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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Loftus Road

No Beale, no Chair, no points for QPR as impressive Burnley expose gulf in class


QPR (0) 0

Burnley (2) 3 Gudmundsson 19, Maatsen 45, Tella 71

OK, so where were we? Oh yes, minus a manager. Nobody to keep Vincent Kompany on the sidelines, as it were.

And still minus Ilias Chair, as his Moroccan team advances to the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar.


The mercurial winger has not featured for the Atlas Lions but is no doubt enjoying the ride. He probably wouldn’t have enjoyed being involved in his club’s latest match as they were brushed aside with ease at Loftus Road.


It is doubtful he would have made much of a difference here, as QPR were well beaten by Championship leaders Burnley.


It is perhaps a bit unfair to say the Hoops were without a presence in the dugout following the defection of Mick Beale to Glasgow Rangers, as Paul Hall manfully filled in. But he could not have picked a much harder game to oversee.


The interim boss preached resilience in his programme notes as the R’s aim to rebuild after losing not only the head coach, but also four out of five ahead of today. But the quality was mostly with the Clarets, who already look Premier League-bound.


Rustiness was on show early on after the World Cup break, with visiting keeper Arijanet Muric lucky to escape conceding a penalty in the opening seconds after tripping George Thomas and Burnley’s Nathan Tella missing an easy lob over a stranded Seny Dieng.


However, the visitors were soon dominating – their flowing football very pleasing on the eye, though perhaps not so much for Rangers fans.


They bossed midfield and probed away down the left flank and a goal did not look as though it would be long coming.


When Andre Dozzell tripped Jack Cork just outside the area, Johann Gudmundsson swept in a beautiful left-foot free-kick over the wall and a static Dieng.


It was a while before Rangers responded in any meaningful way but they might have drawn level when Ethan Laird’s dash down the right flank ended with a controlled low cross along the 18-yard line for Chris Willock – whose effort was skied.


It was but a brief interlude of hope, however. Shortly before the break, Ian Maatsen volleyed home after Dieng’s parry of a shot from outside the box by Vitinho fell invitingly for him.


Hall made two changes after the break, with Albert Adomah offering a bit more experience on the right. Olamide Shadipo provided extra width on the left.


Sam Field had a powerful drive blocked by Muric as the Hoops showed some of that resilience and spirit the stand-in boss was talking about.


Yet the game was all over as a contest on 71 minutes after Jimmy Dunne’s attempt to chest a ball back to Dieng was pounced on by Tella, who read what was happening to pinch the ball and whip in a shot from a tight angle after getting round the Rangers stopper.


“You should have gone Christmas shopping,” crowed the Burnley fans. They probably had a point.


Hoops: (4-3-3) Dieng – Laird, Dunne, Clarke-Salter, Paal – Dozzell (Armstrong 76), Field, Iroegbunam – Thomas (Shodipo h/t), Dykes, Willock (Adomah h/t). Subs not used: Archer, Kakay, Dickie, Richards


Clarets: (4-2-3-1) Muric – Vitinho, Harwood-Bellis, Beyer, Maatsen (Taylor 88) – Cork (Churlinov 88), Cullen – Gudmundsson (Manuel 74), Brownhill, Tella (Twine 88) – Rodriguez (Barnes 81). Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Bastien


Attendance: 14,299

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