Queens Park Rangers 1-3 Sheffield United: Blades recover for deserved victory
A roaring second-half performance saw Sheffield United come from behind to beat Queens Park Rangers and ensure their bid for a Championship play-off place will remain in their hands going into the final day.
In Mark Warburton’s last home game as R’s boss, his side led after a low-key first half through Charlie Austin’s header from Albert Adomah’s cross from deep.
However, the sixth-placed Blades came out re-energised after the break, going close on several occasions before Iliman Ndiaye eventually levelled from close-range following some pinball action in the QPR box.
The visitors continued to dominate and deservedly led when former R’s defender Jack Robinson powered home a header from a clever free-kick routine, with substitute Conor Hourihane volleying in a third in stoppage time.
Victory in the capital, Sheffield United’s first on their travels since February, means they are now five points clear of seventh-placed Middlesbrough.
Boro host Stoke on Saturday and if they, eighth-placed Blackburn and Millwall, in ninth, all fail to win, the Blades will be guaranteed a play-off spot with a game to spare.
The visitors were utterly relentless from the get-go in the second half at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, with the home side left hanging on before Ndiaye’s deserved equaliser.
Morgan Gibbs-White saw a prodded effort cleared off the line and an effort off his shoulder hit the inside of the post, while QPR keeper Murphy Mahoney made a great one-handed save to deny Robinson.
The R’s announced on Thursday that manager Warburton will leave at the end of his contract this summer.
His side, who could have theoretically kept their own play-off hopes alive with a win, did manage to mount some late attacks to try to salvage a point.
Jimmy Dunne saw an effort thunder back off the crossbar with Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham well beaten.
Undimmed, the away side went to the other end and put the game to bed as Hourihane slammed home on the volley after fine work from Norway international midfielder Sander Berge.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men end the regular season with a home game against champions-elect Fulham, while QPR, who have won just three of their past 17 matches, travel to Swansea.
- 8AmosSubstituted forKakayat 72′minutes
- 7JohansenBooked at 90mins
- 17DozzellSubstituted forThomasat 72′minutes
- 16McCallumBooked at 88mins
- 11AustinSubstituted forDykesat 62′minutes
- 19RobinsonBooked at 90mins
- 4FleckBooked at 87minsSubstituted forHourihaneat 90+3′minutes
- 29NdiayeSubstituted forOsulaat 75′minutes
- Peter Bankes
Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 1, Sheffield United 3.
Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 1, Sheffield United 3.
Stefan Johansen (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Morgan Gibbs-White (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Queens Park Rangers).
Foul by Morgan Gibbs-White (Sheffield United).
Sam Field (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Queens Park Rangers 1, Sheffield United 3. Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Sander Berge with a cross.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Conor Hourihane replaces John Fleck because of an injury.
Attempt missed. William Osula (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.
Jack Robinson (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.
Sam McCallum (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card.
John Fleck (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).
Osman Kakay (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Lyndon Dykes (Queens Park Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Sam Field with a cross.
Jimmy Dunne (Queens Park Rangers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Osman Kakay.
Attempt missed. Osman Kakay (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Sander Berge (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Fleck.