QUEENS Park Rangers were on hand to clinch a comfortable 3-0 victory over Coventry City at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Early first-half strikes from Chris Willock and an own goal from Michael Rose set Rangers on their way and Ilias Chair’s effort mid-way through the second half wrapped an enjoyable Good Friday afternoon in W12.
Heading into this one Mark Warburton made three changes from the R’s side that took to the field just over 12 days ago, with Joe Lumley, Geoff Cameron and Chris Willock coming into the starting XI. As Seny Dieng and Lyndon Dykes were named on the bench – with Jordy de Wijs omitted from the squad as he continues to nurse the injury which saw him withdrawn early on in the draw with Reading.
This meant Rangers lined up with Lumley in goal behind a back three of Rob Dickie, Cameron and Yoann Barbet, whilst Osman Kakay and Lee Wallace continued to operate a wingbacks.
Sam Field and Stefan Johansen were the defensive midfielder pairing, with Ilias Chair and Willock just behind front man Charlie Austin.
Rangers started with an incredible high tempo and with only two minutes on the clock Warburton’s side were ahead.
A well worked move initially saw Chair driving at the visiting defence, before laying the ball back to Wallace and with a perfectly weighted cross the former Scottish international was able to pick out Willock, who headed home, courtesy of the woodwork – giving the hosts the perfect start.
After going ahead, the R’s continued to threaten and almost quickly doubled their lead.
Goal scorer Willock turned provider, with some neat passing from the 23-year-old, eventually finding Austin, but as the ball got stuck under his feet the danger was quickly cleared.
However, full-back Kakay was able to quickly recover it and then deliver a great cross for the alert Austin, but a fine save from Coventry keeper Marko Marosi denied the in-form front man from close range.
The R’s continued to dominate proceedings and with 22 minutes on the clock, it was two for Warburton’s side.
Johansen’s through ball was flicked on by Austin, finding Chair at the near post, but from a tight angle the Moroccan was denied by Marois.
However, from the resulting corner kick Coventry’s Michael Rose was unfortunate and the ball eventually looped in at the far post, finally doubling Rangers’ advantage.
After a pretty dominate first half an hour from the Super Hoops, visitors Coventry finally started to grow in confidence and for the first time asked some questions of the R’s backline.
A nice turn and run from Sam McCallum presented the Sky Blues with their best chance of the half, but Dickie was on hand to clear the danger.
With the half-time whistle starting to loom, 23-year-old Chair had a perfect opportunity to cap off the perfect first period. After pouncing on some hesitant Coventry defending, the R’s No.10 found himself in on goal, but could only fire straight at keeper and the moment had quickly gone.
This meant that at the break Rangers led 2-0!
The R’s started the second half much like they finished the first and were unfortunate not to be further ahead pretty early on.
A delightfully disguised ball from Johansen, fed Chair in, but a fine save from Marosi denied the young man once again.
As we neared the hour mark a triple change from Mark Robins hoped to ignite the game for the visitors and this almost instantly paid dividends.
Substitute Viktor Gyokeres linked up well with Tyler Walker, but Frenchman Barbet was on hand to deny the former Nottingham Forest youngster.
After a lengthy stoppage, Rangers were then quick to make their own changes. The arrival of Lyndon Dykes and George Thomas ultimately bringing some fresh legs to proceedings.
In the 68th minute attacker Chair finally was able to get the better of City stopper Marosi.
A direct run and eventual shot from the edge of the box could only be pushed into the bottom corner by the Sky Blues keeper and the Moroccan’s eight strike of the season meant it was three for the R’s.
The strike seemingly knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and the R’s looked likely to increase their advantage.
Another fine ball from the influential Johansen saw the Fulham loanee picking out Thomas, but the substitute was denied of his first QPR goal by a close range save from Slovakian Marosi.
The remaining moments of the game saw Coventry pushing for what would have been a consolation goal, but it was the R’s who continued to threaten.
In the dying moments a fizzing effort from Albert Adomah skimmed the bar and that was that, with the full-time whistle blowing seconds later.
Rangers were well deserving of their 12th clean sheet of the season and wrapped up all three points.
Warburton’s side now have a quick turnaround as they prepare to face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Monday.