Team: Smithies, Onuoha, Hall, Angella, Perch, Luongo, Henry, Phillips (Washington), Chery (Tozser), Hoilett (El Khayati), Polter
Subs Not Used: Ingram, Konchesky, Faurlin, Petrasso
A dominant QPR won for the first time in four games to land a blow to Birmingham City’s play-off hopes.
Tjaronn Chery scored the first, drilling the ball low in to the corner after good work from James Perch.
Junior Hoilett capped off an excellent first-half for Rangers when he converted a penalty after Sebastian Polter was fouled by Michael Morrison.
Massimo Luongo, Gabriele Angella, and Tjaronn Chery all forced good saves from Tomasz Kuszczak after the break.
Birmingham, who drop to eighth in the Championship table, failed to trouble the home side in the first-half, and only went close twice after the interval.
Jonathan Grounds had a shot headed over the bar by Karl Henry, while Clayton Donaldson saw an effort deflected over 12 minutes from time.
Cardiff’s win over Preston means Birmingham are five points off Sheffield Wednesday, who occupy the final play-off place.
The victory was just QPR’s third since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took over as manager and the first time they had scored more than once at Loftus Road since 15th December.
Rangers move up to 11th, eleven points adrift of the play-off places with 12 games to go.
QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: “Hopefully we can build from here.”
“Today we were very good from back to front. From the first five minutes we had control, scored a brilliant goal and then the move for the penalty was very good.”
“We were able to score two goals and that gave the boys a little bit more freedom. In other games we had opportunities in the first-half and didn’t score, and then the other teams have started in the second-half.”
“To score two and have other chances against a very good side like Birmingham is very good.”
“I would have liked to have had more control in the second-half but we had a good shape and could have scored to make it 3-0, so I am happy,”
Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett: “The first goal we conceded was a bit soft. Chery has had four or five touches and we didn’t get near him. I also felt the penalty was a bit soft. Polter sees Morrison coming and leans into him and he goes down.”
“I spoke a lot to the players before the game about the mentality and what we do so well away from home, which is to be hard to beat and very hard to play against.”
“I don’t want to take credit away from QPR because they were good value for their win, but that 40 minutes in the first-half was the poorest we’ve been in terms of energy and drive.”
“We were much better in the second-half and maybe if we’d have taken one of our opportunities it would have been different. But we didn’t show enough drive and desire to get anything out of the game. We looked a little bit lacklustre.”
The R’s took a deserved lead on 35 minutes when Chery fired in an angled shot from ten yards after being set-up by James Perch.
Rangers doubled their lead four minutes later from the penalty spot through Junior Hoilett after Polter was fouled in the box.
Birmingham could have pulled a goal back soon after the break but were denied by a goal-line clearance and a superb save from Alex Smithies.
Kenny Sansom was interviewed at half-time and he looked and spoke well following his well documented personal problems.
Unfortunately I didn’t see the presentation to Karl Denham, the Fireman who had saved Alan Barnes’ life prior to the Forest away game.
This was Rangers’ best team performance of the season but unfortunately was marred by incidents inside and outside the ground.