MANCHESTER CITY 6, QPR 0
QPR were sent back to the Championship smashed 6-0 by Manchester City with a hat trick for Sergio Aguero as Manuel Pellegrini’s side were guaranteed Champions League football next season.
Aguero finished the game having scored his 25th Barclays Premier League goal of the season, and his 32nd in all competitions.
Manuel Pellegrini paid tribute to the Argentine striker who has still more to offer for City while remaining committed to the attacking philosophy of the club:
“When I see Kun play the way he played today I am very happy in the way he is improving. He is not the same Aguero who played one year ago.
“He understands he must work harder, he will receive a lot more balls. He works harder during the week.
“He will continue improving in the future and he’s just 26 years old and will be a very important player in the future of this club.” said the Chilean who also added that QPR’s predicament meant that they had to attack and City exploited the spaces left behind and the mistakes made by their visitors.
Pellegrini brushed aside suggestions that the gap to Chelsea would be closer had Aguero managed to stay fit this season.
“I don’t think that because Kun was injured in some games this season is the reason why we are not nearer to Chelsea.
“I didn’t win the title or a cup this year but I have conviction about my ideas about football even when you don’t win.
“We won’t change our style. It’s important to be in a scoring team and not to score just one goal. It’s also important to keep a clean sheet.”
The PFA team of the season has omitted the Argentine striker, who is now a clear five goals ahead of next nearest rival Harry Kane of Spurs, and six ahead of Diego Costa of Chelsea, but today’s goalscoring exploits following his return to form after injury is increasingly making his omission look a mistake.
QPR midfielder Sandro was ruled out of the crucial clash due to issues with his residency visa. It was the last thing Chris Ramsay’s men needed as they needed a straight win to survive another week in the Premier League.
The last time the R’s visited the Etihad in May, a Sunday afternoon in 2012, City won the Premier League in dramatic circumstances through Sergio Aguero’s now legendary goal while QPR were only saved from relegation by Bolton’s inability to secure the win at Stoke that they needed to leapfrog their relegation rivals.
Fit again Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure were left on the bench as Manuel Pellegrini, who was only missing the injured Samir Nasri, decided to keep faith with the side that won at Spurs last week and was rewarded with a fourth win in a row.
Despite the high stakes for QPR they were soon behind when Sergio Aguero darted into the QPR area with the ball, getting a lucky break off a defensive mix up between Steven Caulker and Clint Hill, and lifted the ball over Robert Green to break the deadlock after just five minutes.
Aguero might have had a second six minutes later but for Green racing off his line to intercept when he chased down a long ball from his own half which bounced behind former City defender Richard Dunne. The Argentine striker had stolen in behind Dunne and was foiled by Green’s brave run to clear.
City were certainly in cruise control even before they scored again and it showed. James Milner missed a presentable chance laid on by Aguero in the 16th minute at the back post with Green bearing down on him.
Fernandinho also hit the side netting while James Milner’s cut back after an exquisite City move was wasted.
Green was in action again as Milner challenged him for a lofted cross into the area and lost the ball only to see it fall behind him just out of reach of the gaping goal.
The probing was soon over, however, as Dunne brought down Aguero 25 yards out from goal and the stage was set for an Aleksandar Kolarov free kick which went between an inexplicable gap in the QPR wall and past Green after 32 minutes. It was his fourth set piece goal for City, and the visitor’s defensive frailties were there for all to see.
QPR did have their chances but they were continually foiled by City’s offside trap, with Charlie Austin in particular frustrated when he though he had levelled the scores in the 23rd minute with a bullet header only to see the linesman’s flag waving from the sidelines. It wasn’t to be the first time during their fateful afternoon.
Six minutes before half time QPR’s best move saw Leroy Fer’s lofted chip hit the bar, and Bobby Zamora’s headed followup was saved by Hart who was back on his line quickly.
Five minutes after the break the game was most certainly up for QPR after a horrendous mistake by Suk-Young Yun. David Silva had been running the show all afternoon and his pass towards Aguero looked to have been covered by the South Korean full back but the ball spun away from the QPR defender and into the path of Aguero who had half a pitch to cover before scoring past Green.
QPR’s discipline ebbed away as Silva skipped over a despairing Dunne tackle only to drill wide of the far post. Kolarov had another free kick beaten away by Green before Aguero sealed his hat trick with a 63rd minute penalty to make it 4-0 after Matty Phillips brought down Silva in the area.
James Milner’s tap-in made it 5-0 in the 70th minute, after Kolarov’s corner was flicked on by substitute Wilfried Bony. Aguero turned provider at the back post by squaring the ball for Milner to signal an early exit for some QPR fans.
The QPR exodus was well and truly on by the time Bony’s neat backheel provided a chance for Silva to grab a deserved goal after rounding Green in the 86th minute to send the R’s back to the Championship with a 6-0 drubbing.
Yaya Toure and Shaun Wright Phillips had both come on a subs by this time, with the former City winger getting by far the bigger round of applause, despite a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” from City fans, echoing the banner that was flown around the Etihad pre-game by a betting company, for City’s Ivorian midfielder who Pellegrini confirmed had not been fit enough to start the game although the Chilean had gambled to give him 20 minutes of game time today.