Yakubu scored on his return from a three-match suspension to help Blackburn secure a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers.

The striker collected a long free-kick and fired in from 18 yards before Steven Nzonzi swept home on 23 minutes.

And Junior Hoilett's angled shot was deflected in by Nedum Onuoha to complete a fine half for the hosts.

Substitute Jamie Mackie tucked in Taye Taiwo's cross and found the net late on but QPR had too much to recover.

Onuoha could have made amends for his own goal with a great chance before Mackie's double, but could not find a way past way Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Despite their late rally, Mark Hughes's side were made to pay for a poor first-half display, where they looked like a team still getting used to playing with one another.

Steve Kean delighted with 'exceptional' Blackburn

And the defeat means QPR have won just once in five games since the Welshman took charge on 10 January.

Steve Kean's team were clinical in comparison with the win allowing them to move level on points with their opponents as they secured their fifth win of the season.

They will also be hugely thankful to have their leading marksman back in the side since his sending off against Fulham last month, and it was a perfect response to their 7-1 mauling by Arsenal last Saturday .

QPR only summoned up two efforts on target before the break via Armand Traore's shot and Adel Taarabt's chip.

Other than that, Bobby Zamora's overhead kick following a corner summed up a miserable half which began with a bang for Nigerian Yakubu.

As has been the case several times this season, it came via route one, with Robinson delivering the ball into the opposition penalty area and, when Nzonzi's flick landed at Yakubu's feet, he twisted past Anton Ferdinand before firing past Paddy Kenny for his 14th goal of the season.

YAKUBU BOOSTS ROVERS' FIREPOWER

  • Only the Premier League's top five teams have scored more goals than Blackburn's 37 this season

Soon after, the hosts doubled their lead when Nzonzi collected the ball in midfield, fed Hoilett and, after receiving his return pass, struck sweetly from just inside the penalty box.

Without the suspended Djibril Cisse, who saw red against Wolves last weekend, Hughes's team looked disjointed and were slow to support lone striker Zamora.

And their hopes of getting back into the contest before the interval were dealt a serious blow in first-half stoppage time.

Another long free-kick by Morten Gamst Pedersen was headed square by Scott Dann and, when Hoilett picked up the loose ball he somehow managed to squeeze it in from the angle as it clipped Onuoha and went in over Kenny's head.

The visitors started the second period more brightly, no doubt with a few half-time words ringing in their ears, but Yakubu almost made it 4-0 when he nonchalantly chipped on to the bar from the edge of the area.

First half unacceptable - Hughes

That seemed to give Rangers much-needed urgency and Onuoha could have made amends for his earlier own goal but Robinson saved his effort.

Mackie then came on for Akos Buzsaky and gave QPR some reward for their improvement when he tucked in Taiwo's cross.

By this stage Blackburn were content to sit on their lead, although that gave their opponents more room to operate.

And a remarkable comeback looked possible when Taarabt found Mackie, who found the top corner in stoppage time.

But Rovers hung on and, without the likes of the suspended Gael Givet and the injured Chris Samba, they will be delighted to have their top scorer back in the fold once again.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Blackburn

  • 01 Robinson
  • 03 Mn Olsson
  • 16 Dann
  • 18 Orr
  • 31 Hanley
  • 10 Formica (Modeste - 66' )
  • 12 Pedersen
  • 15 Nzonzi
  • 35 Lowe Booked
  • 23 Hoilett (Henley - 50' )
  • 24 Yakubu (Goodwillie - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Bunn
  • 39 Henley
  • 14 Petrovic
  • 29 Vukcevic
  • 09 Modeste
  • 20 Rochina
  • 25 Goodwillie

QPR

  • 01 Kenny
  • 05 Hall (Gabbidon - 90' )
  • 13 Traore
  • 34 Taiwo
  • 35 Ferdinand
  • 42 Onuoha
  • 07 Taarabt
  • 14 Buzsaky (Mackie - 66' Booked )
  • 17 Barton
  • 32 Wright-Phillips
  • 52 Zamora

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny
  • 03 Hill
  • 06 Gabbidon
  • 04 Derry
  • 10 Bothroyd
  • 12 Mackie
  • 21 Smith
Ref: Dean
Att: 20,252

Match Stats

Shots

7 25

On target

5 13

Corners

5 6

Fouls

11 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:22 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +3:37

Corner taken right-footed by Joey Barton from the right by-line, clearance made by Scott Dann.

90:00 +3:10 Substitution

Substitution (QPR) makes a substitution, with Daniel Gabbidon coming on for Fitz Hall.

90:00 +2:55

Jamie Mackie takes a shot. Blocked by Grant Hanley.

89:50 +1:54

Assist on the goal came from Adel Taarabt.

89:50 +1:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Jamie Mackie - Blackburn 3 - 2 QPR Jamie Mackie finds the net with a goal from just inside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Blackburn 3-2 QPR.

89:32 Substitution

Substitution David Goodwillie is brought on as a substitute for Ayegbeni Yakubu.

89:20

Shaun Wright-Phillips produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

89:00

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.

87:19

Unfair challenge on Joey Barton by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick. Patrick Kenny takes the free kick.

86:42

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Anthony Modeste by Fitz Hall. Scott Dann takes the free kick.

86:20

Corner taken by Joey Barton from the right by-line, clearance made by Scott Dann.

85:46

Corner taken right-footed by Joey Barton from the right by-line, clearance by Jason Lowe.

85:29

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.

82:47

Taye Taiwo delivers the ball.

81:37

Bobby Zamora takes a shot. Blocked by Bradley Orr.

80:29

Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

80:29 Booking

Booking Caution for Jamie Mackie.

80:22

Free kick awarded for a foul by Bobby Zamora on Scott Dann.

