In almost no time, Robbie Keane has established himself as Aston Villa's most influential attacker. The Galaxy striker was at it again Wednesday, providing constant danger in an English Premier League tie against Queens Park Rangers.
On the day the Irishman got a new strike partner back home in L.A., he helped set up one goal and came close to scoring twice as Villa rallied from an early two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw at home in Birmingham, dropping to 12th in the EPL standings wih a 6-7-10 mark.
Keane, who has three games remaining in his loan to the Villans, fed Alan Hutton for a low cross that Darren Bent converted just before halftime to begin the comeback. It was Bent's 100th EPL goal. Charles N'Zogbia's 79th-minute goal evened the score.
Keane might have struck first, but his deflected shot earlier in the half ricocheted off the goal frame. He nicely fed Ciaran Clark for a chance, forced QPR goalkeeper Patrick Kenny into a big save and was disappointed not to win a penalty kick when Joey Barton appeared to handle a late rebound.
Keane has two goals and an assist in four appearances for Aston Villa since agreeing to a 6½-week loan in mid-January. He returns to the Galaxy after Ireland's Feb. 29 friendly against the Czech Republic, where he will find a new foil up top. The Galaxy on Wednesday reacquired striker Edson Buddle, after a year in Germany, giving them the league's best attacking front six.
GAME BY GAME
Jan. 14 vs. Everton (T, 1-1)
81st-minute substitute for Warnock
Jan. 21 at Wolverhampton (W, 3-2)
Started, subbed in second-half stoppage, two goals (51st and 84th minutes)
Jan. 29 FA Cup fourth round at Arsenal (L, 2-3)
90 minutes, assist (Dunne)
Feb. 1 vs. Queens Park Rangers (T, 2-2)
Feb. 5 at Newcastle United
Feb. 12 vs. Manchester City
Feb. 25 at Wigan Athletic