Ings Double Downs QPR
A SECOND half brace from Danny Ings saw Burnley open up a five point gap at the summit of the SkyBet Championship.
Burnley were good value for their victory with the lively Ings making a mockery of Rangers previously excellent and club-record setting defensive record.
The former Bournemouth man linked up well with partner in crime Sam Vokes, and the pair let loose on a lacklustre and unrecognisable defence from the able unit of recent fixtures.
His first goal was well-placed beyond Rob Green before he was on hand to slot home a late spot kick and send a mediocre QPR side back down the M6 with very little to cheer.
Harry Redknapp elected to remain unchanged from the side that were held 2-2 by Millwall at the Den last week. That meant no place in the starting line-up for Oguchi Onyewu, while former Claret Charlie Austin started up front on his own for the visitors.
Rob Green therefore started behind a back four of Danny Simpson, Richard Dunne, Clint Hill and Benoit Assou Ekotto with Joey Barton and Karl Henry starting in the middle. Gary O'Neil, Niko Kranjcar and Junior Hoilett played in advance of them with the aforementioned Austin leading the line.
Burnley started with former QPR loanee Tom Heaton behind a back four of Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell and Ben Mee. David Jones and another former QPR loan man Dean Marney played alongside him.
Keith Treacy, and Michael Kightly played wide with Danny Ings playing just in behind the lone front-man Sam Vokes. The table toppers fielding a formidable line-up but the lack of strength in depth will test their resolve throughout a long campaign.
KICK OFF: BURNLEY V QUEENS PARK RANGERS
The importance of this table topping clash could not be understated. A win for Rangers would see them top with a game still in hand, while a win for the Clarets would send them five points clear with the tough prospect of Wigan Athletic during the week looming for QPR.
The Clarets have been in blistering form, with a winning streak of seven in all competitions being bolstered by the fine streak of Danny Ings. The 11-goal forward has been a real find for the home side, striking fear into the division's defenders.
The fixture started in a typically slow fashion. Rangers contented to use their familiar style of keeping the ball in the opening stanza without really threatening. With Richard Dunne and Clint Hill having the bulk of possession, it rather explains the lack of cutting threat in the opening stages.
An unlikely outlet nearly broke the deadlock when Joey Barton and Junior Hoilett worked a set piece into the area for Karl Henry to volley left-footed straight down the throat of Tom Heaton. It would have a surprise goal for a player typically entrenched on the halfway line.
Niko Kranjcar found some space to get a shot away, but saw it blocked at point blank range before Rangers threatened to implode. The passing across the back four had presented its own problems and persisting with this particularly tactic nearly cost Rangers.
Green rather bizarrely elected to play the ball short to Henry who had two men in close attention. His flick was equally as bizarre, handing the ball to poacher Ings. Green had to be alert to swipe the ball from the striker in another in a string of self-inflicted wounds.
Kieran Trippier saw Green have another howler - parrying out a routine free-kick and having Clint Hill to thank for nodding the rebound narrowly over the bar. A disastrous five minutes for the Rs stopper.
Replacement referee Andy Haines then took centre stage and rather spoiled an entertaining spectacle. A succession of fouls went without caution before a spree ensued for very minor incidents both ways.
Joey Barton received his fifth booking of the season for a minor trip - his first challenge of the game. He will now miss the Wigan game. Set against the back drop of indecision of no booking a dramatic change of tact ensued by the official as the half wore on.
David Jones, Junior Hoilett, Richard Dunne and Keith Treacy all received bookings for nothing in essence by an official that was seemingly intent on stifling play. Burnley nearly took full advantage of these breaks in play by taking the lead.
Trippier - who tormented QPR for Barnsley during the Rs 2011 promotion season. His pin-point cross caused all manner of problems. Hill having to make a last ditch clearance from a Vokes effort as the half swung in the Clarets favour.
Barton chanced his arm from distance at the end of the half but his drilled effort drifted wide of the right-hand upright. The half belonged to Burnley as a lacklustre QPR didn't get out of first gear at Turf Moor.
HALF TIME: BURNLEY 0-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Burnley came out of the blocks firing in the second half and Rangers by comparison were slumbering. The sun was clearly getting in the eyes of the right hand side of the field, Simpson in particular appeared to be struggling.
Michael Kightly looked bright down the flank and drilled his shot just wide, meanwhile the aforementioned Simpson had to be alert to deny the lively Ings after a good knock down from fellow forward Vokes.
Shackell saw his header go over the bar before former Wolves man Kightly saw a shot blocked a point-blank range. It was one way traffic and the visitors were seemingly content to knock the ball around at the and get caught continually in key areas.
Eventually this futile tactic showed as Hoilett lost the ball cheaply and the Clarets broke. In a flash the ball was down the other end. DANNY INGS
played a neat interchange with Sam Vokes before rolling with consummate ease beyond Green.
Burnley were good value for their lead and by comparison Rangers were unable to pick themselves up. The passing was predictable, the tempo non-existent and in truth this rude awakening had been imminent for a number of weeks.
Redknapp responded with all three substitutes in close succession. Javier Chevanton had been told by Redknapp that he'd get his chance where a goal was needed from the bench, and he duly entered the field at the expense of Gary O'Neil, whose fitness levels must be a concern.
Kranjcar is another player who was withdrawn early once more, replaced by Matt Phillips and Jermaine Jenas come on for Karl Henry. A glut of talent that simply was not moulding as desired at Turf Moor - sometimes as shown there is little substitute for sheer endeavour.
The more moronic element of an otherwise excellent home support elected to throw a bottle at Joey Barton. Still, at least the bottle top was taken off him - that could have done some serious damage, tongue firmly in cheek.
The game was up when Joey Barton caught Danny Ings in the box. Inexplicably and bizarrely the referee played advantage on the spot kick, indicating and signalling this to the players. He then brought it back for the spot kick.DANNY INGS
stepped up and sent Green the wrong way to compound the misery of a disappointing afternoon. Rangers never truly got going in an important encounter and as a result find themselves five points adrift of leaders Burnley.
The Clarets by comparison can be proud of their efforts, but will need to bolster their squad in order to sustain their impressive start to the campaign.
FINAL WHISTLE: BURNLEY 2-0 QUEENS PARK RANGERS
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