Late penalty condemns QPR to fifth straight defeat

Bristol City 2 QPR 1

QPR suffered a fifth consecutive Championship defeat and were again left gutted after an injury-time penalty.

Matt Smith’s goal – his fourth in three games – put them ahead just before half-time at Ashton Gate.

Smith was on hand to score after Nahki Wells’ header from Luke Freeman’s cross had come back off the post.

But Niclas Eliasson equalised with 17 minutes remaining and Rangers ended up with nothing after Famara Diedhiou scored from the spot after Darnell Furlong was controversially adjudged to have fouled the Bristol City striker.

It was rough on Rangers – and came three days after Lee Camp’s last-gasp penalty save dramatically denied them a point against Birmingham.

Steve McClaren’s side, without a league win since Boxing Day and with just one point in 2019, defended infinitely better than they did at the weekend.

Four down after 36 minutes against Birmingham, they switched to a back three, with Toni Leistner returning to the side along with Jordan Cousins and Pawel Wszolek.

Josh Brownhill went close for City with a long-range strike that flashed narrowly wide early on.

But Rangers then got a foothold in the game and Freeman, playing against his former club, dragged an effort well wide from near the edge of the penalty area.

QPR’s ex-City pair then combined when Freeman delivered a perfect cross for Smith, whose header was pushed away by keeper Frank Fielding.

Smith, who spent part of the 2013-14 season on loan at City from Fulham, then sent another header over, this time from a cross by Jake Bidwell.

The target man’s persistence was rewarded with the opening goal.

However, City dominated large periods of the second half and Eros Pisano missed a great chance to equalise by heading Jay Dasilva’s cross wide of the target.

Lumley produced a superb save to keep out Diedhiou’s header from a cross by Eliasson, who eventually hauled the Robins level by cutting on to his left foot and curling home.

QPR: Lumley; Furlong, Leistner, Hall (Osayi-Samuel 90); Wszolek, Cousins, Luongo, Freeman, Bidwell; Wells (Eze 79), Smith (Hemed 72).
Subs not used: Ingram, Kakay, Scowen, Manning.