Burnley vs QPR match report: Danny Ings makes it 10 away defeats in a row for Rangers in crucial relegation six-pointer

Burnley 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The sight of the Queens Park Rangers team sheet before kick-off at Turf Moor summed up Harry Redknapp’s desperation.

His decision to start Adel Taarabt – a player not seen in a hooped shirt since October and with just 25 minutes of Premier League football this season before yesterday – had the feel of a last throw of the dice for a manager seeking a change of luck. But the gamble did not pay off.

In falling to defeat at Burnley, Rangers became the first top-flight side since Sunderland in 1964-65 to lose their first 10 away games. It is a miserable record and leaves them back in the bottom three, with Burnley leapfrogging them to 17th place. It was all too much for some of their supporters in the Cricket End Stand who had a heated exchange with some players at the end.

The reason for this dire run was not hard to find. Before Saturday Burnley had not scored more than a single goal in a home league game this term; so poor was Rangers’ defending, though, that only some fine saves by Rob Green limited Burnley to their two first-half goals.

The foremost virtue of a Burnley side now unbeaten in four matches is their pressing and tireless work rate. Manager Sean Dyche hailed the quality of Arfield’s 13th-minute opening strike – a weaving run between Barton, Mauricio Isla and Dunne before the winger curled a shot inside the far corner. “If that is Alexis Sanchez, that gets shown 1,000 times at the weekend – we get 50,” said Dyche. “That is a top-drawer goal. Two nutmegs and a fine finish.”

Redknapp was less generous  – “We had three men around their guy and we are not talking about Lionel Messi,” he moaned – and he was even more annoyed about Burnley’s second goal.

Steven Caulker responded too slowly to Ashley Barnes’ ball into the box, letting the excellent Ings in to nick the ball away and sidestep both centre-backs before poking a low finish under Green. “We were right in the game but we gave a horrendous goal away,” Redknapp said.

In between Burnley old boy Charlie Austin struck his 13th goal of the campaign to bring Rangers level. He had already turned a Mauricio Isla cutback against a post when, in the 33rd minute, Dean Marney tripped him in the box and he rifled his penalty past Tom Heaton.

That was as good as it got, though, and Burnley should have added further goals in the second half. Green saved well from Barnes and Michael Keane, while Barnes had a goal ruled out for a nudge on the goalkeeper. “It is hard to win away the way we are – seven or eight of that team here today were playing last year in the Championship and finished miles behind Burnley,” said Redknapp, who is looking up at the Clarets once more.

Burnley: (4-4-2) Heaton; Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield; Barnes (Vokes 73), Ings.

QPR: (4-4-1-1) Green; Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Hill (Traore 76); Vargas (Zarate 76), Barton, Henry (Zamora 69), Fer; Taarabt; Austin.

Referee: Andre Marriner

Man of match: Ings (Burnley)

Match rating: 7/10