By Toby Davis
Christian Benteke’s superb hat-trick rescued a potentially priceless point for Aston Villa, who twice came back from a goal down to draw 3-3 on Tuesday night with relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers.
Benteke’s free kick with seven minutes to play completed a precious treble and secured a draw that moved hosts Villa up to 16th, three points above the relegation zone while 18th-placed QPR’s plight remains perilous.
QPR had taken the lead through Matt Phillips, before Benteke turned the match on its head with his first two goals in the opening 45 minutes.
Veteran Clint Hill levelled shortly after the break with a header and Charlie Austin snatched his 17th goal of the season to restore QPR’s lead.
Benteke, however, stepped up to loft his set-piece over the wall and beyond the dive of Rob Green for his seventh goal in his last five league games to round off a pulsating encounter.