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Middlesbrough 0-1 Queens Park Rangers: Jordan Hugill goal dents Boro's survival hopes

Jordan Hugill scores for QPR
Jordan Hugill was injured in scoring his 13th Championship goal of the season, and QPR's winner at Middlesbrough

Jordan Hugill hurt both himself and Middlesbrough's hopes of Championship survival with a brilliantly lobbed winner for Queens Park Rangers at the Riverside.

Hugill's final touch of the game proved to be both sublime and decisive just after the half-hour mark, lifting the ball over Boro goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic with a half-volley from 25 yards.

Neil Warnock's Boro pressed in the second half but failed to find an equaliser to lift them out of the bottom three.

Lukas Nmecha wastefully prodded the best chance to rescue a point over the bar late on, as QPR hung on to pick up their first points since the Championship's restart.

Victory for Stoke against fellow strugglers Barnsley on Saturday saw Boro slip into the bottom three before Rangers' visit and what was Warnock's first home game in charge of the Teessiders.

And there they remain, one point adrift of Hull in 21st place, with five games remaining.

Hugill fires Hoops to brink of safety

Jordan Hugill has a shot saved
Jordan Hugill was denied by a fine save from Dejan Stojanovic before scoring the only goal of the game

QPR had resumed the campaign in June just six points adrift of the play-off places, but following three successive defeats they travelled to the north-east just six points above the drop zone.

Ambitions of challenging for promotion had been dented in recent weeks, and any further points dropped would have seen Mark Warburton's side dragged into an already tight relegation fight.

A wayward cross from Todd Kane that forced Boro goalkeeper Stojanovic to backpedal and tip the ball over the bar was Rangers' first effort on goal at the Riverside.

At the other end Joe Lumley was called into action twice in 40 seconds by Boro's two strikers midway through the first half - first by Britt Assombalonga from distance before an angled Ashley Fletcher effort at the near post demanded a smart save from the 25-year-old keeper.

A moment of indecisiveness from Hugill just after the half-hour mark saw a huge chance go to waste for the visitors - the on-loan West Ham forward taking a touch too many as he raced through on goal, allowing George Friend to apply pressure on a shot that Stojanovic did well to smother.

There was no such hesitation from Hugill a minute later, as he lifted his 15th goal of the season over the Boro goalkeeper with a sensational first-time finish, meeting a fine diagonal ball from Ryan Manning.

Rather than mark the goal with celebrations, the Middlesbrough-born striker immediately went to ground clutching his hamstring. He limped off the pitch before it restarted, with Ilias Chair coming on as his replacement.

QPR, a side that had managed to score just one goal in the three defeats leading up to the trip to the Riverside, pressed for a second before the break, but Stojanovic easily dealt with a shot from Chair and was equal to a dangerous free-kick from Manning.

Boro laboured to seriously threaten the Londoners after the interval, with Nmecha's late chance from a low Jonny Howson cross as close as they came to salvaging a point.

Post-match reaction

Victorious QPR boss Warburton said his side had collected three "well-deserved" and "important" points.

"We all know what the Championship is like," he said. "I've always said, you win three or four in a row and you can be knocking on the door (for promotion), but then you lose three or four in a row and suddenly you're getting shouts about relegation."

As for the match-winner Hugill, Warburton said the victory would understandably bring mixed emotions.

"I'm sure it's difficult for him. It's his hometown club and he's a big Boro fan," Warburton said.

"It's difficult when he scores the goal, but without being rude to Middlesbrough, he plays for QPR now. We pay his wages and it's important he performs for QPR.

"He's done that all season, and he's done it again today. I'm sure it was mixed emotions for him after the whistle, but when you're an athlete, you get on with the game."

Warnock, who replaced Jonathan Woodgate as Boro boss last month, said he could not "fault" his players in a defeat that leaves his new side still winless at home in 2020.

"I think we had twice as many shots as they had, but we just need something to drop for us," Warnock said.

"I don't think we've had anything drop for us in the last few games. I think that's what we need at the moment.

"I look at the lads and I can't fault the effort they've put in. They haven't got to get too down. It's hard, but as I've said to them they're very fortunate to be footballers at a club like this and they have to fight tooth and nail.

"I did think they did that in the second half, I just thought they made wrong decisions here and there, and a couple of things could have gone for us in the box which didn't."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 30Stojanovic
  • 16Howson
  • 6Fry
  • 3Friend
  • 21JohnsonBooked at 38minsSubstituted forCoulsonat 80'minutes
  • 18Moukoudi
  • 19RobertsSubstituted forTavernierat 80'minutes
  • 15MorrisonSubstituted forMcNairat 66'minutes
  • 22SavilleBooked at 51minsSubstituted forWingat 65'minutes
  • 11FletcherSubstituted forNmechaat 66'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 2Dijksteel
  • 5Shotton
  • 7Tavernier
  • 8Clayton
  • 17McNair
  • 20Nmecha
  • 26Wing
  • 33Coulson
  • 42Pears

QPR

  • 1Lumley
  • 24Kakay
  • 5Cameron
  • 29Barbet
  • 2Kane
  • 8Amos
  • 12Ball
  • 14Manning
  • 20Osayi-Samuel
  • 10EzeSubstituted forOtehat 70'minutes
  • 9HugillSubstituted forChairat 35'minutes

Substitutes

  • 17Shodipo
  • 18Oteh
  • 19Chair
  • 22Rangel
  • 23Masterson
  • 26Bettache
  • 32Kelly
  • 40Gubbins
  • 47Clarke
Referee:
Scott Duncan

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamQPR
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Queens Park Rangers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Queens Park Rangers 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Dominic Ball (Queens Park Rangers).

  4. Post update

    Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Bright Samuel (Queens Park Rangers).

  6. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Bright Samuel (Queens Park Rangers).

  9. Post update

    George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Queens Park Rangers. Conceded by Patrick McNair.

  11. Booking

    Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers).

  14. Post update

    Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Luke Amos (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Dominic Ball.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Yoann Barbet.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lukas Nmecha (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jonny Howson with a cross.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Hayden Coulson replaces Marvin Johnson.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds41239963342978
2West Brom412114671403177
3Brentford412191173334072
4Fulham4120101155441170
5Nottm Forest411814954411368
6Cardiff41161695851764
7Derby411613125653361
8Swansea411515115248460
9Millwall411417104844459
10Preston411610155250258
11Blackburn411511155653356
12Bristol City411510165360-755
13QPR41158186066-653
14Reading411410175348552
15Sheff Wed411410175056-652
16Wigan411311174553-850
17Birmingham411213165164-1349
18Stoke41137215461-746
19Charlton411210194655-946
20Huddersfield411210194963-1446
21Hull41129205672-1645
22Middlesbrough411014174053-1344
23Barnsley411011204566-2141
24Luton41117234678-3240
View full Championship table

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