It was arguably the performance of the season as QPR came away with a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

Goals from Ryan Manning, Jake Bidwell and Luke Freeman were enough to give the Hoops the morale-boosting victory, and put a big dent in Villa's automatic promotion hopes.

There was a lot of talking points on the night, but here are five of the biggest issues that got QPR tongues wagging.

A tactical victory

Much can be said about the individual displays of the QPR team, and we'll get to that, but the crucial element to this victory for Ian Holloway's tactical set-up.

Ollie has been on the receiving end of some stick this season for his tactical naivety, but that gives all the more reason to praise him for Tuesday's display.

Aston Villa have been a force to be reckoned with at home, and they showed just how good they are in their victory over Wolves at the weekend, but the Hoops looked firmly in control from start to finish at Villa Park.

Steve Bruce plays with inverted wingers, as Albert Adomah and Robert Snodgrass look to cut inside to whip the ball into the box, meaning that Jake Bidwell and Darnell Furlong were at risk of being dragged out of position if they didn't get things right.

But Ollie opted to play match their system; playing the left-footed Ryan Manning on the right flank and the right-footed Pawel Wszolek on the left, meaning that not only were they comfortable in tracking the wingers if they cut inside, but also that they were able to crowd out the middle of the park to stop the likes of Jack Grealish dictating play.

This created more room on the flanks for Bidwell and Furlong to surge forward, and that was crucial to QPR's attacking play as they joined up with the attack and put John Terry and James Chester under immense pressure with some fantastic crosses into the area; a strategy which led to all three goals.

Of course, tactics such as this won't apply to every game as it's crucial to tailor your team to the other side's threat, but on this occasion, Ollie's tactical nous was the difference.

The star of the show

We mentioned him above, but one man who really prospered in Ian Holloway's tactical reshuffle was Jake Bidwell.

The full-back has had a decent season so far, operating as a wing-back for much of the season, but he does seem to be reaping the benefits of returning to his natural left back slot.

Jake Bidwell and Matt Smith QPR

Of course, he was aided in his defensive effort by Pawel Wszolek who doubled up on Robert Snodgrass to alleviate his threat, meaning that he wasn't quite as exposed as in recent.

But this shouldn't deter from the work he did, but in a series of crucial interceptions and last-gasp challenges to keep out a dangerous Aston Villa attack.

From an attacking point of view, Bidwell was able to play his natural game; with Wszolek naturally cutting inside, this freed up space for the former-Everton youth to stay wide and whip some fierce crosses into the area, culminating in Ryan Manning's opening goal.

Tony Fernandes struggles to hide delight after saying Aston Villa 'were the one team I wanted to beat'

He even managed to get on the score-sheet himself for what will have been an added bonus to a fantastic all-round display.

The absence of Luke Freeman

It was a decision that raised eyebrows upon the announcement of QPR's starting XI to face Aston Villa, but the club soon put any question marks to bed.

It was revealed that Freeman had been dropped to the bench due to him being one booking away from a two-match ban; a punishment which would expire after the fixture in Birmingham.

The decision to leave out QPR's main creative force was certainly a gamble, but thankfully it paid off as the Hoops appeared to be well-organised and extremely well-balanced.

Tony Fernandes struggles to hide delight after saying Aston Villa 'were the one team I wanted to beat'

Of course, Freeman was then able to make his mark on the game in his cameo appearance, getting the final goal to wrap up the points.

There's no doubt that the former-Bristol City man should be back in the starting XI against Fulham on Saturday, but making a case for which midfielder to drop is going to be particularly tough after last night's display.

Ryan Manning

He was the surprise name on the team-sheet, but the Republic of Ireland under-21 certainly didn't look out of place at Villa Park.

Manning would certainly be forgiven for being a little rusty after his lack of first team opportunities, but he looked anything but as he made an immediate impact on the match by scoring the opener.

QPR midfielder Ryan Manning

But it was Manning's all-round display which was what impressed, as he cut inside to make the central area of the field more compact, while also ensuring he was on hand to assist Darnell Furlong in his attempts to restrain Albert Adomah; a strategy which was crucial to nullifying the threat of the Villains.

In my opinion, Manning has been underused this season and deserves a role in the squad far-exceeding the bit-part that he's played so far this term.

What he contributes both offensively and defensively shouldn't be sniffed at, and if Ian Holloway is going to stick with the current 4-4-1-1 system, then I believe that Manning should certainly be starting on one of the flanks.

The next Stan Bowles?

He's certainly been a revelation in his last two starts, but Ebere Eze has attracted the highest levels of praise from manager Ian Holloway.

Speaking after the game on Tuesday, Ollie likened the 19-year-old to Stan Bowles; a man widely renowned as QPR's greatest ever player.

There are certainly similarities between the pair, in terms of the flair and charisma that Eze possesses on the ball, but I'm not sure that such a comparison is helpful at this stage.

Eze is, by all accounts, an extremely laid back and unflappable character, so is unlikely to be fazed by such a comparison, but the 19-year-old will have to do it consistently over a number of years to truly be grouped in the same category as the great Stan Bowles.

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