Monday 27 January 2020

QPR end drought to bag first points against Sunderland

QPR1 Sunderland 0

Clint Hill of QPR and Adam Johnson of Sunderland compete for the ball
Clint Hill of QPR and Adam Johnson of Sunderland compete for the ball
Sebastian Larsson of Sunderland and Bobby Zamora of QPR battle for the ball
Joey Barton of QPR and Emanuele Giaccherini of Sunderland compete for the ball
QPR's Jordan Mutch heads the ball under pressure from Sunderland's Jack Rodwell
QPR's Leroy Fer battles with Sunderland's John O'Shea

Nick Purewal

CHARLIE AUSTIN eased QPR into life without Loic Remy by ending the Loftus Road club's new-season goal drought. The former Burnley striker bagged his first Premier League goal to end Rangers' 315-minute scoring drought in their fourth clash of the new campaign.

Harry Redknapp's men were desperate for both goals and points after successive defeats to Hull, Tottenham and Burton, and had Austin to thank for a thumping first-half finish.

Chelsea triggered Remy's release clause, with the France striker withdrawn from action in QPR's home league clash.

Sunderland started far the stronger but ultimately paid the price for failing to convert that dominance. Adam Johnson slid in perfect through-balls for Steven Fletcher and Patrick van Aanholt, but neither man could convert. Summer recruit Leroy Fer struck a 25-yard thunderbolt against the crossbar with Vito Mannone motionless between the sticks as QPR started to settle.

Junior Hoilett shot straight at Mannone as the half-hour came and went, but then QPR took control. Wes Brown pulled off a perfectly-timed tackle to deny Austin, who was bearing down on goal, and then Mannone had to shut down the former Burnley striker in a one-on-one.

And just when the home fans must have been expecting another blank half, Austin delivered for Redknapp's men, firing high into the net from a well-worked corner.

Sunderland were still chasing their first league win of the campaign after two draws, but after the break neither side were able to repeat the intensity of the first half which ultimately capped off a frustrating afternoon for the Black Cats.

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