Saturday 21 April 2018

QPR away-day blues over as chief closes on 'dream' boss

Sunderland 0 Queens Park Rangers 2

Bobby Zamora celebrates with fellow goalscorer after netting Queens Park Rangers' second in their Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Bobby Zamora celebrates with fellow goalscorer after netting Queens Park Rangers' second in their Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Sunderland forward Connor Wickham challenges Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton during their Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leroy Fer scores Queens Park Rangers' opening goal in their Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images
Sunderland's Adam Johnson holds off Queens Park Rangers defender Mauricio Isla during their Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Karl Henry battle for the ball during their Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Martin Hardy

First the dream tweet and then the dream result. The 395 Queens Park Rangers fans could not quite believe their night.

There had not been a point away from home before yesterday. Indeed, there had been more rows than results. The only shame was that those fans were sat in the gods when Mark Atkinson blew and signalled a first win.

Who knows what inspired such a change in desire from the men in blue and white? Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond, in temporary charge, stood by the side for their players throughout, and the team responded superbly.

A new manager can create an upturn in mood. Perhaps for Rangers it was club chairman Tony Fernandes' promise of something different, with Tim Sherwood out of the running. "Think I have got the dream manager," he said. "What QPR needs is a young, exciting manager."

The spine looked as rickety as Harry Redknapp's knees but, in Robert Green, Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora, Rangers had a platform and a shape for victory.

Sunderland were beaten after 45 minutes. The lead came in the 17th minute when Matt Phillips crossed from the right and Leroy Fer lost Liam Bridcutt to power a downward header past Costel Pantilimon.

Fer hit a shot that struck the Sunderland post before Zamora doubled the lead in first-half injury-time. Once more Phillips crossed from the right, and the ball bounced as it came to the veteran striker, who crashed home a volley.

By the finish, Rangers were out of the relegation zone and just two points behind Sunderland. (© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

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