QPR ease to comfortable win over Owls

Luke Freeman scored the second goal for Queens Park Rangers against Sheffield Wednesday (pic: George

Luke Freeman scored the second goal for Queens Park Rangers against Sheffield Wednesday (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Sky Bet Championship: Queens Park Rangers 3 (Hemed 35, Freeman 57, Wells 83) Sheffield Wednesday 0

Queens Park Rangers clambered into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship table with an impressive 3-0 win at home to Sheffield Wednesday

In a first half that ultimately failed to catch fire, the Rs led through Tomer Hemed’s close-range header.

Goals in the second half from first Luke Freeman and then Nahki Wells saw the Loftus Road club home to an ultimately comfortable triumph.

After collecting a victory at Ipswich Town in the league on Saturday, home boss Steve McClaren opted to name an unchanged XI.

That meant Josh Scowen, a key component in QPR’s midfield last season, again had to make do with a place on the bench.

Hemed, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, kept his place up top after scoring from the spot at the Tractor Boys.

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After a quiet opening to the match, the Rs nearly broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when Ebere Eze slipped in Hemed.

The Israel international was through one-on-one with Cameron Dawson, but the Wednesday custodian saved Hemed’s effort with his legs before the visitors cleared.

Six minutes later, it was Wednesday’s turn to go close with Barry Bannan firing narrowly wide of the target from 25 yards.

McClaren’s men were almost the architects of their own downfall a minute later when a poor pass from Joel Lynch was intercepted by Lucas Joao.

The visiting forward laid the ball off to colleague Atdhe Nuhiu, but home stopper Joe Lumley got down well to turn the resulting shot behind for a corner that came to nothing.

Mercifully, there was something to talk about with 10 minutes left in the half when Hemed put the Loftus Road outfit ahead.

Pawel Wszolek saw his initial effort from 10 yards parried by Dawson, but only as far as Hemed on the edge of the six-yard box and the forward duly headed home into an empty net.

Hemed’s second goal in as many games for the west Londoners proved to be the difference between the sides at the break as the Rs took their one-goal advantage into half-time.

Hemed almost had his second within the first 90 seconds of the second half when a Jake Bidwell cross from the left found him, but the forward’s prodded effort was straight at Dawson.

The Rs, however, breathed a huge sigh of relief in the 55th minute when Daniel Pudil flicked a header on which Nuhiu was unable to turn home, before the ball rebounded off the post.

It proved a costly miss for the visitors as QPR doubled their lead two minutes later with their second headed goal of the match.

The move started with Geoff Cameron taking the ball out from the back, before it was eventually worked to Wszolek on the right of the box.

The Poland international dinked the ball back across goal, where Freeman was on hand to nod past Dawson.

Having had a hand in the first two goals, Wszolek nearly added his name to the score sheet when drawing a fine save from Dawson with a powerful drive in the 71st minute.

At the other end, Lumley was called into action again with 12 minutes remaining to deny substitute Steven Fletcher after a quick counter-attack from the Owls.

That seemed to spark the Rs back into life, with the hosts sealing the win with a goal from substitute Wells in the 83rd minute.

Despite the result being all but secured, Wszolek was still keen to net himself and tested Dawson again from 20 yards four minutes later.

QPR were able to see out the remainder of the game without much incident as they made it four games unbeaten in the league.

And the west Londoners will look to extend that run to five games when they welcome Aston Villa on Friday night.

QPR (4-4-2): Lumley; Rangel, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell; Wszolek, Cameron, Luongo, Freeman (Cousins 88); Eze (Scowen 84), Hemed (Wells 65).

Subs: Ingram (GK), Hall, Cousins, Smith, Osayi-Samuel.

Sheff Wed (4-3-3): Dawson; Baker, Hector, Pudil (Thorniley 63), Fox; Bannan, Pelupessy (Penney 75), Onomah; Reach, Nuhiu, Joao (Fletcher 75).

Subs: Wildsmith (GK), Palmer, Lees, Kirby.

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 12,534 (including 1,700 Owls fans).

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