Charlie Austin scored and was sent off as Queens Park Rangers beat Burnley 2-0 in a crucial match at the bottom of the Premier League on Saturday.
The former Burnley striker fired home his eighth goal of the season in the 74th minute to help lift the hosts out of the relegation zone, but saw red just two minutes later. Leroy Fer had given the home side the advantage early in the second half, before the in-form Austin sealed the victory.
Sean Dyche's men piled on the pressure in an attempt to salvage a point, but QPR defended stoically, with Robert Green and Richard Dunne in inspired form. Harry Redknapp's side are unbeaten in four at Loftus Road as they ended Burnley's four-match unbeaten streak, with the visitors remaining in the relegation zone.
Just one point and one league place separated the teams before kick-off and the visitors, who had won only one of their previous six away matches, started confidently in a frantic opening half. Ashley Barnes blazed high over the bar following good link-up play with Danny Ings before Scott Arfield forced Green into an instinctive save 11 minutes in. Green was again the hero just before the half-hour, tipping George Boyd's venomous left-footed strike on to a post.
QPR could have taken the lead a minute later, when Michael Keane scrambled away Eduardo Vargas's effort after the Chilean had jinked his way through the Burnley defence and fired beyond Tom Heaton.
The hosts started with purpose after the break and deservedly took the lead when Fer snatched his second goal in the space of a week in the 51st minute. The Dutchman combined well with Austin to break through Burnley's defence, recovering from a heavy first touch to prod over Heaton with the aid of a deflection off Ben Mee.
Burnley pressed for a leveller and Ings headed just wide of the upright from close range when he connected with Dean Marney's whipped cross. A goal seemed inevitable as the visitors continued to push against the Barclays Premier League's leakiest defence, but it was QPR who doubled their lead.
Top-scorer Austin, who joined QPR from Burnley in 2013, capped off a swift move from the hosts to sidefoot home after latching on to Mauricio Isla's cutback. However, the forward received a red card after referee John Moss deemed that he had led with an elbow while challenging for a header with Keane, four minutes after he had been booked for going in late on Kieran Trippier.
Dyche's side pushed for a goal late on, but were unable to penetrate QPR's stubborn defence and slumped to their first league defeat in over a month.
QPR manager Harry Redknapp: "We have had two vital home games against Leicester and Burnley. We needed to get the six points and we managed to do that.
"Today was tough. Burnley edged the game in the first half and a couple of good chances. Rob made a couple of vital saves. It was a big win for us.
"Charlie is our main goalscorer. We are relying on Charlie and need one or two others to weigh in with a couple of goals. But it's great to have Charlie getting so many goals for us."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "I'm a bit disappointed overall because I thought we produced a good performance. The first goal had a bit of luck from their point of view, the second wasn't so good from our point of view.
"We made chance after chance, particularly in the first half and Rob Green made one outstanding save. It might be up there with save of the season."
|15 Dec 2014||v Everton (A)|
|20 Dec 2014||v West Brom (H)|
|26 Dec 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|28 Dec 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|
|01 Jan 2015||v Swansea (H)|
|10 Jan 2015||v Burnley (A)|