QPR earned only their second home win of the season as Idrissa Sylla’s late winner gave the Rs victory over Bristol City in a hard-fought encounter at Loftus Road.
The Guinea international, starting only his third game in a QPR shirt, got on the end of Massimo Luongo’s cross on 75 minutes to send the home fans into raptures.
Beforehand, Conor Washington saw his deflected strike cannon off the crossbar, and an angled volley sail just over Frank Fielding’s crossbar. At the other end, Bobby Reid spurned a golden opportunity for the visitors to take the lead, his close range effort thwarted by QPR netminder Alex Smithies.
The win moves QPR into ninth in the Championship table, only one point behind Bristol City who drop down one place into sixth.
It was a chilly Autumn night in west London, one that saw a crowd of only 12,255 descend on Loftus Road. However, the fans that braved the cold air were rewarded with a spirited performance from the home side.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side made their intentions very clear from the outset. The home side forced a number of corners, and Sylla and Steven Caulker saw headed efforts sail off target. The visitors, who came into tonight’s match reeling from their defeat to Cardiff last Friday, were not without their bite. The bullish Lee Tomlin’s venomous drive forced Smithies into a fine low stop midway through the half
Indeed, Bristol City boasted the best chance of the first half, as a loose ball fell into the path of the in-form Tammy Abraham, who failed to add to his tally of 8 Championship goals, firing narrowly wide from 12 yards.
It wasn’t until the second half that the hosts really took control. The tireless efforts of Sylla and Washington up front saw Bristol City penned in their own half, as QPR searched desperately for a go-ahead goal.
Northern Ireland international Washington came close on two occasions. First, his curling effort deflected off a Bristol City body and beat Frank Fielding, only for the crossbar to deny the 24-year old a second league goal of the season. Washington was not deterred, however, and came close once more with a volley from Tjaronn Chery’s lofted pass.
Such was the nature of QPR’s pressure, they left themselves susceptible to the counter attack. Breaking after a QPR corner, City’s Lee Tomlin fed Bobby Reid who saw his close range shot parried by Smithies after a fine jinking run. It was a gilt-edged chance for Lee Johnson’s side, and after that moment there looked to be only one winner.
Two minutes later, summer signing Sylla ghosted between two City defenders to slide home Massimo Luongo’s low delivery, sparking jubilation amongst the home fans. It was just reward for the striker, whose finish was reminiscent of Hasselbaink himself in his playing days.
QPR’s defence, marshalled by skipper Nedum Onouha, held firm to survive a late Bristol City onslaught, and claim a well deserved three points.