English Premiership

Austin treble sees QPR past WBA

2014-12-20 19:40
Charlie Austin (AFP)

London - Charlie Austin scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Queens Park Rangers escaped the relegation zone by coming from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 on Saturday.

West Brom went 2-0 up inside 20 minutes through Joleon Lescott and Silvestre Varela, but 25-year-old English striker Austin scored either side of half-time to draw QPR level before heading in an 86th-minute winner.

Austin's treble took his tally for the season to 11 goals and enabled Harry Redknapp's side to climb to 15th place in the table - level on points with Alan Irvine's West Brom - ahead of Arsenal's visit on Boxing Day.

West Brom midfielder Stephane Sessgenon went into the game having supplied three assists in his previous two appearances and he was just as influential as the visitors assumed early control at Loftus Road.

After teeing up Craig Gardner, who forced Rob Green into a flying save, and Brown Ideye, who spooned a shot over the crossbar, the Benin midfielder flicked on a corner for Lescott to head home a 10th-minute opener.

It was the former England defender's first goal for West Brom and his first of any description for over two years.

Ten minutes later, Sessegnon created West Brom's second goal by playing a one-two with Varela, who strode forward and beat Green with a low shot.

It had been a dismal start for the home team, but they gave themselves a foothold in the game in the 24th minute when Austin scored from the spot after James Morrison had been penalised for holding Leroy Fer.

QPR received a setback when they lost left-back Yun Suk-young to injury, with Clint Hill coming on, but Austin continued to probe, testing Ben Foster from 25 yards and shooting just over from the edge of the box.

Sessegnon served a reminder of the visitors' threat by drawing another full-length stop from Green shortly before half-time, but three minutes into the second period, Austin netted the equaliser.

Richard Dunne's header came back off the bar, but the recalled Bobby Zamora nodded the rebound across goal for Austin to volley in his second from close range.

Foster produced a brilliant save to deny Austin his hat-trick in the 79th minute, but the former Burnley man would not be denied.

With four minutes to play, Austin held off his marker to meet Joey Barton's right-wing corner with a powerful near-post header that sent the home fans into raptures.

Read more on:    qpr  |  wba  |  english premiership  |  charlie austin  |  soccer


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