QUEENS Park Rangers recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since December 1995 with a 3-1 victory against Sunderland this afternoon.
Loic Remy’s 30th minute strike cancelled out Steven Fletcher’s opener for Sunderland; before two wonder strikers from Andros Towsend and Jermain Jenas sealed a vital three points at Loftus Road.
Rangers made four changes to the side that beat Southampton seven days earlier. Robert Green replaced the injured Julio Cesar in goal whilst Fabio, Townsend and Zamora were favoured over Traore, Granero and Bothroyd.
QPR started brightly and when Junior Hoilett went close inside the opening four minutes of play it signalled the R’s intent. Zamora dummied the ball to Remy, who picked out winger Hoilett, but the Canadian’s shot went inches wide of the far post with Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet scrambling across his line.
Andros Townsend was the next QPR player to try his luck, firing over from distance, before the lively Hoilett cut in from the left flank – giving Craig Gardner a torrid time for the Black Cats - but his shot from 20-yards was wayward.
Towsend’s set piece into the Sunderland box caused the visitors problems, with Mbia and Remy both trying to turn the ball towards goal inside the six-yard box. However, it was on the counter attack from that move that QPR came unstuck as the Black Cats cleared up field.
Stephane Sessegnon broke down the right channel - off Fletcher’s back heel - and delivered a cross into the QPR box. It evaded everyone but landed at the feet of Adam Johnson on the left wing who put a ball with pace low into the danger zone for Steven Fletcher to turn past Green to hand Sunderland the lead.
However, it failed to dampen the home sides’ spirit as Loic Remy soon pulled Rangers level again in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Jose Boswingwa did brilliantly to bring the ball out from the back with a deft touch. He found Townsend who raced forward before cutting inside to shoot. That effort, from the edge of the box, took a deflection off the heels of Sunderland centre-back John O’Shea before finding its way to Remy who was clinical in beating Mignolet to make it 1-1 on the half an hour mark.
The second half was slow to come to life but Rangers eventually did fashion a series of chances 65 minutes in. Firstly Andros Townsend deserved better when his strong run inside from the right saw his effort batted away before Hoilett forced Mignolet to come and collect under pressure from the over side.
That pressure eventually paid dividends as QPR went ahead in spectacular fashion in the 70th minute through Townsend. Bosingwa’s lofted free-kick was punched clear by Mignolet only as far as Hoilett, who again put the ball back into the 18-yard box. That was cleared also but with Towsend hovering on the edge of the box he controlled it on his chest before firing an unstoppable volley into the top left hand corner to make it 2-1.
Not content with one wonder goal Jermain Jenas soon added his own superb strike to make it 3-1 in stoppage time. Substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed from the right, Townsend challenged in the box with his header coming back to Jenas 18-yards from goal. The ex-Tottenham midfielder, on for Remy, fired a sweet effort past Mignolet to hand the R’s a 3-1 win.