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Barclays Premier League

Loftus Road Stadium (ATT 16,002) 21st January 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: J Moss

QPR Queens Park Rangers vs Wigan Athletic Wigan

QPR 3

H Helguson (pen 33)
A Buzsaky (45)
T Smith (81)

ft

Wigan 1

H Rodallega (66)

QPR see off Latics

Hughes celebrates his first Premier League victory

Last Updated: 21/01/12 5:35pm

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Queens Park Rangers moved out of the bottom three with a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Wigan at Loftus Road.

Heidar Helguson's penalty and Akos Buzsaky's brilliant free-kick put QPR 2-0 up at the break, but Hugo Rodallega pulled a goal back for Wigan with a fantastic free-kick of his own.

Man of the match: Akos Buzsaky was at the heart at everything good QPR produced and scored from a sublime free-kick. Goal of the match: This was a tough one to call as there were two great free-kicks from Buzsaky and Rodallega, but the nod goes to Tommy Smith's stunning long-range effort which flew into the top corner. Save of the match: Ali Al Habsi made some great saves, but his best was the penalty save from Helguson as he got the better of the striker after he failed to keep out his first penalty in the first half. Turning point of the match: James McCarthy needlessly handled the ball inside the box to gift QPR their first penalty from which Helguson scored from. Moment of the match: Buzsaky had a couple of sighters earlier in the game before he scored on the stroke of half-time with a superb free-kick. It was a goal the midfielder's performance merited. Talking point: Has Mark Hughes got enough in his current QPR squad to keep them out of trouble. Have Wigan Bolton got enough to claw their way to safety?

Helguson saw his second penalty of the game saved by Al Habsi before substitute Tommy Smith made the game safe for QPR with a stunning long-range effort.

The win was Mark Hughes' first Premier League victory in charge of Rangers, while Wigan now find themselves three points adrift of safety.

After last week's tricky fixture at Newcastle, 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 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.

Penalty

The Latics keeper 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 shot-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.

Free-kick

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.

Queens Park RangersTeam StatisticsWigan Athletic     
3Goals1     
21st Half Goals0     
7Shots on Target2     
7Shots off Target4     
5Blocked Shots3     
7Corners1     
11Fouls19     
1Offsides1     
2Yellow Cards2     
0Red Cards0     
66.3Passing Success77.2     
21Tackles23     
81Tackles Success73.9     
40.3Possession59.7     
53.9Territorial Advantage46.1     
288Total Passes434     
15Total Crosses11     
174Lost Balls170     
42Recoveries24     
46.61st Half Poss.53.4     
34.72nd Half Poss.65.3     

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