QPR 3 Sunderland 1

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Fletcher opens scoring but Rangers take the points.

Sunderland suffered an away defeat at Loftus Road despite taking the lead as QPR scored a trio of goals to take the points.

The Black Cats went ahead 20 minutes in through leading scorer Steven Fletcher, who turned home Adam Johnson's cross-shot for his 11th goal of the season.

Rangers levelled 10 minutes later through Loic Remy, who produced a crisp finish from close range after Andros Townsend's shot took a deflection off John O'Shea.

The contest could have gone either way in the second half, but it was QPR who took maximum points when Townsend – architect of the first goal – scored one himself, ramming home an unstoppable shot 20 minutes from time.

And the home side added a third goal on the stroke of 90 minutes through sub Jermaine Jenas, who smashed a low shot home from just outside the box.

The win is Rangers' second in a row as they bid to beat the drop, while Sunderland met with away-day frustration.

The Black Cats lined up unchanged from the draw with Fulham, though Danny Rose and Matt Kilgallon were both drafted in on the bench after recovering from injury and illness respectively.

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp made four changes to a QPR side who had picked up a vital victory at Southampton in their previous outing.

And it was Redknapp's men who almost drew first blood just a couple of minutes in as Junior Hoilett floated in off the left wing and fizzed a low drive just past the far post.

Indeed, the hosts made most of the early running, with Hoilett firing wide once more on the 10-minute mark, again following a surging run down the left flank.

Clearly energised by their win on the south coast, QPR continued to press and Bobby Zamora just failed to connect with Fabio's incisive cross six yards out when any kind of touch would surely have resulted in a goal.

Alfred N'Diaye registered Sunderland's first shot on goal when he dragged a low effort wide 18 minutes in – but the visitors surged ahead two minutes later thanks to Fletcher's sharp goal-scoring instinct.

A lightning break set Stephane Sessegnon away on the right – his cross to the back post looked too long, but Johnson cleverly drilled the ball back across goal for Fletcher, in space, to stick out a leg and turn the ball beyond a helpless Robert Green.

They almost made it two just before the half-hour. A slip by the hulking Chris Samba allowed Danny Graham to sneak in on the end of Seb Larsson's curling cross, but the striker could only head over the bar.

Instead, the hosts were level thanks to a slice of fortune on the half-hour.

Townsend's low shot was going nowhere of note until it clipped the inside of O'Shea's leg and dropped straight into the path of Remy, who clinically dispatched an angled shot low into the bottom corner.

The goal was cruel on Sunderland but a huge shot in the arm for Rangers, who twice came close as Remy drew a good save from Simon Mignolet with a neat back-header before volleying narrowly over the bar moments later following good work by Zamora.

Midfielder Stephane Mbia then forced Mignolet to hang on to a powerful drive from distance, with the Sunderland keeper claiming the ball at the second attempt.

QPR ended the first half very much in the ascendancy but Sunderland nudged their way back at the start of the second, with Johnson blasting just wide following a good run.

The visitors followed up with a promising spell of play, but QPR struck in decisive fashion with 20 minutes minutes left – Townsend firing an unstoppable shot over Mignolet and in after controlling a clearing header on his chest.

Rangers nearly added a third goal in the final 10 minutes when Townsend whipped a free-kick wide, but they did eventually break through as Jenas stepped off the bench to fire low into the corner in the dying moments to seal the win.

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Team Sheet

Green
1
da Silva
20
Hill
6
Samba
5
Bosingwa
19
Mbia
40
Townsend
29
Hoilett (Wright-Phillips)
23
Park
7
Zamora (Mackie)
25
Remy (Jenas)
18
Mignolet
22
O'Shea
16
Gardner Yellow
8
Colback (Bardsley)
14
Bramble
19
N'Diaye (Vaughan) Yellow
4
Sessegnon
28
Larsson
7
Johnson
21
Fletcher
26
Graham (Rose)
9

Substitutes

Bothroyd
37
Wright-Phillips
11
Mackie
12
Murphy
26
Jenas
16
Granero
14
Onuoha
15
Vaughan
15
Westwood
20
Kilgallon
12
Rose
3
Bardsley
2
Mangane
18
Cuéllar
24