Austin’s goal gives QPR deserved victory

QPR 1 Sunderland 0

Charlie Austin scored his first Premier League goal to give QPR their first win back in the top flight.

Austin pounced in first-half injury time, smashing into the roof of the net after Leroy Fer had headed Joey Barton’s left-wing corner back across goal.

Fer hit the woodwork and Austin had a header cleared off the line before Rangers deservedly went ahead.

The victory got their season up and running following three defeats in which they failed to score, including a 4-0 thrashing at Tottenham last weekend.

They did it without Loic Remy, who is expected to join Chelsea and was left out of the matchday squad, although he was at Loftus Road.

Last season’s talisman Austin, back after recovering from a hamstring problem, worked tirelessly up front and took his chance when it came.

And Dutchman Fer, making his home debut, impressed in midfield and struck the post with a 30-yard effort just after the half-hour mark.

Connor Wickham had been at the centre of the early action, setting up Patrick van Aanholt, who fired into the side netting, before the Sunderland forward headed Austin’s header from Barton’s corner off the line.

Wickham also sent a shot wide of the target and QPR keeper Rob Green produced a fine save low down to his left to deny Steven Fletcher.

Rangers finished the first half strongly and keeper Vito Mannone saved at the feet of Austin after he had been put through by Fer.

However, Austin’s emphatic finish just before the break gave Mannone little chance.

Sunderland had plenty of the ball in the second half but Rangers stood firm, with Green saving well from Santiago
Vergini and Emanuele Giaccherini.

Substitute Armand Traore, who could join Crystal Palace before Monday’s transfer deadline, had a late chance to make it 2-0 but dragged his shot wide.

QPR (4-2-3-1): Green; Isla, Caulker, Ferdinand, Hill; Barton, Mutch, Phillips, Fer (Taarabt 89), Hoilett (Traore 83); Austin (Zamora 68).
Subs not used: Murphy, Onuoha, Henry, Dunne.

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