Sat 24 Sep 16
at 18:06 PM
Report: QPR 1 Blues 1
Steven Caulker’s header cancelled out Lukas Jutkiewicz’s goal against the run of play in the first-half and the hosts were much better in the second.
And Blues, who had chances, dug deep late on and showed the resilience that leaves Gary Rowett’s side with only one league defeat all season.
Gary Rowett was forced to make one change to the line-up that beat Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.
Injury time goalscorer Lukas Jutkiewicz replaced Clayton Donaldson, who was unable to shake off a sore achilles.
On the bench there was recall for Jack Storer after his three-match suspension ended, whilst Rhoys Wiggins appeared in his first Blues matchday 18 by replacing Diego Fabbrini who was also injured.
Blues started on the front foot and Jutkiewicz’s deflected effort at the far post that Smithies saved was a sign of the away side’s first-half dominance.
Jordan Cousins had a good opportunity inside ten minutes when he latched onto Idrissa Sylla’s flick, but with Adam Legzdins closing down he curled his effort wide of the near post.
But Blues grew more into the game and got a richly deserved lead.
After a good spell of pressure where Jutkiewicz nearly finished Che Adams’ reverse pass, the striker headed in seconds later.
QPR were unable to clear their lines and Jacques Maghoma curled an excellent cross to the far post. Michael Morrison rose above his marker, nodded across the six-yard box and the Burnley loanee finished comfortably.
Gary Rowett’s side pressed for a second and had a good chance with a free-kick from just outside the area, but Jutkiewicz’s low stinging free-kick was well blocked by the wall.
But against the run of play, QPR scored.
Pawel Wszolel won the R’s a corner and Caulker got a free header from eight-yards and finished past Legzdins.
Blues dusted themselves down and could have taken a half-time lead.
Maghoma’s corner was delivered with plenty of pace and the ball struck Morrison and went over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
The second-half was a much tighter affair and Blues’ best chance came five minutes in.
Jutkiewicz turned his marker and fizzed a volley across the goal, but there was no-one to tap in at the far post.
QPR raised their performance and started to push for the winner after the hour mark.
Legzdins made a great save to deny Tjarron Chery in the six-yard box, whilst the ‘keeper was alert to get low and stop Massimo Luongo’s low shot.
Paul Robinson was introduced to curb the hosts’ pressure and the move worked with QPR fashioning very little with plenty of possession.
Blues tried to push forward in the dying seconds, but after neat work from Pawel Wszolek down the left, Sylla headed well over to end proceedings.