HERE IS THE SNOOZE
Rangers catch dozy Villa napping
QUEEN’S Park Rangers, who rarely win anywhere, stunned promotion-chasing Aston Villa.
Three days after their big local derby win over leaders Wolves, Villa were caught sleeping by Rangers.
Maybe they thought it was easy with QPR having only won at struggling Burton and Birmingham this season, but Villa were two down in 33 minutes and finished up embarrassed.
Automatic promotion was virtually blown out of the window with leaders Wolves and second-placed Cardiff winning.
Villa are seven points adrift of Cardiff after their worst home league performance of the season.
Ryan Manning, with his second goal for the club and Jake Bidwell, with his first, did the damage before sub Luke Freeman rubbed it in with a third.
James Chester barely celebrated when he got one back with his third goal in three games two minutes from time.
Even Manning’s early goal didn’t jolt Villa into life.
The loud, noisy Villa Park of Saturday and the exhilarating win over Wolves was silenced.
Bidwell’s cross from the left was glanced in by Manning’s head in the 12th minute as he stood in front of Chester.
If Manning’s goal was a shock it got worse.
Villa were undone again when they allowed QPR to bounce the ball around and when it fell for Pawel Wszolek to set up a chance, Bidwell drove in left-footed from 20 yards.
Villa finally woke from their slumber just before half-time when Robert Snodgrass’s cross was headed by Jack Grealish, but keeper Alex Smithies turned the ball over the bar.
Boss Steve Bruce sent on sub Keinan Davis to partner Lewis Grabban. Grabban was also subbed for Scott Hogan as Villa chased a game they were expected to dominate.
But Freeman was allowed to shoot past keeper Sam Johnstone in the 82nd minute and by the time Chester got his goal from a corner QPR did not deal with, it was all over.
RYAN’S FLYER Manning scores the opener for QPR after 12 minutes