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Queens Park Rangers 3-4 Birmingham City: Blues hold off thrilling Rangers comeback

QPR manager Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren saw his QPR side fall 4-0 behind after just 42 minutes

QPR head coach Steve McClaren said his side showed their "two faces" as they almost completed an incredible second-half comeback from 4-0 down against Birmingham City.

Nahki Wells missed a glorious chance to make it 4-4 in stoppage time when Lee Camp saved his penalty in a pulsating game at Loftus Road.

Blues were four goals to the good after 42 minutes, thanks to a Che Adams hat-trick and Harlee Dean's effort.

QPR striker Matt Smith scored either side of half-time and Jordan Cousins reduced the deficit to 4-3 before an astonishing conclusion.

"We've got mixed emotions," McClaren told BBC Radio London. "The first half was very poor and we didn't dominate their front two or the midfield.

"In the second half, we got the ball wide and got crosses into the box and put pressure on. Matt Smith was magnificent all afternoon and we almost came away with a point.

"We're disappointed, but that is the two faces of QPR. I've told the players we need to see the second-half face a lot more."

The defeat was QPR's fourth in a row in the Championship and their sixth without a win as they slumped to 15th.

"The goal just before half-time gave us a lifeline," McClaren added. "I said 'I'm not happy with this, you've got to win the second half and keep a clean sheet'.

"I can't fault them as they did that and the bonus would have been 4-4 and a point. It wasn't to be and that's football.

"The biggest thing is the reaction. What an effort from the players and we can take it on to the rest of the games this season."

Che Adams celebrates scoring his third goal of the game
Che Adams celebrates scoring his third goal of the game, which made it 4-0 to Birmingham

Two goals in five first-half minutes put City 2-0 up as Adams found the far corner with his right foot, then added a second from a Jota through ball.

Jota provided a second assist, this time with a cross following a corner which found the head of defender Harlee Dean to score his first of the season.

Adams tapped home his third - his 19th goal of the season - from a Jota shot which hit the post, but striker Smith gave Rangers slim hope before the break by heading home from a Luke Freeman corner in first-half stoppage time.

Boyhood Blues fan Smith's second, a left-footed shot, made it 4-2 and substitute Cousins smashed his shot into the top corner to put QPR within one goal of parity.

Smith almost matched Adams' hat-trick with a volley in the 66th minute, but Camp did well to tip his effort over the bar.

Adams' hat-trick means he has scored in six successive league games, the first Blues player to do so since Paul Devlin in 1997.

The club record is held by Trevor Francis, who found the net in seven consecutive league matches in 1978.

Garry Monk's side continued their excellent away form, having lost just once in seven matches on the road, to end a bad run that had seen them lose four times on their previous five visits to Loftus Road.

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk told BBC WM 95.6:

"What a game. It's hard to know what to make of it. To be four goals up and playing the way we were playing was fantastic.

"But the changing point was the goal for them just before half-time. Momentum can change very, very quickly in football and it gave them the little bit of belief that they needed.

"They threw everything at it and it was two teams of real characters on show. They had nothing to lose and we had to put bodies on the line and it was a great save from Lee for the penalty.

"It's hard to sum it up, but I guess it was a game of two halves. The most important thing for us was to come away with three points and back-to-back wins."

Line-ups

QPR

  • 13Lumley
  • 2Furlong
  • 4Hall
  • 33LynchBooked at 53minsSubstituted forWszolekat 61'minutes
  • 3Bidwell
  • 7Freeman
  • 11ScowenSubstituted forCousinsat 45'minutes
  • 21Luongo
  • 20Osayi-SamuelSubstituted forLeistnerat 45'minutes
  • 32Wells
  • 17Smith

Substitutes

  • 1Ingram
  • 8Cousins
  • 10Eze
  • 14Manning
  • 16Hemed
  • 23Wszolek
  • 37Leistner

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 45Harding
  • 28Morrison
  • 12Dean
  • 5Colin
  • 23Jota
  • 20Gardner
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 19MaghomaBooked at 58minsSubstituted forGardnerat 74'minutes
  • 9AdamsSubstituted forVassellat 82'minutes
  • 10JutkiewiczSubstituted forMrabtiat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Pedersen
  • 7Mahoney
  • 8Gardner
  • 11Vassell
  • 18Mrabti
  • 26Davis
  • 27Trueman
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
14,234

Match Stats

Home TeamQPRAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home20
Away12
Shots on Target
Home11
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 3, Birmingham City 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 3, Birmingham City 4.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Harlee Dean.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Harlee Dean.

Offside, Queens Park Rangers. Darnell Furlong tries a through ball, but Matt Smith is caught offside.

Foul by Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Penalty saved! Nahki Wells (Queens Park Rangers) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Penalty Queens Park Rangers. Luke Freeman draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) after a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Joe Lumley.

Attempt saved. Kerim Mrabti (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jota.

Foul by Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Lee Camp.

Attempt saved. Matt Smith (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.

Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Vassell (Birmingham City).

Offside, Queens Park Rangers. Darnell Furlong tries a through ball, but Nahki Wells is caught offside.

Grant Hall (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Vassell (Birmingham City).

Foul by Nahki Wells (Queens Park Rangers).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Isaac Vassell replaces Che Adams.

Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pawel Wszolek with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Queens Park Rangers 3, Birmingham City 4. Jordan Cousins (Queens Park Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) because of an injury.

Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Morrison (Birmingham City).

Foul by Jordan Cousins (Queens Park Rangers).

Gary Gardner (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Pawel Wszolek.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Craig Gardner replaces Jacques Maghoma.

Delay in match Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers) because of an injury.

Foul by Matt Smith (Queens Park Rangers).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Kerim Mrabti (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Che Adams.

Jordan Cousins (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds31177751351658
2Norwich30169557391857
3Sheff Utd31167853341955
4West Brom30158760382253
5Middlesbrough301312535231251
6Bristol City3014883829950
7Derby3014884235750
8Birmingham311113749391046
9Nottm Forest31111284436845
10Aston Villa31101475649744
11Swansea31128114137444
12Hull31127124340343
13Blackburn311110104247-543
14Preston311010114746140
15QPR30116133845-739
16Sheff Wed30109113445-1139
17Stoke31911113340-738
18Brentford30910114943637
19Wigan3196163246-1433
20Millwall3079143445-1130
21Rotherham31512142949-2027
22Reading31511153244-1226
23Bolton3158182047-2723
24Ipswich3039182351-2818
View full Championship table

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