Wednesday brush aside sorry Rangers
Queens Park Rangers 0
Sheffield Wednesday 3
If Queens Park Rangers fans sitting at home this afternoon were wishing they had been at Loftus Road, let me tell them something, they’re better off wherever they were.
QPR sat 16th in the Championship table ahead of this fixture, one place above their opponents Sheffield Wednesday, and just safe enough not to have to concern themselves with any fears of the drop.
But although Wednesday, comfortable 3-0 winners here, are in an almost identical league position, the threat of a points deduction which hangs over them means they need every one they can muster to avoid the drop.
The charge against the Owls relates to “how and when” their Hillsborough stadium was sold to owner Dejpjon Chansiri - and the inclusion of the profits from the sale in their accounts.
Boss Garry Monk voiced his frustration at a delay in the verdict this week and, while the threat looms, Wednesday need to amount as many points as they can.
In contrast, and safe in the knowledge Championship football will be back at Loftus Road next year, QPR were woeful in the first half - and really not much better in the second.
It is no exaggeration to say they could have been four or five goals behind at the break.
The Owls, on the back of three straight defeats coming into this game, took the lead after just five minutes.
A free-kick by Josh Windass was well saved by Joe Lumley in the Rangers’ goal, the ball came back out to Massimo Luongo, Lumley again made a save, this time touching the ball against the post, but the loose ball only fell to Dominic Iorfa on the edge of the box, whose controlled side-footed effort beat the keeper.
Wednesday knocked it about with ease in the first period, but Rangers were dreadful.
One of the only half chances they had in the first half was when Ebere Eze’s cross from the right was headed away by Wednesday skipper Tom Lees.
The Owls could - and should - have doubled their lead on 32 minutes. Alessio Da Cruz, set free down the right, had what seemed like an age to pick out one of several players in the box, but dithered on the ball and found nobody.
Then just three minutes later Lees headed over from a corner.
But on the stroke of half-time Wednesday did get their second. First Da Cruz cut the ball back to Windass, but his goal-bound shot was blocked.
However he made amends immediately. From Da Cruz’s resulting corner the ball was flicked on to Windass, who nodded the ball home from right on the line.
Rangers briefly threatened to come to life in the second half. Eze looked busy and put in a couple of decent early crosses which fizzled out to nothing.
But normal service was soon resumed, and Windass should have put the Owls out of sight – first blazing over the bar when he had better options then, just moments later, being denied by Lumley in a one-on-one.
But with 13 minutes remaining substitute Jacob Murphy was afforded the time and space on the edge of the QPR box to measure a curling shot into Lumley’s top right-hand corner.
For Wednesday an anxious wait ensues. For the R’s, the season’s end cannot come soon enough.
QPR: Lumley, Cameron, Amos, Eze, Ball, Manning, Shodipo, Osayi-Samuel, Masterson, Kakay, Barbet
Subs: Kelly, Kane, Oteh, Chair, Rangel, Bettache, Gubbins, Clarke
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Harris, Bannan, Borner, Lees, Luongo, Odubajo, Iorfa, Hunt, Da Cruz, Windass
Subs: Dawson, Rhodes, Pelupessy, Murphy, Nuhiu, Reach, Brennan, Hughes, Shaw
Referee: Oliver Langford