Match: Aston Villa v QPR
Date: 13th March, 2018
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 6c, clear sky
James Chester’s late goal provided scant consolation on a night when Villa’s hopes of automatic promotion received a setback.
With Wolves and Cardiff City both winning, Steve Bruce’s side face an uphill battle to claim second place over the remaining nine games.
Villa made the worst possible start, and Sam Johnstone had already made a couple of saves before he was beaten by Ryan Manning’s lunging header from Jake Bidwell’s left-wing cross.
Although Albert Adomah’s inswinging cross was tipped over by Alex Smithies, the visitors continued to look more threatening and they doubled their lead when Bidwell drilled home from the edge of the area.
Home supporters were convinced Villa were about to reduce the deficit in first-half stoppage time when Jack Grealish met a Robert Snodgrass cross with a powerful header, only for Smithies to make a brilliant reflex save.
Villa stepped up their game at the start of the second half, with Snodgrass and Chester both just off target, but it became a lost cause when sub Luke Freeman added Rangers’ third with a low shot on the turn.
Chester’s late strike briefly raised home hopes, while Adomah had a shot deflected for a corner in stoppage time, but it was too little too late.
VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry (c), Taylor (Davis 56); Jedinak, Hourihane (Bjarnason 81); Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah; Grabban (Hogan 66).Unused subs: Bunn, Lansbury, Bree, Onomah.
QPR: Smithies; Furlong, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell; Manning (Cousins 74), Luongo, Scowen, Wszolek (Perch 72), Eze (Freeman 78); Smith.Unused subs: Ingram,Washington, Baptiste, Osayi-Samuel.
Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistant Referee 1: Ian Cooper
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Jones
Fourth Official: Darren Bond