QPR suffered their heaviest defeat under boss Harry Redknapp as Swansea City ran wild at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.
A stunning display from highly rated Swans striker Michu condemned Rangers to a 4-1 defeat in Wales, the Spaniard grabbing two as the R’s survival hopes took another dent.
Redknapp made two changes to the starting line-up that drew 0-0 with Norwich City seven days earlier. Jermaine Jenas made his first Premier League start since December 2011, replacing Shaun Wright-Phillips, whilst Nedum Onuoha returned at right-back following a lay-off with a back injury.
Rangers disappointingly found themselves behind inside the opening eight minutes when Michu handed the Welsh side the lead. Nathan Dyer was allowed to shoot from 22-yards down the throat of Julio Cesar, who palmed away only as far as Swansea’s top scorer, allowing him to slice the follow-up from 6-yards over Cesar and into the net.
Six minutes later and the Swans goalscorer had a chance to make it two. Chico Flores’ through ball evaded R’s centre-back Christopher Samba but Michu was at full stretch and Cesar gathered comfortably.
QPR’s misery was soon compounded as City added a second of the afternoon following a good flowing move from the Capital One Cup finalists. Ex-Rangers midfielder Wayne Routledge picked out the superbly named Angel Rangel on the right flank with a sweet pass. He cut inside to shoot – forcing Cesar into a save – but unfortunately for QPR the ball rebounded to Angel who stabbed home with his left foot to put the home side 2-0 up.
Redknapp made changes at half-time in a bid to haul Rangers back into the match. Bobby Zamora replaced Jamie Mackie whilst Esteban Granero came into midfield at the expense of Shaun Derry.
That change had an instant impact for the R’s as Zamora pulled a goal back with his first touch three minutes into the second half. Adel Taarabt ghosted in from the right hand side and fired a low effort in on goal. Swans keeper Vorm saved but Zamora did well to follow-up the rebound and side foot in from close range.
However, QPR were barely given a chance to draw breath and the home side had restored their two goal advantage. Michu pinged the ball out to the left finding Hernandez; he beat Onuoha, before somehow squeezing the ball past R’s custodian Cesar from the tightest of angles at the far post to make it 3-1 after 50 minutes.
QPR were then denied a blatant penalty by referee Neil Swarbrick. Andros Townsend crossed from the left into the Swansea box and with Swansea captain Ashley Williams, jumping with his arms raised, clearly blocked the ball with his hand. Rangers’ appeals were cruelly ignored and Christopher Samba went close to scoring in the scramble when his shot from 12-yards was blocked on the line.
There looked no way back into the match for QPR when Swansea extended their lead in the 67th minute to make it 4-1. Dyer’s ball in behind Samba caught the giant centre-back out and with Michu outpacing him following a stumble he flicked the ball past Cesar with the outside of his left boot from 10-yards.
Substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips did rattle the bar in the 90th minute from Zamora’s cross but his volley was too little, too late.
QPR will take some comfort from the fact that results elsewhere meant the gap at the bottom remained six points with all eyes on Aston Villa’s match with West Ham United on Sunday. Rangers now have two weeks to regroup ahead of their next match when league leaders Manchester United visit Loftus Road.