Mar 16, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Villa Park
Aston Villa
3-2
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Agbonlahor (45'), Weimann (59'), Benteke (81')
Sylla (31'), Bannan (42'), Weimann (45')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Jenas (23'), Townsend (73')
M'Bia (13'), Hoilett (88')

Live Commentary: Aston Villa 3-2 Queens Park Rangers - as it happened

Aston Villa forward Gabriel Agbonlahor celebrates scoring for his side during their Premier League clash against QPR March 16, 2013
© PA Photos
Read how Aston Villa moved clear of the bottom three and damaged QPR's survival hopes with a 3-2 win over the Hoops at Villa Park, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Two sides battling for their Premier League lives met at Villa Park this afternoon as Aston Villa hosted Queens Park Rangers.

The bottom-of-the-table Hoops took the lead through Jermaine Jenas, before Gabriel Agbonlahor salvaged Villa half-time parity with a 45th-minute equaliser.

Andreas Weimann put Paul Lambert's side ahead before Andros Townsend joined Jenas in netting in consecutive games to again level the scores.

The last word would go to Christian Benteke, as he struck late on to snatch Villa the points which see them move six clear of the relegation zone, which is propped up by QPR, who are seven points adrift of safety.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded in the West Midlands.


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2.12pmAfternoon all. This is a good old-fashioned six-pointer at Villa Park, and QPR boss Harry Redknapp has shown his desire to pick up the win with an attacking team selection.

2.14pmHe names club record signing Loic Remy and Bobby Zamora alongside each other in attack for successive games.

2.15pmHere is the team news in full then...

2.16pmVILLA: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker; Agbonlahor, Westwood, Sylla, Bannan; Weimann; Benteke

2.17pmSUBS: Given, N'Zogbia, Holman, Dawkins, Carruthers, Bowery, Bennett

2.18pmQPR: Cesar; Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Fabio; Park, Jenas, Mbia, Townsend; Remy, Zamora

2.19pmSUBS: Murphy, Taarabt, SWP, Mackie, Granero, Onuoha, Hoilett

2.21pmSo Redknapp makes two changes, one of them enforced as Julio Cesar regains his place in the Hoops goal at the expense of Robert Green, who is out with injury.

2.23pmHis other alteration sees Jermaine Jenas, a goalscorer in the 3-1 win over Sunderland, come into the midfield in place of Junior Hoilett.


2.25pmThe former Spurs man had an injury-plagued loan spell at Villa last season, and his inclusion will see Park Ji Sung shift across to the right flank.

2.26pmHoilett drops to an attacking looking bench which also includes Jamie Mackie, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt, a notable absentee from Redknapp's winning teams over the past fortnight.

2.28pmRedknapp's opposite number Paul Lambert has the luxury of naming an unchanged starting XI from the team that secured three crucial points at Reading last weekend.

2.30pmThe Scot has again sacrificed the creativity of Charles N'Zogbia for the industriousness of his French compatriot Yacouba Sylla, a January arrival from Clermont Foot.

2.32pmAnother of Lambert's winter window recruits, Simon Dawkins, is included among the Villa substitutes alongside former Wigan winger N'Zogbia.

2.33pmHowever, Darren Bent is unavailable as he continues to nurse an ankle problem.

2.35pmKarim El Ahmadi and Chris Herd are long-term fitness concerns for the hosts, and Fabian Delph also misses out this afternoon as he completes his two-match ban.

2.37pmTwelve-goal striker Christian Benteke leads the Villa line and comes into the match in excellent form, having netted seven times in his last eight outings.

2.39pmRESULT: Everton have secured a huge victory against Manchester City at Goodison Park. Substitute Nikica Jelavic made sure of the points with a stoppage-time breakaway goal.

2.41pmHere, you can read a full-time report on the controversial contest, during which Steven Pienaar was sent off in one of several contentious decisions.

2.44pmAs previously mentioned, both teams head into the match buoyed by recent results, and Villa boss Lambert has been complimentary about his side's improvements.

2.46pmLambert told the club's official website: "I think there has [been improvement] big time. Even from the turn of the year the improvement has been massive.

"It's growing together which is what everyone wants to do. People have probably overlooked that the improvement has been very, very good.

"The players are growing together and look good and that's what we are trying to do. We have everything to be a right good side."


