Home comfort for Hughes as Hoops dream

Queens Park Rangers 3 Wigan Athletic 1

The Reebok Stadium

When the two lowest-scoring teams in all four divisions go head-to-head, no one anticipates a classic. But yesterday Queens Park Rangers and Wigan exceeded all expectations with four goals, three of them superlative strikes from distance.

The QPR fans went home far happier as Mark Hughes' first home League game as manager resulted in their first League victory in 10 games, and only their second at Loftus Road. The three points also took them back out of the bottom three.

Joey Barton, the Rangers captain, and Akos Buzsaky controlled the centre of midfield and the Hungarian brought the crowd to its feet with a memorable free-kick goal.

Buzsaky has started all three of Hughes' games in charge after being a bit-part player for most of the season. "I felt today would be a close game and we might need his ability at set plays and thankfully that worked," Hughes said. "He and Joey were very instrumental in the result. You give yourself a better chance if you are committed and make things happen and we did that today."

Ali Al Habsi, the Wigan goalkeeper, also saved a penalty from Heidar Helguson, but elsewhere the visitors looked short of quality and remain at the foot of the Premier League table, without a win in seven games. Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, said on Friday that the Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, was probably cleverer than him but was at the bottom of the League because he "hadn't got the players" and that was proved here.

Wigan were dogged and threatened at times, but could not find the inspiration to turn the game in their favour when it was in the balance. "The hardest thing is to score goals," Martinez said. "We work hard for each other but we can't spend the money on goalscorers."

That was evident when Wigan allowed two good early chances to go begging, and they went behind when James McCarthy inexplicably handled Barton's corner, Helguson converting the penalty. Rangers grew in confidence and in first-half injury-time Buzsaky, who had tested Al Habsi with an earlier range-finder, whipped a 25-yard free-kick over the wall, past the goalkeeper's right hand and in off the post. "An unfortunate penalty and an absolutely outstanding piece of quality for the free-kick," Martinez admitted.

Hugo Rodallega halved the deficit after 65 minutes with a rocket of a free-kick from even further out than Buzsaky's after Barton had fouled Maynor Figueroa and Al Habsi kept Wigan's hopes of a draw alive, saving Helguson's underhit second penalty after Gary Caldwell had leaned on the Iceland forward.

At that stage you suspected Wigan might be destined to steal a point, but 10 minutes from time Tommy Smith, a half-time substitute, decided the game needed another goal-of-the-month contender, this time from free play, and hit the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.

Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Kenny; Young, Ferdinand, Hall, Hill; Mackie, Barton, Buzsaky (Derry, 83), Wright-Phillips; Helguson, Campbell (Smith, h-t).

Wigan Athletic (4-1-4-1): Al Habsi; Boyce (Stam, 69), Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa; Watson; Gomez (Crusat, 60), McCarthy, McArthur (Sammon, h-t), Moses; Rodallega.

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Man of the match: Buzsaky (Queens Park Rangers)

Match rating: 7/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss