SportSoccer

Tim Sherwood fumes despite Villa fightback

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Benteke was the hat-trick hero for Villa
Benteke was the hat-trick hero for Villa

ASTON VILLA: 3 QPR: 3

A breathless relegation battle at Villa Park ended in a stalemate that neither side wanted and for Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood, the agony of his side's failure to win was evident in his post match comments.

An emotional Sherwood turned in an energetic performance on the touchline as a game that meant so much to both teams fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table ebbed and flowed, with Christian Benteke's 83rd minute leveller salvaging a point for the home side.

QPR snatched the advantage when Matt Phillips headed in Bobby Zamora's deft left-wing cross after seven minutes before  Villa levelled through Benteke's deflected drive and then the Belgian put his side ahead 33 minutes into the game.

Clint Hill's header (55 mins) and Charlie Austin's clinical finish (78 mins) restored QPR's lead, but Benteke's free-kick kept Villa out of the bottom three and secured a point that may prove to be vital in their survival push.

Not that their boss Sherwood saw it that way, as he went through a range of extravagant emotions on the touchline as his team failed to make the most of their chances to secure a bug victory.

"It is disappointing," said Sherwood. "QPR took their chances at the right times.

"We are not equipped unfortunately to go anywhere and dig out a result, we have to play open. We have good footballers who entertain the crowd.

"Christian Benteke was very good, the second goal especially was excellent. We need him between now and the end of the season but it was disappointing to give away scruffy goals.

"They seemed to be quite happy with it. The spirit is there, the fans were magnificent again and the players gave them a performance. I could not fault it. We were fatigued in the second half and dropped off a bit, but you would expect that.

"It might be a very important point, only time will tell but we need to win games. It is a point in the right direction, though."

Sherwood was then asked about his move to throw his coat in frustration during the first half (below) and he made no apology and would only say: "I am very passionate. If anyone feels it more than me, they must be hurting."

QPR boss Chris Ramsey was a little more calm in his reflections of the game as he stated: "In the first half we got overrun a bit, we caused our own problems our technique was poor, they had a lot chances and we rode our luck.

"But we were fantastic in the second half and the travelling fans had something to cheer about.

"The goals we gave away were schoolboy errors. The point was better for them, we would have loved to have won the game and been above the line. Based on the performance in the second half we are disappointed we have not got three points."

The result leaves QPR in the relegation zone, with Villa just three points ahead of them with six games left to play.