Aston Villa’s hopes of automatic promotion from the Championship took a massive hit last night. After beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 at the weekend Villa fans’ hopes of promotion were at an all-time high. But Ian Holloway and QPR had other ideas last night. The London side romped to a 3-1 victory in the Midlands. With Wolves and Cardiff City both winning, it looks increasingly likely Villa will have to slug it out in the play-offs.
Goals from Ryan Manning, Jake Bidwell and Luke Freeman did the damage on Aston Villa.
For Holloway, it would have been a sweet victory. The QPR boss certainly has something of a history with the Aston Villa chairman Tony Xia.
At the start of the 2016-17 campaign Aston Villa had just been relegated to the Championship. The hope, and expectation, at Villa Park was that the club should immediately return to Premier League football.
Holloway, who certainly knows a thing or two about the second-tier, did not feel Villa were equipped for such a challenge. In his pre-season predictions for Sky Sports, he put Villa in a lowly 16th position.
Holloway’s prediction was scathing, even suggesting Villa could suffer a back-to-back relegation. Xia’s response was equally as abrasive. In a tweet he later deleted Xia posted, according to the Sun:
“A failed player, failed manager and now f***ed pundit. Don’t bother reading at all!”
It was a stunning attack on Holloway, who has achieved plenty of success in the game. Holloway will of course be pleased to have got his own back on Villa and their chairman Xia.
The Midlands club now have a real job on their hands if they are to catch up with Cardiff or Wolves in the top two.
The QPR boss won’t lose any sleep if they don’t.