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QPR cling on to give Michael Beale his first win as R's boss with a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough

QPR clings to give Michael Beale his first win as the boss of R with a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough after taking a 3-0 lead before ‘Boro fought back to force a thrilling final at Loftus Road

  • QPR defeated Middlesbrough 3-2 at Loftus Road to give Michael Beale the first win
  • QPR rode to a three-goal lead after Chris Willock opened the scoring for the R’s
  • Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes extend the R’s lead in the first half
  • Boro’s Matt Crooks got Chris Wilder’s team back before halftime
  • A goal in the second half from Marcus Forss not enough for Chris Wilder’s side
  • Middlesbrough reduced to ten men late after Darragh sees Lenihan red

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A sparkling first half was enough to give Queens Park Rangers their first points of the season with a 3-2 win over promotion favorites Middlesbrough.

The Rs took a 3-0 lead in 38 minutes with strikes from Chris Willock, Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes. But goals from Matt Crooks and Marcus Forss on either side of halftime spelled a nervous end for Michael Beale’s side.

QPR was cheered on by English hero and lifelong fan Chloe Kelly, who was greeted enthusiastically by both supporter groups as she pulled out the match ball for kick-off. Kelly scored the winning goal in the European Championship final last weekend and her presence may have given her some much-needed inspiration.

Chris Willock opens the scoring in 3-2 win over Middlesbrough at Loftus Road

Chris Willock opens the scoring in 3-2 win over Middlesbrough at Loftus Road

Willock's goal put Rangers ahead for goals from Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes

Willock's goal put Rangers ahead for goals from Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes

Willock’s goal put Rangers ahead for goals from Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes

They had failed to get a shot on target in a disappointing opening day defeat to Blackburn last weekend. More importantly, though, they didn’t have Willock, who was one of their best players last season before a hamstring injury in March cut his campaign short. The forward got his first start in five months and returned with a bang.

Using his strength and might, Willock rode forward and shook off the challenges of Isaiah Jones and Anfernee Dijksteel before firing a rocket into the top left corner to give QPR the lead in the 13th minute.

That goal was spectacular, but the hosts’ second was a tad lucky. Loaned Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen came and missed the corner from Ilias Chair and the ball hit an unsuspecting Dunne on the side of the head and bounced inside.

Michael Beale scored his first win as Rangers boss since being appointed in the summer

Michael Beale scored his first win as Rangers boss since being appointed in the summer

Michael Beale scored his first win as Rangers boss since being appointed in the summer

MATCHING FACTS

QPR (4-2-3-1): Dieng, Kakay, Dunne, Dickie, Paal, Field, Johansen (Dozzell 82), Willock (Adaomah, 74), Amos, Chair (Hamalainen, 88), Dykes (Boone, 87)

Subs not used: Masterson, Shodipo, Walsh

Goal: Willock 13, Dunne 27, Dijken 38

Booked: Johansen, Kakay

Manager: Michael Beale

Middelburg (3-5-2): Steffen, Dijksteel (McNair 45), Lenihan, Bola, Jones, Crooks, Howson, McGree, Giles, Forss (Smith, 68), Watmore (Akpom, 45)

Subs not used: Fry, Boyd-Munce, Roberts, Finch

Target: Giles 41, Forss 56

Booked: Forss, Bola

Sent: Lenihan

Manager: Chris Wilder

Referee: Josh Smith

QPR flew and 11 minutes later they had a third as Dykes moved away from his marker and bent to head home Stefan Johansen’s free kick from six yards. But Boro answered with a set piece of his own three minutes later, when Matt Crooks reached the corner of Ryan Giles to send a bullet head past Seny Dieng.

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder threw Chuba Akpom into halftime and the striker sprang into action, forcing Dieng to make a smart save with a powerful header. Boro camped in the half of QPR and found the net in the 56th minute. Akpom passed the ball to Crooks and his cross from the right selected an unmarked Forss, who drove in from close range.

Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring Rangers' third goal in their 3-2 win over Middlesbrough

Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring Rangers' third goal in their 3-2 win over Middlesbrough

Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring Rangers’ third goal in their 3-2 win over Middlesbrough

Euro 2022 winner and QPR fan were on Loftus Road greeting the supporters at halftime

Euro 2022 winner and QPR fan were on Loftus Road greeting the supporters at halftime

Euro 2022 winner and QPR fan were on Loftus Road greeting the supporters at halftime

After a quick start to the second half, Boro struggled to create clear chances as QPR consolidated. Paddy McNair found the net with a finish on the back post, but long after the assistant referee flag was raised for offside.

QPR still looked dangerous at half-time and Albert Adomah nearly recovered their two-goal lead with a shot that fizzed just wide of the far post.

Six minutes added, but Boro’s chances of a comeback were thwarted when Darragh Lenihan was the last man to take down Macauley Bonne just past the halfway line. The defender was shown a direct red by referee Josh Smith and Boro failed to threaten the host’s goal before the final whistle.

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