QPR drag Blackburn into relegation fight with win at Ewood Park



Posted Sunday, February 04, 2024 by PA

QPR drag Blackburn into relegation fight with win at Ewood Park

QPR scored twice in three second-half minutes to boost their survival hopes with a 2-1 win at Blackburn.

QPR took a 61st-minute lead through an unfortunate Aynsley Pears own goal, which owed much to the magic of Ilias Chair, but it was the least they deserved and Joe Hodge’s assured finish seven minutes into his QPR debut doubled their advantage.

It was too much for Blackburn’s supporters, who vociferously protested against owners Venky’s and their CEO Steve Waggott before Sam Gallagher’s fourth of the campaign halved the deficit 17 minutes from time.

But the visitors held on for their first win on this ground since October 1999 and with Blackburn now only five points clear of danger after a winless run of eight, QPR may have dragged them into the relegation battle.

Benjamin Chrisene should have given Rovers a fifth-minute lead when he found space inside the box and switched onto his right foot but got his curling effort all wrong and missed the target.

QPR looked the most assured of the two sides though and Chair engineered space on the left soon after, cutting inside before unleashing a rasping shot that Pears tipped away.

They went even closer when a flowing move saw Reggie Cannon cross for Sinclair Armstrong at the near post but he put his first-time shot the wrong side of the post.

Rovers were toothless, though Joe Rankin-Costello forced Asmir Begovic into a low save before Armstrong’s shot from a narrow angle was tipped behind.

The visitors went close again two minutes after the restart when Chair whipped a dangerous cross to the back post that Steve Cook met but his header whistled just wide, before Armstrong missed a glaring chance when over-running the ball clean through, allowing Pears to smother.

QPR got the goal their performance deserved just after the hour and it was thanks to the game’s outstanding player in Chair, who jinked inside from the left and dummied before letting fly with a ferocious low 25-yard strike that clattered the post and rebounded in off Pears.

They doubled their advantage three minutes later and there was no luck about this one as Armstrong found Hodge’s perfectly timed run into the box and he had time to pick his spot, slotting the ball beyond Pears into the right corner.

The atmosphere was bordering on mutinous after the second goal but Blackburn rallied and grabbed a lifeline when Rankin-Costello chased his mis-hit shot and bundled the ball into the path of Gallagher who fired through the legs of Begovic.

Begovic produced a sprawling save to deny Gallagher, and Semir Telalovic poked over deep into added time, but QPR held on for a vital win.

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