Queens Park Rangers Stun Birmingham City in Championship Relegation Clash

Jimmy Dunne’s injury-time winner helped Queens Park Rangers to come back from a goal down and seal a 2-1 home win over Birmingham City, as the Rs moved four points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

Both sides missed several quality chances throughout the contest and it looked as though Birmingham were going to leave West London with all three points after Juninho Bacuna opened the scoring on 30 minutes. QPR responded positively when Steve Cook equalised and Dunne’s moment of quality sealed the comeback in the 92nd minute.

The West Londoners had the better of the opening exchanges as direct play and crosses into the box penned Birmingham back inside their own half for large spells. Lucas Andersen went closest to converting with a half volley that skimmed the crossbar from Kenneth Paal’s teasing cross.

The return of Gary Rowett to the Blues’ dugout saw the visitors revert to a more counter-attacking approach, as the former Millwall boss hoped to prevent a fourth consecutive Championship defeat. This approach nearly paid off mid-way through the first half when Jay Stansfield broke behind the QPR defence and took the ball around Asmir Begovic only to run out of space to apply the finish.

QPR continued to bombard the Birmingham defence with crosses and shots but struggled to keep their composure inside the area. Anderson had another glorious opportunity to strike before the break, controlling Chari’s lofted ball in the area before blazing over from six yards out.

More Rs chances came after half time and Martí Cifuentes continued to control possession. But the hosts still lacked the finishing quality as Michael Frey headered over, while Sam Field’s deflected shot flew over the bar.

Birmingham were then rewarded for their counter-attacking approach paid off just after the hour mark when Ethan Laird was allowed to dribble into the area and cut back to Bacuna, who curled a pinpoint finish into the top corner.

However, the Blues lead did not last for long and QPR defender Steve Cook levelled the scores just three minutes later. The veteran defender was first to react to a loose ball in the penalty area and he struck his first goal of the season low into the bottom corner to set up a tense finale.

In the final 10 minutes, Chris Willock had a wayward attempt from 10 yards that went high over the crossbar, which seemed to be the final chance for QPR to snatch all three points. However, Dunne reacted to a tame Birmingham clearance in the 92nd minute, brought the ball under control with his chest from 20 yards out and sent a dipping volley just under the crossbar and out of reach of John Ruddy to end the Rs three-match winless streak.

Dunne’s stunner could galvanise QPR for the remainder of the season and the West London outfit are becoming tough to beat, with just one loss in their last seven. Despite signs of positivity throughout this clash, just one point from seven leaves Birmingham outside the Championship’s bottom three on goal difference.

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