By Simon Cheshire
In what were treacherous conditions at Loftus Road on Saturday, Rangers persevered against the elements to claim their first win in five attempts and condemn Middlesbrough to only their second defeat in five games.
Going into the game QPR made two changes to the side which lost away at high flyers Leeds, with Darnell Furlong and Jordon Cousins replacing the injured Angel Rangel and Geoff Cameron respectively.
The home side got off to the better start with Massimo Luongo seeing his speculative effort blocked within the first minute. Just 180 seconds later Pawel Wszolek capitalised on Jake Bidwell’s cross, to tap the ball home from close range and give the Rs an early but deserved lead.
As the first half developed, Rangers continued to carve out opportunities with Wells and Eberechi Eze having chances to double the home side's lead. However, as the half time whistle finally blew, Middlesbrough had grown in confidence: with the Rs defending for their lives to maintain their one goal advantage at the break.
Going into the second half the visitors started on top, with George Friend having the first real opportunity of the half. But with the Rs down to ten men due to an injury to Joel Lynch, midfielder George Saville pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box and smashed the ball past the helpless Joe Lumley in the R’s net.
Following the equaliser Middlesbrough were looking the more likely to pounce. However, on the 60th minute Wells expertly converted: 'round the Borough defence, to give Rangers the lead.
Rangers continued to push to try to kill the game off with Eze and Luongo both having efforts. In the dying minutes it felt as though the Rs were going to rue those missed opportunities, as the visitors pushed for another equaliser. But the West London outfit stood strong and held on to what is a vital three points. Middlesbrough returned to Teesside with nothing.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
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