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Five memorable opening day fixtures

AHEAD of Wednesday’s fixtures release day for the upcoming 2017/18 season, we look back at some opening day classics since the turn of the millennium.

QPR 3-0 Leeds United - August 7th 2016

Rangers opened their Championship campaign with a comfortable win against Leeds United in what was a scorching sunny afternoon in W12. The R’s took the lead early through captain Nedum Onuoha, before Dutch attacker Tjaronn Chery converted from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 after the break. In injury time, Sebastien Polter added a classy third to seal a comfortable home win in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

QPR 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday - August 3rd 2013

QPR scored twice in three minutes, coming from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday in our first game back in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League. Atdhe Nuhiu struck a low shot to put the visitors ahead on his debut, but Nedum Onuoha scored his first goal for the R’s when he turned the ball home from inside the area before Andrew Johnson volleyed in soon after to give Harry Redknapp’s side an important three points.

QPR 4-0 Barnsley - August 7th 2010

The Hoops started the 2010/11 season in style, hammering Barnsley and laying down an early marker in our quest to claim promotion. Heidar Helguson, Jamie Mackie, Adel Taarabt and Fitz Hall were all on target in what was a convincing win for Neil Warnock's side, who eventually went on to be crowned Champions.

QPR 5-0 Blackpool - August 9th 2003

Gareth Ainsworth scored his first League goals in a QPR shirt to give us an impressive opening day win over Blackpool back in 2003/04. Ainsworth, who signed from Cardiff during the close season, took just three minutes to give Ian Holloway's team the lead. On the stroke of half-time, Richard Langley finished off from a Kevin Gallen cross, before the latter bundled home from close range in the 56th minute. Ainsworth then fired a close-range effort past Phil Barnes, with Steve Palmer securing a glorious win in injury time.

QPR 1-0 Stoke - August 11th 2001

Andy Thomson's 23rd-minute strike was enough to give the R’s a 1-0 win over fellow promotion candidates Stoke City. QPR were playing our first game in the third tier of the league since 1967 and got off to the dream start manager Ian Holloway would have wanted when Thomson struck a sweet shot from the edge of the penalty area following a good pass from Stuart Wardley. The men from W12 could have furthered their lead, playing some fantastic football, but Stoke keeper Gavin Ward was in inspired form, as the R’s were forced to settle for a 1-0 victory.