QPR 2-0 Birmingham: Chery and Hoilett net first-half goals as Rs secure welcome home win
PUBLISHED: 16:55 27 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:24 29 February 2016
Tjaronn Chery's sixth goal of the season - and second in his last three games - set QPR on their way to just a third win in 15 league games against Birmingham City on Saturday.
Chery, a constant thorn in Rangers’ attack throughout the afternoon, opened the scoring ten minutes before the break before Junior Hoilett’s penalty shortly after proved too much for the visitors to recover from at Loftus Road.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made three changes to the side which picked up a hard-earned point at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night, with Chery, Hoilett and Sebastian Polter all recalled to the starting XI, with Daniel Tozser, Nasser El Khayati and Conor Washington dropping to the bench.
After a quiet opening to the game, Rangers started to come alive with both Matt Phillips and Chery causing problems for the Blues.
Up the other end Gary Rowett’s men were also looking threatening on the break, with David Cotterill’s rasping long-range drive going inches wide of Alex Smithies’ far post after 22 minutes.
It was Hasselbaink’s men who got their noses infront 10 minutes before the interval though, with Chery deservedly getting his name on the scoresheet.
The 27-year-old picked up James Perch’s ball from the left, before turning on to his prefered left foot and planting a precise low drive into the bottom corner giving Thomas Kuszcazk no chance in the Birmingham goal.
Rangers weren’t finished there either, with the home side doubling their lead four minutes later.
Polter used his strength and power to get himself into a goalscoring opportunity, but was tumbled down in the penalty area by Michael Morrison - with the latter lucky to remain on the field - before he could get a shot on target.
Hoilett duly stepped up and send Kuszczak the wrong way to give Hasselbaink’s men a two-goal lead heading into the break.
To Birmingham’s credit they came out fighting at the start of the second half, with Maikel Kieftenbeld’s scrambled left-footed effort cleared off the line by Karl Henry two minutes after the interval.
Four minutes later and the Rs were unlucky not to extend their lead further with Massimo Luongo’s curling left-footed drive bringing a smart save out of Kuszczak.
Rangers continued in the ascendancy with Chery also testing the former Manchester United goalkeeper from close range, with the latter palming the ball away for a corner.
Cotterill tried his luck from a tight angle for Rowett’s men as Birmingham seeked to halve the deficit with 20 minutes remaining, but to no avail.
Chery received a standing ovation from the home faithful as he was replaced with 15 minutes remaining, with Tozser replacing the Dutchman as Hasselbaink looked to close the game out.
There was little goulmouth action as the game drew to a close, with Hasselbaink recording a much-needed victory, only his second at Loftus Road since taking over at the start of December.
QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Angella, Hall, Perch, Henry, Luongo, Phillips (Washington, 82), Chery (Tozser, 76), Hoilett (El Khayati, 90), Polter.
Subs: Ingram, Konchesky, Petrasso, Faurlin.