Mark Hughes’ first home league game in charge of the R’s couldn’t have gone any better as they swept aside a poor Latics side that must be fearing for their lives as they mad it seven games without victory. For Rangers it was their first win in nine games since a 3-2 success away at Stoke in November and only their second at Loftus Road all season. Roberto Martinez will be unhappy with his side’s first half display as they gifted the hosts two goals as Heidar Helgson and Akos Buzsaky struck before the break. Hugo Rodallega gave the visitors hope of a comeback but that soon killed off as Tommy Smith wrapped up the points up with nine minutes left.
Wigan started brightly with Rodallega failing to connect with two dangerous crosses before the home side got into their groove with Jamie Mackie and Luke Young both testing Ali Al Habsi at the other end. QPR quickly got on top and were gifted the lead after James McCarthy handled in the penalty area allowing Helguson to score from the spot just after the half hour. Buzsaky then forced Al Habsi into a fine save tipping wide the Hungarian’s well struck free kick. The Latics failed to heed the warning as the Hungarian curled in a sumptuous set piece that clipped the post before going in for his first goal since 2011 before he called Al Habsi into action again before the break.
Rangers failed to build on their advantage in the second half as Martinez’s men grew in confidence as they searched for a goal that would get them back into the game. Rodallega, who had scored just once this season, was the man to halve the deficit curling a superb free kick around the wall and past Paddy Kenny to give the Premier Leagues bottom club hope of a fight back. Connor Sammon went close to bringing the contest level before the hosts squandered an opportunity to regain their two goal lead with Helgsuon seeing his second penalty of the afternoon saved by Al Habsi following Gary Caldwell’s foul on the Icelandic striker. He then almost made amends for the miss in stunning style with dipping volley from range that just dropped wide of the post as Wigan continues to press for an equaliser. It never came and the game was killed off with nine minutes to go as Smith lashed the ball into the top corner from 25-yards to put the seal on Hughes’ first league win as QPR boss.