It was an evening to forget for Aston Villa as they went down to a 3-1 home defeat against QPR which puts a real dent in their automatic promotion hopes.
Ryan Manning and left-back Jake Bidwell gave QPR a 2-0 lead heading into the break, before Luke Freeman scored an 83rd minute goal to seal the three points, with James Chester’s goal for Villa proving to only be a consolation.
The Villans would have been confident of a result, given they hadn’t lost at home in four months, but it wasn’t to be as Ian Holloway’s side put in a confident performance to move up to 15th.
Tonight was Ian Holloway’s first ever win against Aston Villa as a manager (D1 L5, previously) #QPR
— Jack Supple (@JTSupple) March 13, 2018
The result now leaves Villa seven points behind Cardiff in the race for automatic promotion with the Bluebirds beating Brentford 3-1 on Tuesday evening. With them having to play the Welsh side in a few weeks time, it will now be must win game for the Midlands club.
Full Time: Brentford 1-3 Cardiff City.
— Cardiff City Online (@CardiffCityLive) March 13, 2018
Following the game, Villa manager Steve Bruce told BBC West Midlands: “We’ve choked tonight. We’ve made a mess of it. Now we need to put it right at Bolton on Saturday evening.
“From experience, I always feared it might be ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ following the weekend. I toyed and toyed with changing it, making five or six changes, and in hindsight, I should have done.
“We never got started. Mentally, we weren’t at it. We didn’t get anywhere near the heights of Saturday. But that’s what this league is all about, any team can beat you.”
Ian Holloway, obviously the happier manager on the night told BBC Sport: “Am I shocked? A little bit. It was, as our lads said in the dressing room a coupon buster. But, when our game here was called off the other day, we’d still made the journey and our coach broke down. We spent eight hours on the side of the motorway so maybe this was payback time.
“I had a plan and everything worked for us. We were clinical, bright and tidy. And my back lads were awesome against a good Villa side. You don’t do what they did to Wolves without being a really good team.”
That is how the manager’s reacted but how did you the fans react?
Aston Villa Fans:
Aston Villa clueless and unprofessional tonight, QPR ran the show won every second ball and sadly the 3-1 score line no fluke!! Play like that and I don’t want to play Man City!!
— Dave Green (@DaveGre18367598) March 14, 2018
I need someone to explain this to me: we go from world beaters & almost certain to hunting down Wolves, to also-rans & making up the numbers – all within 48 hours!
— Jon Hayes (@jonboy_avfc) March 13, 2018
Nothing worse than negative and inconsistent fans! Don’t clap for passing the ball backwards when we are winning and then all of a sudden moaning because we are passing it back, because we are losing!? 🤷🏼♂️ sort it out!! #avfc #astonvilla
— Chris Olner (@chriisolner) March 13, 2018
Sounds like Bruce completely misjudged the fatigue in the team today. Not the first time that’s happened either
— Richard Meakin (@Richard_Meakin) March 13, 2018
Might have got home at 2:30am but wow that was 100% worth it last night! What a performance from everyone! #QPR
— Harry Simmons (@HarrySimmons13) March 14, 2018
Let’s get those final Fulham tickets sold, Rangers fans 🔵⚪🔵⚪ All of a sudden we might stand a chance! Cannot wait!
— TBATW (@TBATW_) March 13, 2018
What a win that was!! Buzzing for Fulham on Saturday
— The Loft Boys (@TheLoftBoys82) March 13, 2018
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes clearly enjoyed his team’s victory last night:
If there was one team I wanted to beat it was VILLA away. Heheheh. Well done lads.
— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) March 13, 2018
Every team is now on an even playing field, with each team now having played their game in hand, meaning Villa can little afford to make anymore mistakes if they want to catch Cardiff in the coming weeks.
For QPR, t’s a much brighter prospect as they can now be certain of another season in the championship with that victory.