Jonathan Kodjia missed a penalty but went on to score the winner in a 1-0 victory for Aston Villa, who heaped more misery on QPR at Loftus Road in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday, Sky Sports reports. Villa’s top scorer was denied from 12 yards by Alex Smithies on 31 minutes but redeemed himself with 17 minutes to go, powering home after a driving run.
This was the perfect response by Steve Bruce’s side after he called his team “pathetic” in the 1-0 defeat at Norwich. Meanwhile, QPR have now lost five games on the bounce, meaning Ian Holloway has taken just three points from his six matches in charge.
Steve Bruce freshened up his side up from that Norwich defeat, making six changes. Holloway made just one change from the defeat at home to Derby with Pavel Wszolek replacing the injured Jordan Cousins.
The Polish international was heavily involved in the major talking point of the first-half where he fouled Kodjia in the penalty area. The striker won the ball back off the QPR man, who decided to have a pull at his shorts right in front of the referee.
Unfortunately for the 3,000 travelling Villa faithful, Kodjia’s penalty was read by Alex Smithies, who sprung to his left and pushed the penalty to safety.Kodjia could have had another penalty just minutes before that incident but the referee deemed Joel Lynch’s tackle on him on fair one despite huge protests from the striker.
QPR, who have now scored just one goal in their last five games, rarely threatened and fail to test visiting goalkeeper Mark Bunn with any meaningful efforts. It was Villa that looked the team with more cutting edge and Smithies made two quality low saves to deny Kodjia and Leandro Bacuna as the pressure grew on the QPR backline.
It finally caved in on 73 minutes and it was the best player on the pitch that grabbed the goal. Kodjia showed great strength down the right flank to hold off Lynch before drilling in a low drive past Smithies at his near post – his eighth goal of the season.
Jamie Mackie, on his return from injury, gave QPR some much needed legs in the closing stages but apart from a chance he dragged wide from 15 yards they didn’t have the belief to get back into the game.
This win moves Villa up to 13th, just six points off the play-offs, while QPR remain just three points outside the drop zone