Premier League
QPRQueens Park Rangers1SunderlandSunderland0

Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
QPR striker Charlie Austin
Austin made a goal-scoring return after missing QPR's last game because of a hamstring injury
  • Austin scores QPR's first goal of the season
  • Rangers abandon 3-5-2 in favour of a 4-3-3 formation
  • Loic Remy withdrawn from line-up ahead of Chelsea move
  • Sunderland remain without a league win this season

Queens Park Rangers claimed their first win of the season as Charlie Austin's goal gave them victory over Sunderland.

Rangers came into the game having suffered three straight defeats, in which they had not managed a goal.

But Austin - leading the line in the absence of Loic Remy, who was withdrawn from the home starting XI ahead of a move to Chelsea - ended that run with a close-range strike following a corner.

Sunderland battled hard but fell to their first defeat of the season.

We were excellent today - Harry Redknapp

QPR had to wait until mid-December for their first league win during their last Premier League campaign in 2012-13.

That they have achieved this feat a full three-and-a-half months earlier this time around will give them hope of avoiding a repeat of their relegation of two seasons ago.

It was far from a cohesive performance from Rangers, who have still yet to work out their best formation or starting XI, but there were significant improvements from their first two league matches of the season, particularly their 4-0 mauling at the hands of Tottenham last weekend.

Harry Redknapp began the season using the much-discussed and often maligned 3-5-2 formation, currently being put to largely ineffective use at Manchester United by Louis van Gaal.

A long time coming...
QPR have had to wait over 17 months for a Premier league win, having failed to claim victory in the last nine games of the 2012-13 season (in which they were relegated) and the first two matches of this season. Their previous top-flight win to Saturday's was also against Sunderland at Loftus Road (3-1 on 9 March).

However, whereas Van Gaal seems intent on persevering with the system, three straight defeats without having scored a goal was enough for Redknapp, who switched to a more familiar back four and a three-man attack.

Remy was a part of that frontline until midday, when the club accepted a release-clause triggering offer for the player from Chelsea, thus prompting his withdrawal and seemingly the end of his career at Loftus Road.

The French forward had scored QPR's last three goals in the Premier League, going back to the end of the 2012-13 season and his intelligent movement and attacking instinct was missed by the home side.

Charlie Austin scores for QPR
Austin missed a penalty in QPR's opening game of the season - a 1-0 defeat by Hull

Fortunately for them, they also have last season's 20-goal top-scorer Austin in their ranks and the striker proved the match-winner on his return to the side following a hamstring injury.

In first-half added time, Joey Barton's corner was met at the far post by Leroy Fer, who had earlier hit the crossbar with a powerful 30-yard drive, and his cushioned header was the perfect set-up for Austin to smash the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

The goal, and its timing, was a huge blow to the visitors, who had looked the more composed side for much of the first half.

Gus Poyet hopes Sunderland learn from their mistakes

The returning Adam Johnson was a lively presence, creating two good openings with neat through-balls but neither Steven Fletcher nor Patrick van Aanholt could make the most of them, with the former seeing his shot saved by Robert Green and the latter looping his effort over the bar.

QPR had more control in the second half forcing their opponents to increasingly levels of desperation.

The Black Cats finished the game with a host of forwards on the pitch including Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini.

The Italian came the closest to earning his side a point but his powerful 25-yard shot was palmed away superbly by the diving Green to ensure that QPR sealed just a fifth win in 43 Premier League games.

Charlie Austin scores for QPR
Charlie Austin scores QPR's first goal of the season in their fourth game
QPR players celebrate Charlie Austin's goal
The relief at Austin's goal is clear to see among the QPR players
Jordan Mutch heads the ball with Jack Rodwell in attendance
Jack Rodwell scored in Sunderland's last game but was a peripheral figure in this match
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet's Sunderland side now have two points from their opening three league games

Line-ups

QPR

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Green
  • 14Isla
  • 4Caulker
  • 5Ferdinand
  • 6Hill
  • 7Phillips
  • 17MutchBooked at 57mins
  • 8Barton
  • 23HoilettSubstituted forTraoreat 83'minutes
  • 10FerSubstituted forTaarabtat 90'minutes
  • 9AustinSubstituted forZamoraat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Traore
  • 15Onuoha
  • 20Henry
  • 21Murphy
  • 22Dunne
  • 25Zamora
  • 27Taarabt

Sunderland

Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Mannone
  • 27VerginiSubstituted forAltidoreat 82'minutes
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 7Larsson
  • 6CattermoleBooked at 37mins
  • 8RodwellSubstituted forGiaccheriniat 69'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forBuckleyat 69'minutes
  • 10Wickham

Substitutes

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 2Jones
  • 4Bridcutt
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 17Altidore
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 30Buckley
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
17,930

Match Stats

Home TeamQPRAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home18
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 1, Sunderland 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 1, Sunderland 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Clint Hill.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adel Taarabt (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bobby Zamora.

  5. Booking

    Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) has gone down, but that's a dive.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Adel Taarabt replaces Leroy Fer.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Armand Traore.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jozy Altidore (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Emanuele Giaccherini.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Matthew Phillips.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Armand Traore (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Bobby Zamora.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Clint Hill.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Armand Traore replaces Junior Hoilett.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Jozy Altidore replaces Santiago Vergini.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Connor Wickham (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Johnson.

  19. Post update

    Emanuele Giaccherini (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Joey Barton (Queens Park Rangers).