English Premiership

Austin powers QPR off the bottom

2014-11-29 21:01
Charlie Austin (AFP)

London - Charlie Austin headed a dramatic winner to lift Queens Park Rangers off the bottom of the English Premier League table on Saturday as they beat Leicester City in a 3-2 thriller.

It was only QPR's second win since August, the hosts having taken just six points from their previous nine matches in their battle for top-flight survival.

Visitors Leicester took the lead in the fourth minute at Loftus Road through Esteban Cambiasso before Rangers equalised thanks to a Wes Morgan own goal in the 37th.

Leroy Fer put QPR ahead on the stroke of half-time before Jeff Schlupp levelled for the Foxes in the 67th minute.

And as the match turned into a roller-coaster with both sides seeking the winner, Austin headed in the winner in a goalmouth scramble in the 73rd minute to send Rangers fans delirious.

The win in front of an 18,054-strong crowd lifted QPR to 18th place in the table, one point ahead of Leicester who were left rock bottom.

Cambiasso's goal was well taken, the former Real Madrid man sending a right-foot shot into the far corner beyond the dive of Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green.

It was the second goal Argentina defensive midfielder Cambiasso has scored for the Foxes since the 34-year-old signed for free from Inter Milan in August.

QPR gave away petty fouls as they tried to get back into the game but Leicester were having the better of the half and their pressure caused Rangers to lose the ball in the final third of the pitch.

Leicester's Jamie Vardy was proving a menace in attack and the visitors' play was directed at getting the ball to the target man.

But QPR eventually got a lucky break thanks to good work down the left wing by defender Steven Caulker.

He crossed the ball and Morgan slid in to clear it. The ball missed the Leicester captain's right foot and caught the Jamaica defender's trailing boot and went in the net.

And Rangers were soon in the lead thanks to Fer's cool finish just before the interval.

Mauricio Isla crossed from the right for QPR's top scorer Austin, who powered a header straight at Kasper Schmeichel. The Leicester goalkeeper could only parry the effort and Netherlands midfielder Fer was on hand to hammer the ball in from eight yards out.

Leicester came out determined to seek an equaliser and got it with a tremendous goal from Schlupp.

After a Vardy shot was blocked, the Ghana winger fired in a sweet left-foot strike from 25 yards out to bring the Foxes level in the 67th minute.

QPR rallied though and forced a tremendous save out of Schmeichel when Fur headed a corner goalwards.

But shortly afterwards, with the ball pinging around in a goalmouth scramble, Schmeichel conceded as Austin reacted quickly to head the ball in for a 3-2 lead.

Leicester went all-out again for another equaliser but the west Londoners clung for a vital three points.


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