79:46

Jason Lowe concedes a free kick for a foul on Nedum Onuoha. Shaun Wright-Phillips restarts play with the free kick.

79:13

The official flags Jamie Mackie offside. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

78:37

The ball is swung over by Adel Taarabt, clearance by Scott Dann.

76:47

Shot from just outside the area by Shaun Wright-Phillips misses to the right of the target.

75:58

Bobby Zamora has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.

74:59

Bobby Zamora crosses the ball, Bradley Orr manages to make a clearance.

73:35

Morten Gamst Pedersen concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Wright-Phillips. Joey Barton takes the free kick.

72:40

Morten Gamst Pedersen fouled by Jamie Mackie, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

72:12

Effort on goal by Adel Taarabt from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

71:04

Nedum Onuoha takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.

70:51

Assist on the goal came from Taye Taiwo.

70:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Jamie Mackie - Blackburn 3 - 1 QPR Jamie Mackie fires in a goal from close in high into the middle of the goal. Blackburn 3-1 QPR.

70:51

The ball is swung over by Taye Taiwo,

70:30

Joey Barton takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.

69:17

Taye Taiwo produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.

67:51

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, free kick awarded for a foul by Scott Dann on Fitz Hall. Patrick Kenny takes the indirect free kick.

67:42

Ayegbeni Yakubu sends in a cross, Fitz Hall makes a clearance.

65:50 Substitution

Substitution Mauro Formica goes off and Anthony Modeste comes on.

65:33 Substitution

Substitution Akos Buzsaky goes off and Jamie Mackie comes on.

64:56

Nedum Onuoha takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.

62:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shaun Wright-Phillips by Jason Lowe. Free kick taken by Joey Barton.

61:18

Joey Barton crosses the ball in from the free kick.

61:18 Booking

Booking Booking for Jason Lowe for unsporting behaviour.

61:05

Unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Jason Lowe results in a free kick.

57:53

Grant Hanley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt. Nedum Onuoha takes the indirect free kick.

56:52

Centre by Martin Olsson.

54:18

Unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora by Grant Hanley results in a free kick. Taye Taiwo produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Armand Traore.

53:50

Morten Gamst Pedersen challenges Shaun Wright-Phillips unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Nedum Onuoha.

53:09

Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line, save by Patrick Kenny.

52:39

Shot by Ayegbeni Yakubu.

52:04

Shaun Wright-Phillips crosses the ball, clearance by Grant Hanley.

50:34

Foul by Bobby Zamora on Grant Hanley, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

49:10 Substitution

Substitution Adam Henley on for David Hoilett.

48:15

Headed effort from inside the area by Bobby Zamora misses to the right of the goal.

46:47

Corner taken right-footed by Joey Barton, Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.

46:37

Shaun Wright-Phillips produces a cross, clearance by Scott Dann.

45:47

The official flags Shaun Wright-Phillips offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +6:04 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +4:06

David Hoilett takes a shot. Blocked by Nedum Onuoha.

45:00 +4:04

The assist for the goal came from David Hoilett.

45:00 +4:04 Goal scored

Goal! - Nedum Onuoha - Blackburn 3 - 0 QPR Nedum Onuoha puts the ball into his own net. Blackburn 3-0 QPR.

45:00 +3:14

Free kick awarded for a foul by Joey Barton on Martin Olsson. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

45:00 +1:38

Armand Traore takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.

45:00 +0:11

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

43:14

Akos Buzsaky has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.

43:00

Nedum Onuoha sends in a cross, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.

42:04

Shaun Wright-Phillips crosses the ball, Scott Dann makes a clearance.

38:47

Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line.

37:12

Anton Ferdinand gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu. Strike on goal comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick, Anton Ferdinand gets a block in.

36:28

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.

35:30

Akos Buzsaky concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Nzonzi. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

35:00

The ball is delivered by Nedum Onuoha, clearance by Scott Dann.

31:54

Foul by Akos Buzsaky on Steven Nzonzi, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

30:34

Shot from close in by Bobby Zamora misses to the left of the target.

30:01

Corner taken by Joey Barton from the left by-line.

29:09

Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Akos Buzsaky, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joey Barton.

27:53

David Hoilett fouled by Nedum Onuoha, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.

26:32

The ball is sent over by Nedum Onuoha, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.

26:19

The ball is sent over by Nedum Onuoha, Grant Hanley makes a clearance.

25:42

The ball is swung over by Armand Traore, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.

24:47

David Hoilett takes a shot. Fitz Hall gets a block in.

23:14

Taye Taiwo takes a shot.

22:04

Assist on the goal came from David Hoilett.

22:04 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Nzonzi - Blackburn 2 - 0 QPR Steven Nzonzi gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 2-0 QPR.

21:45

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Grant Hanley gets a block in.

20:55

Mauro Formica gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joey Barton. Free kick taken by Akos Buzsaky.

18:42

Joey Barton delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Nedum Onuoha misses to the left of the goal.

17:25

The ball is swung over by Armand Traore, Martin Olsson makes a clearance. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Joey Barton, clearance made by Jason Lowe.

15:01

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.

14:02

The assist for the goal came from Steven Nzonzi.

14:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Ayegbeni Yakubu - Blackburn 1 - 0 QPR Ayegbeni Yakubu fires in a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Blackburn 1-0 QPR.

13:20

Bobby Zamora concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Olsson. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.

9:28

Corner from the right by-line taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save made by Patrick Kenny.

8:46

Bobby Zamora is ruled offside. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.

8:26

Shaun Wright-Phillips takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.

6:28

A cross is delivered by Martin Olsson, save made by Patrick Kenny.

4:35

David Hoilett takes a shot. Anton Ferdinand gets a block in.

1:38

The ball is sent over by Bobby Zamora, clearance made by Scott Dann.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

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