Match Report | QPR 3-0 Cardiff City
A ten-man Cardiff City side were defeated by the R’s on Wednesday evening.
Jack Simpson’s early dismissal proved pivotal to proceedings at Loftus Road, as City fought the R’s at a numerical disadvantage for a majority of the encounter.
Ahead of kick-off, Mark Hudson made three changes to the side which started against Coventry City last time out, with Simpson, Romaine Sawyers and Sheyi Ojo entering the starting lineup.
Though City had the first chance of the encounter when Niels Nkounkou shot over the bar from the edge of the area, the hosts looked the more threatening of the two sides throughout the opening 15 minutes of play.
Ilias Chair spearheaded the attack for the R’s throughout these early periods, testing Ryan Allsop on several occasions, as well as hitting the side netting early on.
Following their early pressure, the hosts eventually took the lead with just over 20 minutes played. Jack Simpson’s challenge inside the City area saw the defender controversially sent off, with Lyndon Dykes able to convert from the subsequent penalty-kick.
Responding to the dismissal, interim boss Hudson made a quick change to the side, introducing Curtis Nelson to the backline whilst replacing Romaine Sawyers.
With the hosts now using their numerical advantage to create yet more pressure in possession, Dykes nearly doubled the lead five minutes after his opener, though he struck the crossbar. Finding the rebounded effort at his feet, Nkounkou made a terrific solo run up the field, mazing his way to the final third before drawing a foul 30 yards out, for which Stefan Johansen earned a yellow card.
Dykes was on hand once again just after the half-hour mark to tap home his second of the evening.
With the half drawing to a close, Cédric Kipré made a terrific interception not long afterwards, as the centre-half denied Sinclair Armstrong’s opportunity to strike from a low cross at the far post.
Having seen out the remainder of the first half, City were forced to make another change at the interval as Tom Sang replaced Perry Ng.
Adapting to their new shape, the Bluebirds continued to look to create chances for themselves as the second half progressed. Callum Robinson worked tirelessly to create chances for City, making space and bringing his teammates into play whenever presented with an opportunity.
Allsop was well worked by the hosts throughout the second half, and denied a series of chances with good stops as the fixture entered its final third, with QPR enjoying the majority of possession.
Looking for his third, Dykes’ header from a dangerous cross was well stopped by the City ‘keeper, who got low to parry the effort away from danger at point blank range.
Though the Bluebirds had held fast following the interval despite the obvious disadvantage, the hosts found a third in the 74th minute of play, as Kenneth Paal's header from a wide angle found its way into the back of the City net.
Having fought valiantly throughout against an in-form R's side, the Bluebirds were forced to settle for defeat on the road.
FINAL SCORE: QPR 3-0 CARDIFF CITY
QPR: Dieng, Laird (Kakay 76'), Balogun, Clarke-Salter, Paal, Johansen, Field, Iroegbunam (Amos 71'), Chair (Richards 76'), Armstrong (Dozzell 58'), Dykes (Bonne 76'). Subs: Dickie, Archer.
Cardiff City: Allsop, Nkounkou, Simpson, Kipre, Ng (Sang 46'), O’Dowda (Philogene 76'), Rinomhota, Wintle (Ralls 76'), Sawyers (Sawyers 21'), Ojo, Robinson (Harris 61'). Subs: Etete, Alnwick.