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QPR 1-0 Blackburn Rovers: FLW reports as Ilias Chair catapults R’s into the top six

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Ilias Chair’s 84th-minute winner helped to catapult QPR into the top six as they beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on a damp night in west London.

The Moroccan’s long-range strike beat a motionless Thomas Kaminski and will have had Jimmy Dunne breathing the biggest sigh of relief of all after missing a sitter nearly 15 minutes before.

As has so often been the case this season, Chair provided the spark for the R’s on an evening that for long periods looked destined to end goalless.

Both sides were clearly fired up after disappointing results on the weekend and that was reflected in the frantic opening exchanges, though neither Seny Dieng nor Kaminski were really tested in the first quarter of an hour.

Rain began to fall in sheets in west London and rather than a half that sparked into life, the 11,771 supporters inside the Kiyan Prince Foundation were treated to a damp 45 minutes in which both sides struggled to click.

Ben Brereton Diaz’s fairytale form in 2021/22, both on the international stage and for Rovers, has seen his stock rise dramatically over the first few months of the season but it was his strike partner Daniel Butterworth that nearly grabbed the headlines 14 minutes into his starting debut as the 22-year-old picked the ball up at the halfway line and weaved through multiple defenders before sliding a shot just wide.

An injury to Lewis Travers forced Mowbray to introduce Bradley Johnson as his replacement just after the half-hour mark and had the referee seen things differently they could’ve had a chance to capitalise a minute later.

An attempted cross from Albert Adomah, who was one of the game’s brighter lights throughout, appeared to strike the arm of Daniel Ayala from close range but no penalty was given.

Tempers continued to rise as the end of the half approached but that did little to improve the quality of the football and it was hard not to wonder at the break how a game between two of the Championship’s top scorers had promised so much but delivered so little.

The painstaking wait for an opener nearly came to an end in the fourth minute after the break but the post saved Yoann Barbet’s blushes, with the Frenchman turning Tayo Edun’s low cross against it from metres in front of his own goalline.

Relieved to still be on level terms, the R’s began to grow into the ascendancy over the next 10 minutes and what started with speculative efforts from Sam McCallum and Rob Dickie led into a barrage of balls into the box as the home side cranked up the pressure – though the Rovers backline were equal to it.

Dykes was the first player to really force a save out of Kaminski, however, and it took him until the 69th minute to do so as the Belgian went full stretch to parry a thunderous effort wide.

A minute later Dunne submitted his entry for miss of the season. The ball pinballed around the box after a dangerous free-kick and bounced up for the centre-back but with the goal gaping, he put a lunging effort over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Blackburn were limited to chances on the break and barely troubled Dieng in the R’s net, though the keeper may have been sweating when substitute Sam Gallagher looked to have wriggled his way through on goal before losing control of the ball.

Players were beginning to tire as the final whistle neared and Chair took full advantage of the extra space that provided with six minutes to go.

The attacking midfielder received the ball on the half-turn just inside the Rovers half and drove forward, teeing himself up with a smart cut to the right, and then unleashing a curling effort past an unsighted and unmoved Kaminski.

That proved the knockout punch that Warburton’s side had been searching for since the break, helping them to claim a victory that catapults them into the top six.

FULL TIME: QPR 1-0 Blackburn


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: QPR 1-0 Blackburn Rovers: FLW reports as Ilias Chair catapults R’s into the top six

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