Hughes registers first league win as QPR manager

QPR 3 Wigan 1

Mark Hughes registered his first Barclays Premier League win as QPR
manager with a convincing victory over hapless Wigan at Loftus Road.

Rangers started nervously, but took the lead in the 32nd minute when Heidar Helguson slotted home from the spot after James McCarthy handled in the box and they then made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time thanks to Akos Buzsaky's brilliant free-kick.

Hugo Rodallega pulled one back for the Latics with a strike of equal brilliance before Tommy Smith blasted home from 25 yards to complete the win following Helguson's failure to convert a second penalty.

This morning's back pages may have concentrated on Joey Barton's Twitter tirade against former boss Neil Warnock, but the only thing Hughes was concerned with today was the three points.

The Welshman saw his team slip into the relegation zone after losing his first game in charge against Newcastle last week, but they are now out of the bottom three.

After last week's tricky fixture on Tyneside, Hughes must have been encouraged to see Wigan - who have won just three times this term - were next up.

The bottom-of-the-table Latics, with the worst scoring record in the top four divisions, started strongly, however, and should have been ahead inside three minutes.

Steve Gohouri gained two yards on his marker to meet Jordi Gomez's cross but he side-footed a yard wide with Rodallega lurking at the back post.

Victor Moses then cut in from the left, skipped past two challenges and fired across the box but no-one could tap in.

Barton sent Luke Young down the right for QPR and his miscued cross drifted towards goal, causing Ali Al Habsi to back-pedal and tip over athletically.

The move seemed to kick Rangers into gear. DJ Campbell just missed a chance to prod home before lashing a chance wide following a mistake by Gohouri. Shaun Wright-Phillips then had a shot blocked by McCarthy, before Gohouri put in a crucial block to deny the winger moments later.

The former Manchester City man then laid the ball off to Buzsaky, who turned his marker before firing a superb 30-yard effort that beat the out-stretched Al Habsi, but flew inches wide.

The Latics stopper denied Jamie Mackie moments later with a fine save, but a glaring error from McCarthy then gifted the hosts the lead in the 32nd minute.

Inexplicably, the midfielder chose to palm the ball away from danger from Barton's corner when he realised he could not head the inswinging cross clear and Jon Moss pointed to the spot.

McCarthy went into the book and Helguson slotted home for his eighth league strike of the season.

Al Habsi did well to tip Buzsaky's 25-yard free-kick around the post, but the Hungarian beat the Latics stopper with two minutes of the half left.

Gohouri's trip on Campbell gave QPR a dangerous free-kick 25 yards out and Buzsaky curled a wonderful effort over the wall and into the net off a post to make it 2-0.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez introduced striker Connor Sammon for James McArthur at the break while Smith came on for Campbell for the hosts.

Gomez ploughed a volley in to the stands after a quiet opening to the second half.

The ball then popped up to Buzsaky at the other end following Wright-Phillips' lay-off and he fired a peach of a volley which Al Habsi tipped around the post with a brilliant diving save.

The visitors found a way back into the game in the 65th minute when Barton upended Maynor Figueroa on the edge of the box and Rodallega curled in the resulting free-kick which had Paddy Kenny rooted to the spot.

Sammon slipped in behind the QPR defence and calmly controlled the ball, but could only fire a yard wide of Kenny's goal.

Referee Moss awarded his second penalty of the afternoon with 17 minutes left when he adjudged Gary Caldwell had climbed over Helguson's back in the box.

The Icelandic striker stepped up to take the spot-kick but Al Habsi saved this time down low to his right.

Helguson came within inches of making amends moments later when he hammered a powerful volley that sailed inches wide of Al Habsi's goal, with the former Bolton man easily beaten.

Mackie had the perfect chance to put the game beyond Wigan's reach with 12 minutes left when he galloped clear following Wright-Phillips' through-ball, but the home crowd, and Hughes, despaired as the forward blasted over.

Smith put the game beyond doubt the following minute, however, when he crashed a thundering piledriver past Al Habsi from 25 yards.

Buzsaky received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Shaun Derry as Rangers ran out comfortable winners.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?