2.48pmQPR stand four points from safety and have a steeper task if they are to avoid relegation to the Championship. However, Hoilett insists that they have a "fighting chance" of maintaining their Premier League status.

2.51pm"Saturday is going to be a six-pointer. Aston Villa are in the same position that we are in. It is going to be a scrap and a really important game," he told the club's official website.

"We are back in the fray. Back-to-back wins in the last two games have got us back into the race for survival. With our remaining fixtures we have a fighting chance to stay up."


2.53pmUnder 10 minutes until kickoff now, and the fingernail biting has already begun. This is a massive game for both sides, so who will come out on top?

2.55pmPREDICTION: Well, this is a tough one to call. I reckon that this could come down to which star striker, Remy or Benteke, will be able to cause the opposition's defence the most problems...

2.57pm...And despite Remy's excellent start to Premier League life, I think the recent form of Benteke could steer Villa to a crucial win over their relegation rivals. I'll plump for 2-1 Villa.

2.59pmThe home fans are roaring as the players emerge from the tunnel and undertake their pre-match rituals, handshakes and huddles etc. They know how important this match is, and are displaying their support very vocally.

1 minThe action is underway at Villa Park...


2 minThis is an interesting clash of philosophies. Redknapp's QPR have tried to buy their way out of trouble, while Lambert has put his faith in his young Premier League rookies.

3 minWeimann is released down the left and fizzes a cross in towards Benteke, which Samba stretches to divert clear. That's the first view of what should be a fierce contest between the Belgian frontman and QPR's towering centre-back.

5 minBannan whips in a corner, but Baker jumps too early as he attacks it and the ball skims his head on its way out for a throw in.

7 minAgbonlahor surges down the left, with Bosingwa chasing him. The ex-Chelsea full-back pokes it away from Agonlahor, who immediately forces the Portugal international to backtrack into his own box. Bosingwa is running into trouble and passes back to Cesar, who picks the ball up. Should have been a free-kick to Villa just a few yards out, but referee Kevin Friend misses the offence.

8 minSAVE! QPR win their first corner, which is aimed towards Samba at the back stick. He climbs above Benteke and loops a header across goal, which Guzan superbly parries behind for a corner.

10 minSAVE! Guzan's left hand again comes to Villa's rescue as he dives full stretch to palm away Samba's bending 12-yard shot.

12 minJust before that brilliant Guzan double save, Sylla, making his first home start, was lucky to escape without a yellow card for a late lunge on Park.

13 minBOOKING: Stephane Mbia does not share Sylla's fortune as he is cautioned for a trip on Weimann, who had found space on the left flank.

15 minEven at this early stage, it is evident that Lambert is trying to target the often defensively unstable Bosingwa down the QPR right. Both Agbonlahor and Weimann have already run at the full-back and found some joy doing so.

16 minBaker stoops low to attack Westwood's cross and clashes heads with Samba. Unsurprisingly, the Villa defender comes out on the worse side of the 50-50, and is taken off the field for treatment.

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19 minThere is movement on the Villa bench, with Baker dazed after his collision with Samba. He scored a remarkable own goal against Reading, and now this. Not a great week for the young defender!

20 minSUBSTITUTION: The traditional 19th-minute applause for Villa's absent captain Stiliyan Petrov coincides with an enforced Lambert change as Baker is replaced by Joe Bennett.

22 minGOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 QPR (Jermaine Jenas)

23 minQPR draw first blood, but Villa have only themselves to blame. They concede possession inside their own half, and Jenas drives forward. He plays in Zamora, whose left-footed shot across goal is parried by Guzan, but Jenas had continued his run and stretches ahead of Bennett to poke in the rebound.

25 minQPR are buoyed by their opener and attack again, but two Bosingwa crosses are cleared by Vlaar and Clark respectively.

28 minNow it is Villa's turn to venture forward down the right flank, but Sylla's delivery is above Benteke, and the Hoops can now counter through Townsend...

30 min...And the Spurs loanee cuts inside from the QPR right and drives at speed across the box, dodging two challenges in the process. He is caught by Sylla, but stays on his feet only to blaze an off-balance shot over the crossbar.

32 minBOOKING: Good refereeing from Friend, who calls the play back to caution Sylla for his trip on Townsend. QPR now have a free-kick, central of goal and 25 yards out.

