
Adel Taarabt
Midfielder
66′
 - 
11
 - 
25
 - 
12
Jamie Mackie
Midfielder
87′
2.50
23

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2