Championship: QPR 3 Birmingham City 1
PUBLISHED: 17:19 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 28 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Belgian youngster Ilias Chair and Bright Osayi-Samuel netted their first goals for QPR as they got the better of Birmingham at Loftus Road.
The Blues will go into the final match of the Sky Bet Championship season with the threat of relegation still hanging over them, after taking the lead through Che Adams on 27 minutes.
Osayi-Samuel levelled less than two minutes later, after Luke Freeman beat Jacques Maghoma and Chair directed a right-wing cross back towards Osayi-Samuel, who scored from close range with the aid of a deflection off Blues defender Wes Harding.
Freeman and a deflection were also involved in QPR’s second goal, scored in the 70th minute.
Again Freeman created space for himself on the left and crossed to Chair at the far post, where the midfielder’s shot went in off Blues defender Maxime Colin.
And Mayy Smith, on as a substitute, fired in off the post after being teed up by Ebere Eze’s header late on.
Birmingham goalkeeper David Stockdale had kept Rangers at bay with a number of saves throughout the match.
Stockdale thwarted Ryan Manning, Eze and Freeman early on and denied Osayi-Samuel a second goal before the interval by tipping over the winger’s powerful shot.
His best stop came early in the second half when he superbly parried Jake Bidwell’s header from Freeman’s corner and an off-balance Darnell Furlong was unable to add the finishing touch from close range.
Stockdale also did well to push over a fierce strike from Freeman before Rangers finally grabbed the lead.
The Blues keeper later denied Jamie Mackie, while R’s goalkeeper Joe Lumley prevented a Birmingham equaliser by getting down quickly to grab a shot from Jota.
Nedum Onuoha and Mackie were given rousing receptions by the home fans when they were brought on as second-half substitutes. Both players are leaving QPR when their contracts expire this summer.
The mood among Blues fans is much more sombre. Their team will go down if they lose at home to promotion-chasing Fulham next weekend and results elsewhere go against them.
QPR: Lumley, Kakay (Onuoha 67), Furlong, Bidwell, Manning, Scowen, Freeman, Osayi-Samuel (Mackie 69), Chair, Eze, Sylla (Smith 77). Unused subs: Smithies, Cousins, Smyth, Tilt.
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