34 minSHOT! Mbia and Zamora are the unlikely set-piece candidates. The latter bends it, but not with enough curl to drift the ball inside the post.

37 minSHOT! Remy drifts in from the left unchallenged and hits a dipping effort which forces Guzan to backpedal and tip the ball behind for a QPR corner.

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39 minAgbonlahor gets on the ball and charges down the left. Townsend has two nibbles at him, neither of which can slow down the Villa winger, but there is no end product to match the pacey run.

41 minBOOKING: Bannan pinches the ball from Mbia in the middle of the park, before immediately losing it to the Frenchman. Frustrated, Bannan incessantly kicks at Mbia's heels until he falls to the ground and the Villa man is rightly cautioned by referee Friend.

44 minBLOCK: QPR win a free kick and send Samba forward. He jumps above Benteke and Jenas latches onto the knockdown, striking against Ron Vlaar from the edge of the area.

45 minWOODWORK! Benteke naively hauls down a retreating Samba and gifts QPR another set-piece opportunity. Weimann is booked for dissent before Bosingwa smashes a swerving shot against the post, back off Vlaar and out for a corner.

45+1 minWe will have three minutes of first-half stoppage time...

45+2 minGOAL! Aston Villa 1-1 QPR (Gabriel Agbonlahor)

45+3 minOut of nowhere, Villa level as Agbonlahor nets just prior to the interval for a second straight week. The hosts counter through Lowton on the right, who sends in a cross from deep which Agbonlahor meets at the back post, guiding it past Cesar, who was rooted to his line. Lambert's joyous celebrations show just how crucial that goal could be!

3.52pmHALF-TIME: Aston Villa 1-1 QPR

3.56pmIt all seemed to be going well for QPR. They had prevented Villa from having a shot on target, and opened the scoring themselves through Jermaine Jenas's second goal in as many games. However, Gabriel Agbonlahor changed the half-time complexion of this contest by netting with almost the last kick of the first period. Can that inspire Villa to produce a better second-half display?

3.59pmHere's some more information on Villa's equaliser. Lowton's delivery was from just inside the QPR half and spent a lot of time in the air. Cesar, who had been almost redundant until then, stays on his line and allows Agbonlahor to angle a header into the far corner, when he really should have come and claimed the cross.

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4.02pmSTATS: Their leveller was the only shot on target Villa registered all half, whereas QPR tested Brad Guzan seven times, forcing him into three fine stops. Villa shaded possession with 53%, but they will want to convert that into more chances in the second period.

46 minWe are back underway in the West Midlands...

47 minSUBSTITUTION: Redknapp has made a half-time change, swapping Zamora, who has been suffering with ankle and hip knocks, for Junior Hoilett.

49 minFabio switches off for just a moment on the left edge of his own area, and Weimann robs him of the ball. The Austrian dribbles into the box and attempts to square it to Agbonlahor, but Hill makes an important interception.

52 minQPR are visibly angry as Friend awards a corner when the ball last touched Agbonlahor on its way out. Westwood drills in the set piece, which Samba knocks behind with Cesar again static on his line.

54 minVilla now have a set-piece chance of their own, but as yet Benteke has not won one aerial duel with Samba this afternoon.

55 minSHOT! Samba again wins the first header, but his miscued clearance falls to Benteke, who slices a half volley several yards over the crossbar.

56 minSUBSTITUTION: Lambert makes an attacking changes, introducing playmaker N'Zogbia at the expense of Sylla.

57 minCHANCE! Benteke is now finally involved in this match and impressively powers past Hill and Bosingwa as he surges into the box. Samba diverts him away from goal, so the Belgian lays it off to Bannan, who crosses to an unmarked Weimann at the back post. The Austrian does not generate much power on the header and Cesar tips it over.

58 minGOAL! Aston Villa 2-1 QPR (Andreas Weimann)

60 minDeja Vu! For the second week in a row, Villa have turned a game around! The resulting corner is cleared by Samba, but Bennett picks it up 25 yards out and passes to Weimann's feet. Bennett goes for the return and his run draws Fabio away from the Austrian, who superbly turns and shoots low past Cesar into the bottom corner.

