JORDAN Hugill’s second-half double saw QPR come from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday at Hillborough on Saturday afternoon.
The striker rippled the net on 60 and 64 minutes, with his quick-fire double cancelling out Steven Flecther’s first-half penalty for the hosts.
The victory made it back-to-back league successes and, more than that, the wins against Wigan Athletic and now Wednesday have both seen QPR come from behind to earn the points.
In terms of team news, manager Mark Warburton made two changes to the XI that started Rangers’ most recent league outing against Wigan Athletic last weekend.
Hugill and Toni Leistner both came into the side – replacing Marc Pugh and Josh Scowen – and there was also a switch in system, as they lined up in a 3-5-2 formation.
The 3-5-2 set-up worked so well in the second period against Wigan and Warburton therefore elected to stick with it for the clash at Hillsborough.
The R’s lined up as: Lumley, Hall (c), Leistner, Barbet, Rangel, Manning, Ball, Chair, Eze, Wells, Hugill. Subs: Kelly, Kane, Scowen, Owens, Pugh, Osayi-Samuel, Mlakar.
The first effort of the game was Wednesday’s on two minutes. Full-back Morgan Fox whipped in an inviting cross from the left flank but Fletcher couldn’t get enough on his header in the middle, allowing Joe Lumley to make a comfortable save.
With 13 minutes on the clock, Ilias Chair thumped an effort goalwards that deflected behind for a corner, in what was Rangers’ maiden sight of goal.
Ten minutes later, the deadlock was broken and it was the hosts who grabbed the goal in controversial circumstances.
Fernando Forestieri went down inside the box under minimal contact from Grant Hall and referee John Brooks pointed to the penalty spot. Fletcher took the kick and tucked it effortlessly into the corner.
It was a far from ideal start for the R’s and, after the goal, the clash became a stop-start affair, with Rangers being on the receiving end of a number of robust Wednesday challenges.
Rangers’ next chance came via the boot of Ryan Manning on 36 minutes. Following a foul on Nahki Wells by Fox, Manning aimed a free-kick goalwards that crashed into the side netting.
Wells saw a shot from an angled drive tipped behind for a corner by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood just before half-time and Rangers headed in a goal behind at the half-way stage.
Chair and Wells combined to create the first opportunity of the second period. The former threaded possession through to Wells but from a tight angle he was unable to beat Westwood, who made a smart save.
Wells’ next involvement would be a vital one as he set up the equaliser on the hour mark. His delightful through ball cut the Owls’ defence in half and Hugill latched upon it before rounding goalkeeper Westwood and slotting home.
It was a fantastic leveller and the R’s weren’t finished there. Less than four minutes later, they grabbed their second.
Manning galloped down the left flank and sent in a low cross that Hugill – who had got himself back onside – turned home from six yards out. Again, it was a superb team goal and one that put the R’s into the lead.
Rangers went in search of a third goal on 81 minutes when substitute Jan Mlakar sent the ball over the top for Ebere Eze to chase. He got hold of it inside the box but a slip at the vital moment denied him a shooting opportunity.
At the other end, imposing Wednesday replacement Atdhe Nuhiu steered a deep cross wide of the target and Warburton’s men then had to negotiate six minutes of stoppage time – which they did – to secure the points.