QPR will grab the headlines in what was yet another dismal afternoon for Harry Redknapp’s men in South Wales, but all eyes should be on Swansea, which could make a late surge for a top six finish. The Swans were barely out of first gear but were still able to put four goals past Rangers, thanks to the magnificent Michu.
With the Hoops looking to move closer to safety by picking up a victory against Michael Laudrup’s Swansea, it was the Swans who took all three points. A brace from Michu and further goals from Angel Rangel and Pablo Hernandez saw the Welsh side overtake Liverpool in the table.
Redknapp was without striker Loic Remy – still sidelined with a groin injury – but handed a first Premier League start in 14 months to Jermaine Jenas. For Swansea, Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm made his comeback from a knee injury.
The Swans dominated the game from the very first whistle with the returning Nathan Dyer, starting in place of the injured Leon Britton, particularly impressive in the opening stages. Swansea’s passing game mesmerized the Rangers defense at times and it took just seven and-a-half minutes for the Welsh side to take the lead.
Dyer stung the palms of Julio Cesar with a powerful effort from outside the box. The Brazilian goalkeeper got a hand to the ball but could only parry it towards the incoming Michu, who scuffed his shot but saw it loop into the back of the net. The Spaniard ended his six game goal drought by scoring his 17th of the season.
Just 10 minutes later, Swansea doubled the lead. Wayne Routledge’s stunning pass put Angel Rangel in behind Jamie Mackie. The full back’s strike from a narrow angle was blocked once again by Cesar but Rangel was the quickest to fire home the rebound.
Two minutes into the second half Bobby Zamora pulled one back for Rangers. Ben Davies’s loose pass was intercepted by Adel Taarabt who drove towards goal. Taarabt’s long range strike was saved well by Vorm, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball and it was parried towards the incoming Zamora who made it 2-1.
QPR’s joy was short-lived. Swansea responded to conceding fantastically when Pablo Hernandez worked his magic down the left wing. Weaving into the box and dribbling his way past Nedum Onuoha, the Spaniard fired across goal and his shot somehow found its way past Cesar and into the bottom corner.
As QPR rallied they were denied a clear penalty when Ashley Williams handled Stephane Mbia’s volley in the box. The referee waved away the protests before Kyle Bartley, making his Premier League debut, cleared off the line as Rangers attempted to force their way back into the game.
With the game petering out, there was more joy for Swansea and Michu. The Spaniard, latching on to Dyer's superb through ball behind Christopher Samba, managed to clip the ball past the onrushing Cesar.
The only blemish for Swansea was the injury to defender Chico Flores, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury following a collision with QPR’s Mbia and could miss the Capital One Cup final at Wembley in two weeks time.