64 minCHANCE! Poor defending from QPR, who allow Lowton to run free after he plays the ball inside to Benteke. The full-back continues his run and Benteke sends him clear with a lovely first-time pass. Lowton tries to find the bottom corner but Cesar makes amends for his earlier errors with a fine low stop.


65 minI say "earlier errors" from Cesar, well that's because he probably should have done better with Weimann's second, as well as prevented Villa's first. The young forward struck powerfully, but Cesar got a strong hand to it and yet the ball still sneaked in at his near post.

67 minSUBSTITUTION: Harry has rolled the dice, and he has to gamble at this stage. The unpredictable Taarabt is on as QPR switch to three at the back, with Fabio trudging off.

70 minTaarabt releases Remy with a great through pass, but Vlaar and Bennett chase down the Frenchman, slow up play and eventually avert the danger.

73 minGOAL! Aston Villa 2-2 QPR (Andros Townsend)

73 minQPR regain parity and it is Spurs loanee Townsend with his second goal in as many games! It is his persevering run that starts the move off, as he fights through two Villa challenges and passes to Remy. The France international shows clever footwork to turn away from Bannan and find Park, whose layoff is struck by Townsend into the bottom corner, via a slight deflection.

75 minSHOT! Townsend is full of confidence now and tries his luck from range again, but this time his effort is sliced wide.

77 minBLOCK! It is all QPR now, and Taarabt is playing a key role in their resurgence. His smart turn and pass releases Remy down the left. He looks to cut inside and get a shot away, and eventually does, only for Clark to thwart him with a brave block.

80 minGOAL! Aston Villa 3-2 QPR (Christian Benteke)

81 minJust when you think QPR have the momentum, Villa snatch back their lead! N'Zogbia embarks on a mazy run before playing a chipped through ball to Weimann, who initially miss-controls the pass. He jumps for the ball with Bosingwa, whose commitment to win it could be questioned, and comes out on top. The Austrian reaches the byline and then sneaks a precise cutback under Cesar to Benteke, who slots home into the empty net from eight yards. Advantage Villa, but for how long?

82 minCHANCE! The visitors have a golden opportunity to equalise immediately, as Hoilett delightfully skips past Lowton before crossing to Remy, who loses his marker only to head wide at the near post.

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83 minSUBSTITUTION: Lambert introduces some fresh legs as Jordan Bowery comes on for one third of Villa's goalscoring trio, Andreas Weimann.

85 minCHANCE! For the first time this afternoon, Benteke gets in-front of Samba and wins a header, which flies across goal and behind for a goal kick.

87 minSUBSTITUTION: Redknapp throws on another striker in the shape of Jamie Mackie, sacrificing Park Ji Sung.

88 minBOOKING: Hoilett is cautioned after cynically tripping a charging Lowton.

89 minRedknapp has also chucked Samba up-front as part of his now five-strong strike force. The Villa defenders are waiting the inevitable aerial bombardment.

90 minBLOCK! Lowton throws himself in-front of a Taarabt shot to foil the Moroccan after he had beat three men with a jinking dribble.

90+1 minWe are now entering second-half stoppage time, of which there will be FIVE minutes...

90+2 minBosingwa crosses but it is behind Samba and Villa have a goal kick.

90+4 minTownsend's shot is deflected behind for a corner, for which QPR commit every outfield player into the home penalty area. This could be their final chance.

90+5 minTaarabt's corner somehow evades everybody and goes out of play. Crucially, Villa have the ball as they look to wind down the clock.

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4.55pmFULL-TIME: Aston Villa 3-2 QPR

4.59pmWhat a back-and-forth match, and what a huge three points for Aston Villa. They fell behind when former loanee Jermaine Jenas poked in from close range, but Gabriel Agbonlahor netted to secure them half-time parity. Andreas Weimann struck after the break to complete a Villa turnaround, before Andros Townsend found the bottom corner to equalise for the visitors. There was to be more drama, though, as Benteke converted on 81 minutes to snatch Villa the points.

5.02pmAnd what a vital three points they are! Villa move six clear of the bottom three, while QPR remain bottom - seven points from safety.

5.05pmWow, deep breath. That is it from me from me on this dramatic afternoon at Villa Park. Here you can read a full-time report on the bottom-of-the-table contest. Thanks for joining Sports Mole today!

Christian Benteke celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa on November 27, 2012
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