Jack Colback sees red as Sunderland hit back to beat QPR



Posted Sunday, September 17, 2023 by PA

Jack Colback sees red as Sunderland hit back to beat QPR

Sunderland came from behind to beat 10-man QPR 3-1 as Jack Colback was sent off against his former club.

Kenneth Paal put the hosts ahead but Colback was then red-carded and the Black Cats levelled after seven minutes of first-half injury time when Jack Clarke’s effort was deflected in by Rs defender Steve Cook.

Rangers battled hard but second-half goals from Dan Ballard and Abdoullah Ba secured the points for Tony Mowbray’s side.

QPR have won just once at Loftus Road since last October and have lost all three of their home games so far this season.

Paal opened the scoring for them with a crisp strike from just outside the penalty area after 12 minutes.

After Sunderland failed to properly clear Paul Smyth’s throw-in from the right, Ilias Chair teed up Paal, who sent a low left-footed shot beyond keeper Anthony Patterson and into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal came somewhat against the run of play, with the visitors having made a lively start.

Rangers survived an early scare when Ballard blazed over at the far post from Clarke’s left-wing corner, before Sunderland appealed in vain for a penalty when Clarke went down in the area as he tried to get between Smyth and Sam Field.

Paal’s opener – the left-back’s second goal of the season – galvanised Rangers but they suffered a major blow when Colback was dismissed nine minutes later.

Colback is a hugely unpopular figure among Sunderland fans, having left the club to join arch-rivals Newcastle in 2014, and they revelled in his straight red card for a challenge on Jobe Bellingham.

The Black Cats had a goal disallowed for offside soon afterwards when Bellingham headed in after being found by Alex Pritchard’s ball in from the left.

And an almost identical build-up then resulted in Bellingham missing a sitter as he failed to make contact when again found unmarked inside the area by Pritchard.

However, just as Rangers looked like getting to the interval in front, they conceded an equaliser. In attempting to head away Clarke’s shot from near the left-hand edge of the penalty area, Cook succeeded only in diverting the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic.

A second-half barrage from Sunderland inevitably followed and they went in front on 57 minutes courtesy of defender Ballard’s first goal for the club.

Pritchard exchanged passes with Patrick Roberts and was denied by Begovic but the loose ball rolled to Ballard, who had a simple tap-in.

Ba almost added a third when he fired against the outside of the post from an awkward angle after being set up by Bellingham.

But he made no mistake with an emphatic finish from Adil Aouchiche’s left-wing cross on 81 minutes.

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