Second-half goals from Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair helped QPR secure a 4-2 victory against Stoke City at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this afternoon.
The two sides met in wet and windy West London but Storm Dennis only seemed to add to the drama of an end-to-end Championship tie.
There were suggestions from some before the game that this one should’ve been called off. Thank god it wasn’t because the 13,125 crowd at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium were treated to a showcase of what football in the English second flight is all about.
After an understandably soggy and slow opening 20 minutes in which the visitors had the better of the exchanges, the game exploded into life as QPR saw two golden opportunities go begging.
First, Jordan Hugill put an effort wide from inside the six-yard box and then Marc Pugh rolled a harmless effort into Jack Butland’s gloves from a good position.
QPR were not clinical enough and were duly punished just before the half-hour mark. Sam Clucas has proven himself a real goal-threat this season and he gave the Potters the lead, charging down the right flank and into the box, before cutting inside a sliding defender and stroking a left-footed effort into the side-netting.
The visitors’ had their second moments later. Nick Powell fed Campbell at the top of the box, and the striker drove forward and sent a low strike across Liam Kelly and into the bottom corner.
For a brief few minutes, the game looked as though it might be getting away from the hosts but they soon found a response. Ryan Manning slid the ball to Hugill on the left side of the penalty area and the striker fired it into the top corner from a tight angle.
They had an equaliser four minutes later. A smart pass from Bright Osayi-Samuel put Ebere Eze through and the 21-year-old made no mistake, placing a composed finish past Butland.
The R’s may have felt aggrieved not to go into the break in the lead after seeing two penalty appeals waved away by referee Oliver Langford, however, both looked very soft.
Similar to the first half, the second period lacked intensity in the opening exchanges but some fiery challenges seemed to spark the game into life with 25 minutes to go.
Both sides had excellent chances to go ahead with first Yoann Barbet and then Butland providing vital stops to keep the game level.
The game was crying out for something special and Osayi-Samuel delivered just that in the 71st minute. The 22-year-old showed just what makes him such a dangerous player, flying forward to collect a speculative through ball, sending a defender sliding off the back with a dummy, and then finding the net from a seemingly impossible angle.
The winger could, and probably should, have killed the game in the following minutes. First, Butland acrobatically denied him a second and then Osayi-Samuel produced arguably the miss of the season–putting Manning’s deflected cross back across the six-yard box when he had the chance to turn it into an open net.
O’Neill rolled the dice–throwing on both Sam Vokes and Julien Ngoy but it was the hosts that found the net.
Butland could only parry a long-range effort and substitute Ilias Chair was there to tap in from close range and secure the three points.
The result gives QPR some breathing room above the relegation battle while Stoke are now just three points above the drop zone.
Full Time: QPR 4 – 2 Stoke City.