Goals from Chris Willock and Ilias Chair, as well as a Michael Rose own goal, gave Queens Park Rangers all three points on Good Friday as they eased to a 3-0 win over Coventry City.
QPR quickly took the lead in this one.
Bright play down the left-hand side of the pitch saw Ilias Chair play a cute reverse pass for the onrushing Lee Wallace. The Scotsman, voted QPR’s Player of the Month for March, stood up a fine cross for Chris Willock who, centre of the goal, knocked home a header to give the Hoops the lead inside three minutes.
Indeed, any idea that Rangers were going to rest on their laurels in the final weeks of the season was put to bed effectively straight away after the international break, with them very much the dominant force here.
Soon after, then, it should have been two.
This time, a ball from the opposite flank via Osman Kakay’s right foot found Charlie Austin free in the area but, uncharacteristically, his finish was not clinical enough as he nodded too close to Marko Marosi who managed to save.
Certainly, it was Marosi who was the Sky Blues’ standout player on Friday afternoon, with further saves helping to keep his side in it for longer than they should have been.
Rob Dickie’s header followed by Ilias Chair’s shot from a narrow angle after he sprung past Coventry’s high defensive line were both dealt with by Marosi but, soon after, he would be beaten again – though this time by one of his own players.
Following on from that blocked Chair effort, the Rangers’ no.10’s near-post corner was met by Michael Rose who glanced the ball into his own net.
Indeed, it was no more than Rangers really deserved and it should have been three before the break as Chair intercepted a loose pass from Rose, only to again be smothered by Marosi.
For Coventry, there was little in the way of chances in the first 45 with Matty James nodding at Joe Lumley – in goal in place of Seny Dieng who was given a rest on the bench – and Gustavo Hamer doing similar with a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Without doubt, the Sky Blues needed to raise their game in the second half but, in truth, the trend of the match never really threatened to change on a chilly afternoon in west London.
Indeed, the first big opening of the second 45 again saw Chair denied by Marosi. A fine ball from Stefan Johansen deep in midfield found Chair racing into the box but his effort was blocked by the Coventry ‘keeper.
The Sky Blues, though, did have their best chance of the match soon enough after, with Tyler Walker the man denied. The striker arrowed his effort at goal from just inside the box and centrally but Yoann Barbet slide across to block it and keep Rangers two to the good.
That, though, was a reminder of how, despite the one-sidedness, one goal could have changed the dynamic here in the final 25 or so minutes, as, thanks to the efforts of Marosi in the away net, the visitors were just about in it.
However, in a cruel twist of fate, it was a Marosi mistake, in fact, that wrapped all three points up for the Hoops in the end.
Again, it was an Ilias Chair strike he had to face, with the no.10 bursting to the right of the box and driving low and, whilst time and again Marosi had fielded such efforts with relative ease previously this afternoon, he this time conspired to deflect the ball in at his near post.
Of all the players on the pitch for Coventry, it was perhaps the most unjust to see Marosi the man to effectively be the reason the game was over as a contest but, ultimately, that is the nature of being a goalkeeper.
For Rangers, then, their quest to finish inside the top ten remains very much on track as this final run of fixtures gets underway whilst, for Coventry, there cannot be too many repeats of this performance between now and May if they are to remain a Championship side.
QPR 3-0 Coventry City, it finished.