As the game began in front of a fuller than usual Villa Park, the home side proved the stronger of the relegation rivals and their play was composed and purposeful if not productive.
Nevertheless, it was the visitors who had the better of the chances, with Guzan making two great saves in quick succession to deny Samba before QPR took the lead after 23 minutes through Jenas, of all people, when poor defensive play from Villa allowed their former loanee to nudge the ball into a vacant net.
QPR then had a series of chances to add to their lead thanks to Zamora, Remy and Bosingwa but Guzan was having a good day in goal and saw off the ambush.
Despite their undeniable dominance, QPR surrendered the lead just before the break when, fittingly, Acorns ambassador Agbonlahor headed Lowton’s cross past the static Cesar.
Old ‘Arry believes his side should have been 0-4 up after the first half and he might have a point but Villa’s determination was obvious as the second half got underway and their fight-back was aided by a masterful display by Westwood. The boys in claret and blue took the lead just before the sixty minute mark when the Redknapp’s Rs failed to clear a corner, which enabled Weimann to turn inside the box and shoot low past Cesar.
Taarabt, who replaced the feckless Fabio, proved to be a thorn in the side of Villa’s defence as QPR increased the pressure on the home side in the run up to their 73rd minute equaliser, which was aided by a deflection.
All too aware of this game’s importance, the boys in claret and blue kept pressing for the winner and their persistence was rewarded with just under ten minutes remaining when ‘Man of the Match’ Weimann rushed into the box, drawing Cesar out of position and setting up a comfortable finish for Benteke.
The almost customary nervy finish ensued but, as they did last week, Lambert’s Lions held on to secure three prized points, putting Villa six points clear of Wigan, who dow, however, have two games in hand.