Aston Villa 3 QPR 2 match report: Harry Redknapp faces his hardest escape act after defeat to relegation rivals

QPR lost an entertaining game at Villa Park

The sight of Queen's Park Rangers' players slumped on the Villa Park turf at the end gave Saturday's result the feel of a pivotal moment in the relegation fight –yet the west London club's manager, Harry Redknapp, maintains that survival is not beyond his men.

Rangers ended the weekend seven points behind 17th-placed Villa and needing to surpass the escape act that Redknapp's Portsmouth managed seven seasons ago. At this stage in 2006, Portmouth had 24 points to QPR's 23 and Redknapp admitted that his task at Loftus Road was "probably tougher"; yet Rangers' performance in Saturday's seesaw contest gave him hope, despite the need for "four or five wins" from a side with just four so far this season.

"This is probably tougher from where we were," replied Redknapp when asked about Portsmouth, "but we're playing all right. I think we look like we can score suddenly but we have to go and win away from home somewhere – we have to win at Fulham, at Reading, one of those games, and we've got to win our home games. If we can do that we can still stay up. It's not impossible."

QPR's next match is at Fulham on 1 April – a month that also brings home fixtures against Wigan Athletic and Stoke City and trips to Everton and Reading. "I just think we need to play as we are at the moment, and just cut out [the mistakes]," added Redknapp. "It was always going to be hard but we are playing well at the moment, that's the encouraging thing."

Rangers' pain was Villa's gain on an afternoon which suggested Paul Lambert's faith in his inexperienced players is finally paying off. Lambert, the Villa manager, spoke afterwards of the difficulty of "trying to build something plus get results" and they owed this result to two players in particular.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, first choice this season ahead of Shay Given, made three world-class saves in the first half before forward Andreas Weimann inspired Villa to victory in the second. The 21-year-old Austrian, a peripheral figure under Alex McLeish, scored one goal and set up another, and Lambert said: "I don't think he was a regular in the side [but] he has been given a chance and he's playing exceptionally well.

"Whether Andi plays off the line or through the middle, he seems to score but the biggest compliment I can give him is he is a brilliant guy and gives you everything he's got."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot