Austin’s double lifts Rangers off the bottom

QPR 2 Aston Villa 0

Charlie Austin was QPR’s hero yet again as he scored twice to drag them off the bottom of the Premier League.

The striker netted on 17 minutes, firing in from near the edge of the penalty area after Bobby Zamora had laid the ball into his path.

After Junior Hoilett hit the woodwork, Austin struck again midway through the second half when he got in front of Ron Vlaar to tuck away Eduardo Vargas’ low cross.

It sealed Rangers’ second win of the campaign and meant a fifth consecutive defeat for struggling Aston Villa, who have now gone more than eight hours of football without a goal.

QPR were keen to build on a spirited showing in their dramatic defeat against Liverpool last time out.

But Austin’s opener came after Rob Green had been called into action twice early on.

Green, back in the side because Alex McCarthy was ruled out with a thigh problem, gathered Ashley Westwood’s effort and a thumping long-range volley from Carlos Sanchez.

After Rangers went ahead, Christian Benteke headed wide from Westwood’s cross from the right.

And Green reacted quickly to prevent Benteke connecting with another right-wing cross, this time from Andreas Weimann.

Ciaran Clark missed a good chance for Villa when he fired wide early in the second half and Hoilett, on as a substitute, curled a right-footed shot against the post.

Vargas, who scored twice after coming on as a substitute against Liverpool, was given a starting place and a role on the right-hand side.

And it was from there that the Chilean set up Austin’s fourth Premier League goal.

Vargas then had a chance to score himself but shot straight at keeper Brad Guzan after being put through by Hoilett.

Green, impressive on his return after illness, produced a late double save to dash Villa’s hopes of a comeback.

Tom Cleverley saw his volley parried and Clark, under pressure from Sandro as he attempted to force home the loose ball, was also unable to find a way past the Rangers keeper.

QPR (4-4-2): Green; Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Yun; Vargas (Traore 87), Henry; Sandro, Fer (Kranjcar 90); Austin, Zamora (Hoilett 62).
Subs not used: Murphy, Ferdinand, Phillips, Hill.

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