Fifth successive defeat for QPR
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
QPR 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2
Sheffield Wednesday moved a step closer to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers, as Ian Holloway’s men suffered their fifth successive defeat.
Daniel Pudil’s 31st-minute strike proved to be the winner after Adam Reach’s opener had been cancelled out by Idrissa Sylla’s 10th goal of the season for Rangers.
The win moved Wednesday up a place to fifth in the table courtesy of rivals Leeds losing at home to Wolves, while Rangers now sit just six points above the relegation zone with three games left.
Wednesday dominated most of the first half and went ahead in the 12th minute as Pudil’s left-wing cross bounced into the path of Reach, who blasted in from near the edge of the six-yard box.
Sylla equalised from a similar position nine minutes later, after Jamie Mackie exchanged passes with Ryan Manning and went down in the box, as the loose ball rolled to him and he fired past keeper Keiren Westwood at the near post.
But the Owls hit back just after the half-hour mark, when Pudil followed up to head home after goalkeeper Alex Smithies had managed to keep out Jordan Rhodes’ header from Ross Wallace’s right-wing free-kick.
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Wallace might then have made it 3-1 had Jack Robinson not thwarted him with a last-ditch challenge after the winger had been found by Reach’s pass.
But Westwood denied Sylla a second goal shortly before half-time, tipping over the striker’s header from Robinson’s long throw.
And Jake Bidwell missed a decent chance to equalise a couple of minutes into the second half by volleying over from inside the penalty area after Wednesday were unable to properly clear Luke Freeman’s free-kick.
The hosts maintained their early second-half pressure and had appeals for a penalty waved away after Westwood clattered into Mackie on the right-hand side of the area.
On-loan Brighton winger Kazenga LuaLua, brought on as a half-time substitute for the Rs, then sent a wayward effort high and wide of the target as Holloway’s side appeared to run out of ideas.
The visitors remained a threat and Rhodes had a header saved by Smithies, while Barry Bannan sent a long-range effort narrowly off target and Pudil headed over from Bannan’s corner.
QPR boss Holloway brought target man Matt Smith on for the final 15 minutes and switched to three up front in an attempt to find a second equaliser and it almost worked as Smith headed wide from Bidwell’s late cross.
But this latest loss leaves 17th-placed Rangers looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, with a trip to west London rivals Brentford up next.
QPR: Smithies, Perch, Lynch, Bidwell, Petrasso (Lua Lua 46), Freeman, Luongo, Manning (Smith 75), Robinson (Washington 62), Mackie, Sylla. Unused subs: Goss, Ingram, Wszolek, N’Gbakoto.
Referee: Andy Davies.