Rangers catch dozy Villa nap­ping

Daily Mirror - - SPORT -

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

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