Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: QPR 3 Wigan 1

While all the attention was on Joey Barton and his Twitter feud with Neil Warnock, it was three of the old guard who gave QPR their first victory under new manager Mark Hughes and lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Heidar Helguson, Akos Buzsaky and Tommy Smith were stalwarts of QPR’s Championship-winning side last season, and scored the goals to give QPR their first league win at Loftus Road since beating Chelsea last October.

And with Barton uncharacteristically quiet on his return from a three-match suspension, it was Buzsaky, the Hungarian who came in from the cold who ran the show for QPR.

Buzsaky, nicknamed the White Pele by Rangers fans, had hardly played once Barton was signed last summer. But Mark Hughes recalled him last week and the Hungarian midfielder outshone Barton and his other expensive team-mates to set QPR on the road to victory.

Buzsaky was at the heart of QPR’s best moves, and had a stinging shot turned away by Ali Al-Habsi shortly before Heidar Helguson opened the scoring with a 33rd minute penalty. It was a needless concession by Wigan, with James McCarthy handling the ball as a Barton corner flew in at head height, and Helguson drove the ball home from the penalty spot.

Buzsaky then had another fierce drive well saved before making it 2-0 shortly before half-time. DJ Campbell was stopped crudely by Steve Gohouri as he ran in on goal, and Buzsaky hit the resulting free-kick in perfectly from 30 yards, the ball going in off the inside of the far post.

That looked to have put the game out of the reach of Wigan, who had hardly threatened Paddy Kenny’s goal after the opening few minutes. A Jordi Gomez free-kick was flicked goalwards by Hugo Rodallega, and a Victor Moses cross flew across the face of goal, but other than that it was all QPR in the first half.

Luke Young almost scored with a fluke, his mis-hit cross heading for the far corner of goal before it was away by Al Habsi, who also saved Jamie Mackie’s long-range shot.

The Wigan keeper continued to defy QPR after half-time, making another great stop from a brilliant volley by Buzsaky. From the resulting corner, Barton had a simpler chance but fluffed his shot.

Just as the home supporters thought they were home and dry, chanting “Thank You Neil Warnock” in tribute to the former manager, Rodallega got Wigan back in contention with a 66th minute free-kick.

The Colombian striker was in a similar spot to Buzsaky, if not slightly farther out, but hit the ball sweetly to curl it past Kenny and give his side some hope. Wigan would have been level if Connor Sammon had not dragged his shot wide of the far post, and then Al Habsi saved another penalty from Helguson after Gary Caldwell was harshly ruled to have held him back.

Al-Habsi dived to his right to make the save, thowing Wigan another lifeline. But Tommy Smith led a break from QPR’s penalty area, exchanging passes with Shaun Wright-Phillips before hitting an unstoppable shot from 25 yards past Al Habsi in the 80th minute.

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