By Alan Duffy
Aston Villa and QPR played out a fantastic relegation battle at Villa Park on Tuesday night, with a Christian Benteke hat-trick securing a hard-fought point for the hosts.
In-form winger Matt Phillips opened the scoring on seven minutes after a superb centre from Bobby Zamora.
However, just three minutes later the Villans were level courtesy of a deflected effort from Christian Benteke. That goal, and the importance of the game in general, was there for all to see when Villa boss Tim Sherwood threw off his trademark gilet in celebration. Classic Sherwood!
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The Villans were the better of the two sides in the first period and went ahead just after the half-hour mark, with Benteke bagging his second of the game.
After the break, the Hoops fought back with Clint Hill of all people heading home from a corner to make it 2-2 on 55 minutes.
Striker Charlie Austin then got in on the act, firing home in the box with his 17th Premier League goal of the campaign.
That strike looked to have secured a precious win for QPR which would have seen them move out of the drop-zone. However, with seven minutes to go, Hill felled Charles N’Zogbia outside the box, leaving Benteke to bag his hat-trick courtesy of a superb free-kick.
The draw sees Villa go three points clear of the bottom three, with Chris Ramsey’s QPR in 18th, albeit just two points away from safety.
Here are the highlights from this belter of a game…
Photos: Getty Images
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