Middlesbrough 2-3 QPR: Chris Willock strikes late on to deliver the Chris of life for 10-man visitors in front of £25m brother and fire them joint-top of the Championship after victory in end-to-end five-goal thriller
- QPR sit in third in the Championship after beating Middlesbrough in a thriller
- Moses Odubajo was sent off for the visitors, who still managed to score three
- Uche Ikpeazu opened the scoring from the penalty spot on just seven minutes
- Jonny Howson scored an own goal after the break and Lyndon Dykes netted
- The hosts pulled level through Matt Crooks but Chris Willock struck soon after
His £25million brother was in the stands, but QPR’s Chris Willock looks priceless to his side after creating one goal and scoring the winner to take them joint top of the Championship.
Willock’s younger sibling, Joe, is headline news in the North-East right now after his big-money move to Newcastle from Arsenal last week.
He had been live on a local radio station in the hour before kick-off and made the dash from Tyneside to Teesside to support his brother.
Chris Willock was the match-winner for QPR as they beat Middlesbrough in a thriller
QPR moved into the top three in the Championship after beating Boro 3-2 at the Riverside
Willock was supported there by brother Joe, who recently made a £25m move to Newcastle
Joe arrived with QPR already trailing but the best stuff was still to come for the Willocks as Chris stole the show in the second half.
With the score at 2-2 in the 76th minute, the midfielder broke free in the penalty area and swept delightfully into the bottom corner to win what was an absorbing contest.
It was a deserved victory for Mark Warburton’s unbeaten Londoners, who had Moses Odubajo sent off early in the second half.
Middlesbrough: Lumley, Dijksteel, Hall, Fry, Bola, Howson, McNair, Spence (Payero 86), Crooks, Jones, Ikpeazu (Akpom 71)
Subs not used: Morsy, Peltier, Bamba, Daniels, Coburn
Goals: Ikpeazu 7 (P), Crooks 72
Booked: Jones, Payero
Manager: Neil Warnock
QPR: Dieng, Dickie, de Wijs, Barbet, Odubajo, Johansen, Ball, Wallace (Dunne 86), Chair (Kakay 58), Dykes (Austin 68), Willock
Subs not used: Archer, Thomas, Dozzell, Adomah
Goals: Howson OG 48, Dykes 56, Willock 76
Sent off: Odubajo
Manager: Mark Warburton
Willock’s strike flew underneath Joe Lumley and sparked scenes of celebration for the visitors
Rangers’ win was made more impressive after Moses Odubajo was sent off for two bookings
Boro’s failure to take advantage will infuriate boss Neil Warnock, especially given his team were also gifted an early lead.
Scotland assistant manager John Carver was here to watch QPR’s Lyndon Dykes ahead of next month’s internationals. His report to Steve Clarke will surely include, ‘Keep Dykes upfield at defensive corners’.
The striker was the wrong side of Dael Fry as Boro loaded a far-post delivery and, when he tried to make amends by taking a handful of shirt, referee Stephen Martin was alive to his indiscretion.
Uche Ikpeazu’s penalty was straight down the middle – minus the panache of a Panenka – but it did the job all the same.
Uche Ikpeazu opened the scoring from the penalty spot for the hosts after just seven minutes
Ikpeazu was quickly mobbed by his team-mates, but QPR rallied back soon after the interval
The corner leading to the spot-kick had come about after an early period of home dominance in which Jonny Howson cracked the post and Isaiah Jones’ follow-up was blocked on the line by Jordy de Wijs.
Dykes must have thought he had cancelled out his earlier error when connecting with Willock’s cross and seeing his header squirm through the legs of goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
Somehow, though, the ball became lodged between turf and backside and Lumley gratefully retrieved it.
Jonny Howson’s unfortunate own goal (above) saw QPR move level after the half-time break
The second half started much like the first with one team on the offensive – only this time it was the visitors showing all of the intent.
In what was a frenetic period of play, QPR were level on 48 minutes, had a man sent off 90 seconds later and were then in front by the 56th minute.
The equaliser arrived when Howson attempted to cut out Lee Wallace’s goalmouth delivery and merely succeeded in toeing beyond Lumley.
Matt Crooks netted to restore parity for Boro, but his effort proved to be a mere consolation
Boro’s response was a long ball forward that set Jones free but, when he was tripped by the recovering Odubajo, the QPR defender was shown a second yellow card.
Not to be tamed by their numerical disadvantage, QPR were soon in front when Willock escaped two red jerseys and scooped a pass through for Dykes, who leathered through Lumley.
Boro were back on terms when Matt Crooks drove into the top corner on 72 minutes, but the night belonged to Willock.