QPR 3 Wigan 1
Amid the furore created by a QPR midfielder publicly mocking his former manager, another did his talking on the pitch and seized the chance to shine following Neil Warnock’s departure.
Akos Buzsaky had already given Warnock’s successor food for thought with two promising performances, before helping Mark Hughes to his first league win as Rangers boss with a fine display and a spectacular goal.
Joey Barton, meanwhile, had a decent game.
And Barton would do well to sum up in 140 characters what Nietzsche would have made of Buzsaky’s contribution to the Rangers cause this week compared with his.
Not that Buzsaky did it all himself. Heidar Helguson was excellent throughout and set the ball rolling with a 33rd-minute penalty.
Buzsaky doubled the lead shortly before half-time with a brilliant 30-yard free-kick that went in off the post.
And after Hugo Rodallega pulled a goal back with a superb free-kick of his own, Helguson missed from the spot before Tommy Smith’s long-range screamer sealed a crucial win against the Premier League’s bottom side.
Barton was back after the suspension he incurred for being sent off in Rangers’ last home league game, against Norwich.
That match proved to be Warnock’s last at Loftus Road and after it he staunchly defended the controversial player’s conduct – as he did on many occasions following Barton’s August move from Newcastle.
Barton thanked him with a tirade of criticism on Twitter in the build-up to this match, which Rangers desperately needed to win in order to ease their relegation fears.Fortunately for the R’s, the unassuming Buzsaky has been out to prove his point in a very different way.
He shot wide after a clever turn and run, before having a free-kick tipped away by keeper Ali Al-Habsi during a lively opening.
Barton did play a part in the all-important opening goal, as it was his corner which James McCarthy inexplicably handled.
Helguson tucked away the resulting penalty and Buzsaky’s subsequent strike gave QPR a two-goal cushion at the break.
The Hungarian was just as impressive in the second half, connecting with a blistering volley from the edge of the penalty area which Al-Habsi did well to push over.
After Rodallega’s goal gave Wigan hope, Helguson was given the chance to score his second of the match – and 10th of the season – when he was clumsily fouled by Gary Caldwell.
This time Al-Habsi kept out Helguson’s penalty, diving to his right to claw the ball away.
But he could do nothing when Smith, on as a half-time substitute for the injured DJ Campbell, let fly with a 30-yarder that flew into the corner of the net.