Queens Park Rangers vs. Aston Villa: Final score 1-1, Redknapp revolution yet to materialise

Christopher Lee

Queens Park Rangers looked little better than they have been as they fought out a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Loftus Road.

If the Redknapp revolution is underway at Loftus Road, it's not quite had the bombast many expected. Queens Park Rangers didn't look to have improved too drastically as they drew a winnable match against Aston Villa at home.

Queens Park Rangers started brightly in Redknapp's first home game at Loftus Road, and yet they found themselves behind with just eight minutes on the clock. Brett Holman got the goal, his first for Villa, after collecting Ashley Westwood's cross and smashing a shot past Robert Green from 25 yards which the keeper really should have done better with.

The early goal soon dissipated the R's early enthusiasm, and nerves set in across the backline as Holman was almost let in again, but the home side will have been grateful that the chance fell to Eric Lichaj, who blazed a poor shot over the bar.

With QPR struggling and looking unlikely to put Villa under pressure, it was a surprise that they soon found themselves back on level terms. A hopeful chipped cross from Samba Diakite was met by an almighty leap and fantastic header from Jamie Mackie, planting the ball into the corner of the goal for a superb equaliser.

Just as the first goal appeared to diminish QPR's confidence, the second seemed to give them a boost - befitting the mental fragility they have displayed all season. Shaun Wright-Phillips came close to putting them in the lead, but saw his shot smack off the post. Yet there was to be another blow to QPR shortly afterwards, Stephane Mbia colliding with Gabriel Agbonlahor and requiring lengthy treatment that saw him carted off in a neck brace.

The second half was more promising for QPR, but they still struggled to create clear chances. Jamie Mackie's energy up front looked likely to be their best bet of finding a winner, but he lashed a decent chance high and wide early in the half. The trickery of Shaun Wright-Phillips almost paid off too, but he wasted another chance by taking too long and seeing his shot blocked by Ciaran Clark.

With both teams running out of time to find a winning goal, there was late drama at both ends. First Clint Hill crashed a header off the bar as QPR stormed forwards to desperately find a winner, before Aston Villa surged up the pitch on the counter-attack to almost snatch an undeserved win, but Karim El-Ahmadi wasted the move by shooting wide.

The result will satisfy neither team, and there are signs of life in QPR, but still not enough to befit the talent they undoubtedly have within their squad. They were perhaps unfortunate not to win today, but equally they can only blame themselves for not doing so, and they do appear to have a fragile mentality. Villa looked the same as they have all season - flat, uninspiring, and reliant upon individuals for goals. It looks like it'll be the same for them as it was last season: they'll stay up, but only due to the incompetence of their rivals. Redknapp's revolution may still be a work in progress, but Paul Lambert's is another that is struggling to materialise.

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