QPR 3 Swansea 0
QPR produced the goods in the game they simply had to win, clinching a priceless victory that took them two points clear of the relegation zone.
Goals from Joey Barton and Jamie Mackie put them in control before Akos Buzsaky’s blockbuster midway through the second half capped a great night for Mark Hughes’ side.
Their difficult run-in to the season, not to mention Wigan’s shock win over Manchester United, made it imperative that Rangers beat Swansea – and they did not disappoint.
Barton got the all-important opener – his third goal of the season – in first half injury-time, when he fired home from 15 yards after City could only half-clear Adel Taarabt’s right-wing free-kick.
Earlier, Barton rescued his team at the other end when his goal-line block prevented Scott Sinclair from scoring at the far post after Rangers had failed to deal with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner.
Apart from that scare, Rangers looked the more dangerous side and deserved their half-time lead.
Buzsaky went close with a right-footed effort, and Mackie and Bobby Zamora missed good chances before Barton broke the deadlock.
And once Mackie doubled the lead nine minutes into the second half, Rangers were firmly on course for three valuable points in their battle to stay up.
Anton Ferdinand played the ball forward and Mackie, who looked offside, spun away from Ashley Williams before his shot deflected in off the unfortunate Angel Rangel.
It was a lucky break for Rangers – probably deserved given the awful refereeing decisions that have gone against them of late – but there was nothing fortuitous about the strike from Buzsaky which killed off any prospect of a Swansea fightback.
The Hungarian collected Taarabt’s pass and smashed an unstoppable 25-yarder beyond keeper Michel Vorm.
Barton, much improved since being booed off and dropped last month, almost netted an even more spectacular goal, forcing a good save from Vorm with a volley from Taarabt’s corner.