Barton watches as unlucky QPR lose

Wigan 2 QPR 0

Joey Barton watched as former Chelsea forward Franco di Santo scored twice to beat a QPR side that were denied by the woodwork three times.

Barton, whose move to Loftus Road from Newcastle was sealed on Friday afternoon, saw his new team-mates undone by a superb goal and a fortuitous one from a player who had previously scored only once for Wigan.

The good news for Rangers is that as well as capturing Barton, they have confirmed the signing of another England international in Luke Young, whose transfer from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee has been completed.

Young has agreed a three-year contract and his arrival is a massive boost for the R’s, whose limited defensive options were underlined when Fitz Hall went off injured against his former club.

Hall’s exit on the hour-mark meant Rangers, already without the suspended Clint Hill, were forced to bring 18-year-old right-back Michael Harriman on for his league debut.

Having started at right-back, Danny Gabbidon moved into the centre to partner Bruno Perone, who was also making his first Premier League appearance.

Rangers looked short at the other end of the pitch too, with DJ Campbell, who has had a virus, again missing and Jay Bothroyd having to settle for a place on the bench with Patrick Agyemang starting up front.

Perone almost scored on his Premier League debut

Agyemang ran himself ragged as Rangers worked tirelessly in the first half only to fall behind four minutes before the break.

There seemed little danger when di Santo controlled Hugo Rodallega’s pass, but he then let fly with a spectacular volley that flew past helpless goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and into the top corner of the net.

Victor Moses had wasted two chances to put Wigan ahead, first by dragging wide after riding two challenges, and then by shooting straight at Kenny after being found by Rodallega’s perfect through-ball.

But otherwise, Rangers were comfortable and had looked the more likely team to score.

Shaun Derry had an early effort tipped away by Ali Al Habsi, before Adel Taarabt beat the Wigan keeper with a curling 25-yarder that bounced back off the post.

And summer signing Perone missed the visitors’ best chance of the half by heading over from the impressive Akos Buzsaky’s fine cross.

Rangers were made to pay for that miss when di Santo lashed home, and Wigan were rescued agan by the woodwork when Al Habsi prevented an equaliser by pushing Taarabt’s free-kick onto the post.

Another piece of good fortune for the Latics led to them going further ahead midway through the second half.

Rodallega was not amused when di Santo took the ball away from him near the edge of the penalty area, but the Argentine justified his cheekiness with a shot that deflected past Kenny.

Rangers’ luck was summed up when they hit the woodwork yet again, this time when Perone headed Taarabt’s corner against the bar.