Pressure mounts on QPR boss McClaren after defeat to Bristol City
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Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 0 Bristol City 3 (Taylor 41, Weimann 50, 90)
The pressure is mounting on Queens Park Rangers boss Steve McClaren after his side saw their losing start to the new Sky Bet Championship season reach four games after a 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol City.
The Rs had the majority of possession in the opening half, but trailed at the interval to a goal from Matty Taylor.
A brace from Andi Weimann secured the win for the Robins after the break as the west Londoners saw their dreadful start to the new league campaign continue.
After Saturday’s chastening defeat at West Bromwich Albion, it came as little surprise that Rs boss McClaren made as many as four changes.
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Among those to come into the starting XI was Angel Rangel, with the former Swansea City right-back making his debut after signing a short-term deal last week.
Alex Baptiste, Pawel Wszolek and Conor Washington were also recalled to the starting XI, with Osman Kakay, Jordan Cousins and Matt Smith dropping to the bench.
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Joel Lynch missed out on selection, with the defender still recovering from a head injury sustained in the loss at the Baggies at the weekend.
In need of a quick start after Saturday’s dreadful drubbing, QPR forward Ebere Eze fired straight at visiting stopper Niki Maenpaa from the edge of the box in the third minute.
Seven minutes later, Robins winger Niclas Eliasson was unable to divert a cross from the right by Marley Watkins on target, instead skewing his half-volley into the Loft.
It took until the 22nd minute for the next real shot on goal, with Rs stopper Matt Ingram only able to parry away a vicious effort from 25 yards by Josh Brownhill.
Three minutes later, a foul on Massimo Luongo handed McClaren’s men a free-kick just left of centre, 25 yards out, but Josh Scowen’s set-piece was comfortable for Maenpaa.
The Finland international was in the thick of the action again less than 60 seconds later, denying Washington from close range after a ball in from the right by Wszolek had made it to the back post.
City were able put the ball behind for a corner, which was only cleared as far as the edge of the box where Luongo tried an acrobatic overhead kick to score, but saw his effort go wide of the target.
Despite all of the chances for QPR, it was Lee Johnson’s men who hit the front in the 41st minute.
A long ball over the top by Brownhill towards the right flank was chased by forward Taylor.
The Robins forward shaped to cross, but moved into the box after a slip by Rs defender Jake Bidwell, before Taylor fired the ball past Ingram and into the net.
City could have had a second two minutes later when a corner to the near post was flicked on by Adam Webster, but Watkins could not get a telling touch at the back stick.
That was the final chance of the half for either side, with the Loftus Road outfit trailing despite being on top for much of the opening period.
However, the Rs fell further behind just five minutes into the second half after some questionable defending.
A cross from the left by Eliasson found Weimann unmarked in the box and the Austrian duly headed home from 10 yards.
That turned the heat up on McClaren, with the away support telling the former England boss he was getting sacked in the morning, while the Rs faithful were angered by their boss’s decision to replace Luongo with Cousins.
The Rs, though, should have pulled one back in the 65th minute when Washington rounded Maenpaa after latching on to a Freeman through ball.
The angle for the Northern Ireland international was tight, so Washington passed to Eze.
However, the youngster’s first touch was poor and allowed Webster to get back on the line and block the subsequent shot from close range, before the Robins cleared.
With 13 minutes remaining, a deep cross from Scowen found substitute Smith in the penalty box, but the forward’s header went over the bar.
There was to be further misery for QPR, with Weimann adding his second of the match from close range in the 90th minute after being teed up by Brownhill, whose initial effort had been blocked by Ingram.
The Rs are next in action on Saturday when they host Wigan Athletic, but it remains to be seen if McClaren will still be in charge for that game.
QPR (4-2-3-1): Ingram; Rangel (Sylla 76), Leistner, Baptiste, Bidwell; Scowen, Luongo (Cousins 60); Wszolek (Smith 60), Freeman, Eze; Washington.
Subs: Lumley (GK), Chair, Kakay, Smyth.
Bristol C (4-4-2): Maenpaa; Hunt, Pisano, Webster, Kelly; Watkins (O’Dowda 75), Pack, Brownhill, Eliasson; Weimann, Taylor (Eisa 90+1).
Subs: O’Leary (GK), Dasilva, Walsh, Paterson, Moore, Eisa.
Referee: Peter Bankes.
Attendance: 11,379 (including 1,080 Bristol City fans).