Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: QPR 3 Swansea 0

Queens Park Rangers showed their determination to avoid relegation by storming to an emphatic victory over Swansea City to build on recent wins over Liverpool and Arsenal. Spectacular goals from Joey Barton, Jamie Mackie and Akos Buzsaky sunk the visitors, plunged Bolton Wanderers back into the drop zone and lifted QPR two points clear of it. .

Coming amid a gruelling run of fixtures against the top clubs, this was a match that Mark Hughes had targeted for three points. He omitted Bobby Zamora and Barton from Sunday’s defeat at Manchester United to ensure that they would be fresh for the visit of his compatriots. The stadium managers knew the stakes too, as before kick-off Loftus Road’s giant screen showed Al Pacino’s famous motivational speech from the film Any Given Sunday. A clatter of red cards in recent months suggested QPR’s players have been more inspired by the actor’s character from Scarface but here they did begin as if determined to “climb out of hell, one inch at a time”. After a spirited start Buzsaky fired in the game’s first shot in the second minute, his 20-yard effort hurtling fractionally wide.

Swansea soon slipped into their now-familiar passing groove, their ability to keep the ball irritating the home fans so much that they took to chanting “it’s just like watching paint dry”. Hughes’ mens pestered the visitors sufficiently to prevent them from making any significant incursions early on. QPR had to scramble frantically in the 14th minute, however, when Steve Caulker helped on a corner from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Scott Sinclair tried to stab the ball over the line from two yards, only to be thwarted by the combined resistance of Barton and Taye  Taiwo.

When the home team did get the ball, they attacked with speed and intent. Adel Taarabt went close following a tricky solo dribble in the 19th minute and one minute later, after a burst down the right by Sambia Diakité, Zamora presented Mackie with a promising opportunity but the midfielder shot tamely at Michel Vorm from 10 yards.

Those chances seemed to stir QPR and they began pressing Swansea even higher up the pitch, disrupting their previously smooth rhythm. The home team enjoyed brief bouts of possession while Swansea pressed feverishly. It was high-octane, high-tension stuff, but low on goal-scoring opportunities.

Uncharacteristic sloppiness from Vorm gave Zamora a chance in the 41stminute but the striker slashed badly over from six yards. In first-half stoppage time, QPR finally made the breakthrough they craved. Angel Rangel headed a Taarabt free-kick to the edge of the area, where Barton collected it and drove a low shot into the net.

Three weeks ago he was booed off the pitch by QPR fans following what he later admitted was the worst performance of his career: now he was feted as a saviour, the crowd’s cries of “there’s only one Joey Barton” ringing in his ears as his team-mates engulfed him to celebrate.

Brendan Rodgers has been lauded even more this term but now he was staring at the prospect of a fourth successive defeat and Swansea’s impressive maiden season in the Premier League petering out. He made two substitution at half-time but neither Adam Tate nor Nathan Dyer could stimulate a revival.

QPR were looking comfortable and that impression increased in the 55th minute when Mackie produced the sort of skilful flourish usually associated with Taarabt. After spinning past Ashley Williams as he collected a pass from Anton Ferdinand, he left Caulker floundering before letting fly from 20 yards. A deflection off Rangel flummoxed Vorm and gave QPR a two-goal lead. Clint Hill heroically kept that intact in the 62nd minute when he dived to nod a Caulker header off the line following a Swansea corner. And then Buzsaky extended the lead in spectacular style in the 67th minute, rocketing a shot into the net from 25 yards.

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