Photos: QPR 2, Burnley 0

At the weekend, Charlie Austin was revealed to be the most valuable player in the Premier League - in terms of his goals winning the greatest ratio of points for his side.

Opta Sports explained that the former Clarets striker had earned seven of QPR’s 11 points ahead of the meeting with Burnley, 63% - more than Sergio Aguero (23%), Alexis Sanchez (30%) and Christian Eriksen (35%).

Charlie Austin celebrates his winner against the Clarets

Charlie Austin celebrates his winner against the Clarets

But while his eighth goal of the season didn’t technically win the points against Burnley, he made the vital contributions in a game Sean Dyche’s side largely dominated.

He laid on the opener shortly after half-time for Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer, before a madcap three minutes and 56 seconds which saw him booked, score the Rs’ second, and then collect a second yellow card and a red.

The 25-year-old barely had a kick all afternoon, well marshalled by Michael Keane and Jason Shackell, but did what he does best - came to life in the 18-yard box.

Whether Austin should have been on the pitch to score his goal is another matter - a reckless lunge caught former teammate Kieran Trippier’s ankle, and might have earned a straight red card, rather than a yellow, before he was ultimately dismissed for a stray elbow on Keane.

And it would make another good debate whether Burnley would have enjoyed the success they had last season, had they not had to sell Austin.

Would he have fitted into the framework as well or enjoyed the same partnership Sam Vokes shared with Danny Ings?

But what they would give for a similar natural born killer right now...

Austin has eight Premier League goals in 13 games, and no other Englishman has more in the top flight.

It is no surprise then that people are suggesting - two years after similar stories were doing the rounds amid a goal glut at Burnley - he could be worth a look at international level.

While Austin is showing his eye for goal at the top level, for Burnley, this was another case of “if only” as they again created, and squandered, a procession of terrific chances, while they also came up against an inspired goalkeeper in the shape of Rob Green.

Burnley went into the game unbeaten in four, their best run in the top flight in over 39 years, while QPR had lost only one of six at Loftus Road.

The Clarets started well, pressing Rangers vigorously, and they crafted an early chance when Ings’ diagonal pass was knocked down by Scott Arfield, but Ashley Barnes blazed over.

Shortly after, Dean Marney’s lofted ball was spilled by Green as he collided with defender Mauricio Isla, but the former England keeper recovered well to save from Arfield, albeit with his face.

With QPR a wasteful in possession, Burnley continued to break and create chances, and George Boyd scuffed his effort from a Ben Mee centre, finding Ings, who had strayed off-side.

The Rs’ first threat came when Chilean Eduardo Vargas shot tamely at Tom Heaton but at the other end, after a Trippier corner was cleared, Boyd collected the ball 25 yards out and cut across it, sending it swerving viciously towards the corner, only for Green to somehow turn it onto the post with a remarkable save.

Vargas again threatened after a fine run from Fer, cutting inside Mee before seeing his shot blocked by Keane and cleared by Trippier, while Shackell blocked from Fer after typically astute hold up play from Zamora.

Before the break, Fer was lucky to only be booked for a crude, out of control challenge on Trippier - which is becoming a recurring theme in games.

Burnley, as has so often been the case so far this season, had failed to take advantage of their first half superiority, and QPR took advantage as they started the second half the better.

Within six minutes they had the lead as Austin swapped passes with Zamora and played the ball inside for Fer, whose shot looped off the unlucky Mee, over Heaton and in.

The Clarets responded well, and Keane and Arfield combined to find Boyd on the left, whose cross looked set to be turned in by Barnes at the far post, only for the excellent Richard Dunne to get a crucial toe on the ball.

Dunne then did well to block Ings’ route to goal from Barnes’ flick on, and from the corner, which was eventually recycled to Marney down the right, his cross was headed wide at the far post by Ings.

Still the chances came, and Boyd fired over from an Arfield pull back, before Barnes, booked earlier for a foul on Joey Barton, was lucky to receive the benefit of the doubt after a late challenge on Yun Suk-Young.

Then followed Austin’s eventful four minutes, clattering Trippier, before slotting home after Chilean pair Vargas and Isla combined down the right, and then being sent off for the first time in his professional career.

The biggest disappointment on the day, other than failing to take any chances, was being unable to work any openings against 10 men, in the remaining 14 minutes.

Indeed, the best remaining opportunity came when Fer - who was given a number of “lives” by referee Jon Moss, played Suk-Young in, although his shot was saved from close range by Heaton.

Without trying to sound bitter, QPR, facing an FFP fine of £30m after overspending last season, having spent a further £21m net in the summer, are still not as cohesive a unit at the Clarets, but, crucially, have vast Premier League experience in their ranks.

One wonders how damaging this result may prove in the long term, allowing the Hoops to leapfrog them out of the bottom three.