Kodjia Seals Villa Win
04.04.17 - 19.45
JONATHAN Kodjia's early strike proved to be the only goal of the game as Aston Villa edged out a spirited QPR at Villa Park.
The home side netted their seventh win in their last eight games but were made to sweat by a resolute QPR outfit that failed to convert their second half dominance to clear-cut opportunities.
Villa started the brighter of the two teams and deservedly had the advantage when Leandro Bacuna's flick fell kindly for the onrushing Kodjia - the forward did the rest, powering home beyond a helpless Alex Smithies.
It took the early goal against a sluggish Rangers side to get the visitors going - speculative drives from Yeni Ngbakoto and Jamie Mackie were unable to trouble loanee Sam Johnstone but augured well for the rest of the encounter.
Rangers pressed Villa into mistakes as the fixture wore on, much to the chagrin of the visibly frustrated home crowd. Henri Lansbury caught napping in possession on more than one occasion by a vibrant duo in Massimo Luongo and Luke Freeman.
Albert Adomah could and should have done better when found by Kodjia, only to fire his effort high, wide and handsome - a rare opportunity for Villa in a second half that belonged to Rangers.
For all of QPR's possession, clear-cut opportunities were hard to come by - Matt Smith looping a header just wide after a sublime cross from the outside of Ngbakoto's right boot.
Pressure was applied but well managed by Aston Villa from a defensive point of view, but the out-ball was not sticking to Kodjia and substitute Scott Hogan as wave after wave of attacks ensued on the home goal.
Unfortunately for Rangers and Ian Holloway it came to nought as they paid the price for a sluggish start to proceedings at Villa Park.