Jan 21 2012 By Jacob Murtagh
QPR 3-1 Wigan
QPR won in the league for the first time since November to climb out of the relegation zone.
First-half goals from Heidar Helguson and Akos Buzsaky – his first of the season – coupled with Tommy Smith's blockbuster after the break earned Mark Hughes' men a vital victory in their battle against the drop.
Rangers had a let off early on when Steve Gohouri lost his marker in the box, but touched his shot wide of Paddy Kenny's left post.
At the other end, Ali Al-Habsi had to be alert to turn Luke Young's cross over the top, while DJ Campbell skewed a shot wide when the ball fell kindly to him at the edge of the box.
Buzsaky saw a long-range effort fly past the post and Jamie Mackie stung the hands of Al-Habsi as the hosts improved as the half wore on.
They were handed a golden chance to break the deadlock just after the half-hour mark when James McCarthy handled in the box. Helguson made no mistake from the penalty spot to fire Rangers ahead with his ninth of the campaign.
Al-Habsi pushed a Buzsaky free-kick around the post moments later as QPR pushed for a second. But the Wigan keeper was helpless next time around as the Hungarian curled home a beautiful dead-ball on the stroke of half-time to give them a two-goal cushion at the break.
Buzsaky almost added a stunning third just before the hour mark, only to be denied by a full-stretch Al-Habsi.
Instead, the hosts saw their lead cut in half on 66 minutes when Hugo Rodallega stepped up to curl a free-kick into the top right-hand corner.
Wigan pushed for an equaliser, and Kenny was relieved to see Conor Sammon drag his shot wide.
However, Rangers wasted a golden chance to restore their two-goal cushion 20 minutes from time.
Gary Caldwell was penalised for a foul on Helguson inside the area, but the Iceman saw his spot-kick saved by Al-Habsi. Mackie wasted another opportunity to wrap up victory when he fired over after Shaun Wright-Phillips had sent him in the clear.
But Rangers eventually secured the points 10 minutes from the end. Smith picked up the ball 30 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top left-hand corner in front of the Loft end.
QPR: Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Hall, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Buzsaky (Derry 83), Mackie, Helguson, Campbell (Smith 46).
Subs (not used): Cerny, Orr, Ramage, Bothroyd, Macheda.
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