Championship
Brighton3QPR0

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 Queens Park Rangers

Sam Baldock
Sam Baldock's early goal was his seventh of the season for Brighton

Brighton took advantage of Newcastle's Boxing Day defeat as they beat 10-man QPR to go two points clear at the top of the Championship.

Sam Baldock fired in the opener from 20 yards and Glenn Murray's coolly-taken penalty, awarded for Massimo Luongo's foul on Dale Stephens, made it 2-0.

Anthony Knockaert cut inside and sent a shot underneath Alex Smithies to round off the scoring for the Seagulls.

QPR, who had captain Nedum Onuoha sent off, fell to a sixth successive loss.

With the score at 2-0, Baldock latched on to a pass from Oliver Norwood and got goal-side of centre-back Onuoha, who was deemed to have brought down the striker outside the penalty area as the last defender.

That incident compounded the misery for Ian Holloway, who has won only one of his seven games since returning as Rangers manager in November.

Holloway's side were somewhat unfortunate to be behind at the interval, as Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale kept out numerous attempts on goal to help the hosts to their 14th clean sheet in 23 league games this season.

Baldock's goal was worthy of winning the match on its own, his powerful shot from just outside the penalty area flying into the top corner and leaving Smithies with no chance.

Murray's second effectively ended the game as a contest, ensuring Brighton would extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches and move clear of Newcastle, who lost at home to Sheffield Wednesday the previous day.

Anthony Knockaert
Knockaert celebrated his goal by racing to the home bench and holding aloft a framed picture of his late father, who passed away in November

Brighton manager Chris Hughton told BBC Sussex:

"QPR were good in the first half, with some really good passages of play, but Sam Baldock started the game off favourably for us.

"We weren't able to build on it but once we shored up a few holes we got more control and then got our goals.

"It is very satisfying to be top and we have earned the right to be there.

"There is an awful long way to go and we need to try to play with the principles we have shown in the first half of the season."

QPR boss Ian Holloway told BBC Radio 5 live:

"The boys need some help. We need to get some recruits in January, and someone who can score goals.

"When you lose six in a row, it does [feel like you're in a relegation battle]. But this is the Championship and we've got half a season left.

"I will keep going because I know what I am doing. Hopefully I will be given trust to build a club, build a team and build a spirit."

On Brighton fans singing 'you're getting sacked in the morning': "That's nice isn't it? I hope you enjoy your Christmas and your New Year.

"Why don't you sing something better and different? I didn't mean to beat you in the play-offs [with Crystal Palace in 2013].

"Why don't you show a bit of respect? But that is life and football these days."

Line-ups

Brighton

  • 13Stockdale
  • 2Saltor Grau
  • 22Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 3Bong
  • 11Knockaert
  • 6Stephens
  • 21Norwood
  • 20MarchSubstituted forMurphyat 68'minutes
  • 17MurraySubstituted forHemedat 71'minutes
  • 9BaldockSubstituted forSkalakat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mäenpää
  • 8Skalak
  • 10Hemed
  • 14Sidwell
  • 15Murphy
  • 18Goldson
  • 42Hunt

QPR

  • 1Smithies
  • 24Perch
  • 5OnuohaBooked at 56mins
  • 4Hall
  • 3Bidwell
  • 8CousinsSubstituted forGuimaraes Cordeiroat 80'minutes
  • 21Luongo
  • 7BorysiukSubstituted forMackieat 59'minutes
  • 15Wszolek
  • 40SyllaBooked at 80mins
  • 23N'GbakotoSubstituted forKakayat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Washington
  • 12Mackie
  • 13Ingram
  • 19El Khayati
  • 27Shodipo
  • 30Guimaraes Cordeiro
  • 34Kakay
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
30,176

Match Stats

Home TeamBrightonAway TeamQPR
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home24
Away12
Shots on Target
Home10
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Queens Park Rangers 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Queens Park Rangers 0.

Attempt blocked. Sandro (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Massimo Luongo.

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Pawel Wszolek (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jiri Skalak with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Grant Hall.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Gaëtan Bong.

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Idrissa Sylla (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Tomer Hemed (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers).

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Anthony Knockaert tries a through ball, but Tomer Hemed is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Osman Kakay replaces Yeni N'Gbakoto.

Substitution

Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Sandro replaces Jordan Cousins.

Booking

Idrissa Sylla (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Idrissa Sylla (Queens Park Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jiri Skalak replaces Sam Baldock.

Attempt missed. Jake Bidwell (Queens Park Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by David Stockdale.

Attempt saved. Idrissa Sylla (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jake Bidwell with a cross.

Foul by Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Jordan Cousins (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Jamie Murphy (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gaëtan Bong.

Attempt saved. Dale Stephens (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Tomer Hemed.

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Jake Bidwell (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Perch.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Tomer Hemed replaces Glenn Murray.

Foul by Gaëtan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Jamie Mackie (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Brighton and Hove Albion 3, Queens Park Rangers 0. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Glenn Murray.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Jamie Murphy replaces Solly March.

Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Cousins (Queens Park Rangers).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

Hand ball by Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brighton23156238142451
2Newcastle23161645182749
3Reading2313463330343
4Huddersfield2313372827142
5Leeds2313283023741
6Sheff Wed2312472723440
7Derby2311662415939
8Fulham2399540281236
9Barnsley2310494035534
10Aston Villa2381052522334
11Birmingham239772730-334
12Norwich23103103837133
13Preston239593131032
14Brentford2385102930-129
15Wolves237793132-128
16Ipswich237792226-428
17Bristol City2383123030027
18Nottm Forest2375113641-526
19Cardiff2366112638-1224
20QPR2365122034-1423
21Burton2357112432-822
22Blackburn2355132739-1220
23Wigan2346132030-1018
24Rotherham2334162450-2613
View full Championship table

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