Here’s our reflections on a rare home win for QPR.
While victory at Birmingham was more spectacular, this win means more. Rangers have been poor at home this season and the bulk of their loyal following will judge them on their victories at Loftus Road.
Firepower at last
So often impotent this season especially at home, Rs are finally discovering a bit of vim in front of goal.
Matt Smith already has two in three, while Washington has four in six and it would be five in six but for the goal that wasn’t at Blackburn.
Rangers becoming Ian Holloway’s team
With the arrival of the likes of Smith and Luke Freeman, the emergence of Ryan Manning and the re-emergence of Darnell Furlong, rangers have less and less of a hangover look from the Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink era.
Lynch too, peripheral under the former Chelsea man, is becoming a fixture of the new era.
Every cloud and all that...
Grant Hall’s early departure from the action was not in the plan, but Holloway’s bold substitution gave Lua Lua the chance to make his mark and the Brighton loanee didn’t disappoint.
The Congolese winger’s low centre of gravity and pace over the first five yards made him a menace to the Latics’ defence.
Ryan Manning continues to be a star in the making
The youngster knows the meaning of industry and was strong in a period of the game when Rangers were under the cosh.
Importantly, he stayed out of the referee’s notebook.
Five cautions in his first nine games suggests an area to work on as he attempts to grow up fast.
And the match...
Conor Washington’s fourth goal in six games sealed back to back wins for QPR against relegation threatened Wigan.
Washington made the opener for strike partner Matt Smith, and then drove home the winner on the hour to allow Rs a rare home win.
The Northern Ireland international later limped off and coupled with an injury to Grant Hall that may be concerns for Ian Holloway ahead of the trip to Preston.
Rangers started like a team buoyed by hitting four at Birmingham 72 hours earlier and they were in front after just four minutes.
Washington shrugged off his marker on the left before squaring for Smith to drive in his second goal in as many games.
It might have been 2-0 four minutes later when Pawel Wszolek got down the opposite flank and when his cross was only cleared to the edge of the box Ryan Manning’s dipping shot was tipped over by Matt Gilks.
But Hoops were soon pegged back.
Omar Bogle was their main source of threat and just past the quarter hour he drove into the box and was chopped down by Joel Lynch.
Bogle picked himself up and beat the king of the penalty save Alex Smithies with ease to even the score.
QPR’s custodian might have lost that battle but he was the reason the hosts went in level, flying full length two minutes from the break to keep out Jake Buxton’s bullet header.
Smithies denied Bogle from a quick counter-attack soon after the break, but Rangers stole in front again on the hour.
The elusive Kazenga Lua Lua on for the injured Grant Hall, slipped the ball inside to Washington who arrowed a shot from the edge just inside the left-hand post.
Washington departed soon afterward and replacement Yeni Ngbakoto was close to a third with a fizzer from distance, but Rangers stayed strong to bag three points
The fan below was referring to that great night in 2003, although he got his Oldhams and Wigans confused. It was 2014 when Latics of the Wigan variety were dispatched.
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