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QPR vs Crystal Palace at Loftus Road

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  • 0 QPR

  • 3 Crystal Palace

    • Ebere Eze
    • Wilfried Zaha (2)

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RANGERS’ final fixture of the 2022/23 pre-season campaign ended with a 3-0 defeat to Premier League Crystal Palace in W12.

On his return to Loftus Road, Ebere Eze’s fine effort gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead.

Palace’s win was safe when Wilfried Zaha netted twice in the second half – first striking home in equally-impressive fashion on 51 minutes before sliding home a penalty in the 79th minute.

Lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, the R’s began with Seny Dieng in goal, behind a back four of Ossie Kakay, Rob Dickie, Jake Clarke-Salter and Kenneth Paal.

Skipper Stefan Johansen was joined by Sam Field and Andre Dozzell in the middle of midfield, with Albert Adomah and Ilias Chair deployed just off Lyndon Dykes up front.

There was little to note inside the opening quarter-hour, with both sides feeling each other out.

Palace were first to threaten. Wilfried Zaha’s fierce cross-shot from the left-hand side of the box was diverted around the post by Dieng on 18 minutes.

However, 10 minutes later, the visitors would take the lead through a familiar face.

Eze added another goal at the Loft End to his personal collection, shooting home via the foot of the left-hand post from 20 yards to edge Palace in front.

The first half was one of very few clear-cut chances, but the R’s did go close on a couple of occasions before the break – albeit without finding a reply.

First, Kakay fizzed a shot past the left-hand post on the half-hour mark, then Field got in behind the Palace defence before shooting straight at Joseph Whitworth in the visiting goal.

Into the second half, and Zaha went mightily close just three minutes after half-time when his 20-yard effort flew marginally wide of the target following a vital intervention from Kakay.

But, three minutes later, the Palace winger was involved once more to give the visitors a two-nil lead.

Zaha played a neat one-two with Christian Benteke on the edge of the area before powering his shot beyond Dieng from the edge of the box – that with the aid of a slight deflection off Dickie.

With Rangers now two goals down, Beale decided to make a first change on the hour mark – bringing on Macauley Bonne in place of Dykes.

Mide Shodipo, Jimmy Dunne, George Thomas and Sinclair Armstrong – replacing Chair, Clarke-Salter, Johansen and Dykes respectively – were also thrown on in the closing stages, but there would be no late comeback.

The visitors also added gloss to their scoreline 11 minutes from time. After Dickie was adjudged to have felled Benteke in the box, Zaha stepped up to roll in a Palace third.

The R’s will now ready themselves for next weekend’s league opener at Blackburn Rovers.

QPR: Dieng, Kakay, Dickie, Clarke-Salter (Dunne 71), Paal, Field, Johansen, Dozzell, Adomah (Bonne 60), Chair (Shodipo 71), Dykes (Armstrong 84).

Subs not used: Walsh, Hamalainen, Thomas, Drewe.