Man of the moment Jonathan Kodija scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa saw off a resilient QPR at Villa Park to maintain their excellent run.
Kodjia scored his seventh goal in seven games as Aston Villa picked up a fourth win in a row against a QPR team that simply wouldn’t roll over and die.
For Villa that is 7 wins out of the last 8 games and although they remain 11th place they have conceded just the one goal in that period of time.
Albert Adomah had already hit the post for Villa before Ivorian Kodjia blasted low into the net from Leandro Bacuna’s pass.
The rest of the half was low key though Villa could have extended their lead after the break, Nathan Baker’s header cleared off the line by Massimo Luongo.
Queens Park Rangers had good spells but created few clear chances particularly in the second half where they dominated possession at points but couldn’t find a way past the stout Villa defending. Substitute Matt Smith heading just wide for the Hoops with his first touch but the Londoners were hard working and disciplined and like Steve Bruce at Villa, QPR manager Ian Holloway will be looking at these last few games of the season to see over the squad and assemble a new team for next season.
Villa are still nine points from the final play-off spot with six games to play, while Ian Holloway’s side slip to 16th in the Championship table but should stay in the Championship. Rotherham are of course already down and likely to be joined by Wigan who are six points away from safety. The third relegation spot is likely to be battled out by 5 teams and QPR are 10 points clear of trouble also with 6 games to play so not too many lost finger nails at Loftus Road in the next couple of months one would think.
Kodjia has now scored in four consecutive home games. While Steve Bruce’s side are on a strange stat, as mentioned they have won seven of their last eight games but this followed a run of seven defeats in nine. An incredible turnaround for the Villa.
The R’s have now gone eight league games without a victory at Villa Park, last winning in 1992 courtesy of Les Ferdinand’s strike. QPR have won just one of their last seven away league matches but Holloway has at least instilled belief although he will be disappointed they had just one shot on target in the entire match despite bossing possession. The away team had 55% of the possession.
Steve Bruce joked his Aston Villa players are trying to finish him off after what was very much a nervy 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.
The manager watched on from the touchline as his side failed to kill of Ian Holloway’s battling team but said after the game:
“I’ve just said that to them. I think they will try and finish me off! As for the resilience, they’ve found that ingredient that the Championship needs,” the manager added. “They’ve conceded one goal in eight games which is quite incredible.”
Kodjia’s latest strike took his tally to 18 for the season and the Ivory Coast international is bidding to become Villa’s first man to bag 20 goals in the league since Peter Withe achieved it in 1981.
Bruce added: “The first goal was a tremendous bit of quality again and it’s won us the match. QPR had good possession and made it awkward for us and it became a little bit edgy.”
Villa are winning and although it’s not superior football the main thing is they are winning with guile and resilience. The fans and the owners will take that any day of the week after the last couple of years.