EPL: Austin brace lifts QPR off the foot of the table

Charlie Austin scored twice to lift Queens Park Rangers off the bottom of the Premier League table with a 2-0 home win against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday.

Manager Harry Redknapp was under pressure after his struggling side had won just once in their opening eight games but a goal in either half from Austin helped lighten the mood at Loftus Road.

Aston Villa, beaten in their last five games without scoring a goal, started brightly but Austin calmed the home fans’ nerves when he lashed an excellent half volley into the bottom corner with 17 minutes gone.

As the visitors went in search of an equaliser,​ the QPR striker struck again after 69 minutes with a deft side-footed finish inside Villa keeper Brad Guzan’s near post from an Eduardo Vargas cross.

The win lifted Redknapp’s side to 19th on seven points, ahead of Burnley on four, while Villa dropped to 15th in the table with their search for a league goal extending to over eight hours.

“It was an excellent performance,” Redknapp told Sky Sports television.

“They (Aston Villa) dominated possession in the second half but once we put an extra man into midfield we started seeing more of the ball and hit the post before scoring a second."  - Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp

“There’s no reason why Charlie Austin can’t score a lot of goals this season, I’m pleased for the lad.”

Villa had previously played last season’s top five league teams in consecutive fixtures, enduring a miserable run of four straight defeats, but any hopes of picking up easy points at QPR were soon dispelled.

All of QPR’s points this season have come at home and they proved to be difficult opposition again for Paul Lambert’s side. - Reuters


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