Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium
Saturday 26 September 2020 18:50, UK
Bright Osayi-Samuel’s equaliser earned a point for QPR in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.
Chuba Akpom scored on his debut to put Boro ahead at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where Osayi-Samuel quickly hit back for the hosts and was a threat throughout.
Boro boss Neil Warnock has been self-isolating after recently testing positive for coronavirus and did not attend the match against the club he guided to promotion to the top flight in 2011.
But he will have been heartened by striker Akpom’s perfect start to his Boro career.
QPR manager Mark Warburton, on the other hand, will have been far from pleased by the shoddy defending which led to the opening goal after 19 minutes.
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Rangers’ shortcomings at the back, evident throughout last season and during their recent 3-2 defeat at Coventry, were shown up again when Lee Wallace allowed Akpom to drift away from him and score with a glancing near-post header from Paddy McNair’s left-wing corner.
The hosts levelled nine minutes later when Osman Kakay sent the ball in from the right and Luke Amos’ shot was parried by keeper Marcus Bettinelli towards Osayi-Samuel, who netted from close range.
Rangers then enjoyed a spell of pressure and appealed in vain for a penalty after Amos’ shot was blocked by the arm of George Saville – again after good work on the flank by right-back Kakay, who this week signed a new four-year contract.
Boro also had loud shouts for a penalty ignored just before the interval when former QPR defender Grant Hall went down under a challenge from Lyndon Dykes.
Chances were at a premium after the restart but Tom Carroll almost put Rangers ahead midway through the second half.
Carroll, on as a substitute, collected Dykes’ pass and turned away from McNair before firing against the post.
The ball cannoned off Bettinelli’s back and Osayi-Samuel was just unable to force it home from close range as Dael Fry cleared the danger.
At the other end, Saville and Britt Assombalonga were both unable to make contact with Marcus Tavernier’s cross from the right.
Akpom slotted into the net late on but an offside flag denied him a second goal.
Boro were workmanlike but are still waiting for their first league win of the season.
QPR, meanwhile, are hoping winger Osayi-Samuel will end doubts over his future at the club by finally signing an improved contract, having previously rejected offers of a new deal.
What the managers said…
QPR’s Mark Warburton: “Middlesbrough are a tough team with a lot of physicality and we had to stand up to them, but it feels like we dropped two points.
“We had the better chances and much more of the ball. Overall there was lots of good play and we played some very decent football.”
Middlesbrough’s assistant manager Kevin Blackwell: “We’ve been consistently doing well and were an inch away in the second half from winning that game. You can always nick a win but if you want to consistently win then you have to consistently put in the performances.
“The performances are always going to be the key to results and I think if we keep producing these kind of performances then we will get the results. If you don’t get the win when you’re away from home then you certainly don’t lose. Defensively we’ve looked a lot more organised and stronger.”
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