QPR ground out a fine 3-2 victory over a much-fancied Middlesbrough side at Loftus Road to hand Mick Beale his first win as head coach. Here’s how we rated the Rangers players.
Seny Dieng: 7
A composed figure as Boro laid siege to the Rangers goal in a 20-minute spell after half-time. Could do little about both goals and pulled of a smart diving stop to deny Chuba Akpom. It cannot be underestimated what a difference he makes to the side.
Osman Kakay: 6
A typically committed performance against a team that clearly targeted him in the second half. Although he was caught out on the odd occasion, he won many crucial headers and tackles.
Jimmy Dunne: 6
Scored with a goal he knew nothing about following Steffen’s brain fade when trying to claim a corner only for the ball to bounce off the Irishman’s back. However, it was often a difficult afternoon for the big centre-half, whose poor touch led to the corner that saw Boro score just before half-time. He then almost gifted Duncan Watmore a goal minutes later when he was caught dawdling on the edge of his own box but was bailed out by Rob Dickie’s block. Better in the second half with some towering headers as Rangers found themselves under the cosh.
Rob Dickie: 6
Lost Matt Crooks at the corner that saw Boro equalise but was otherwise solid, both in bringing the ball out of defence and putting his body on the line as Chris Wilder’s men pressed hard for an equaliser. Stood tall under some intense pressure but was posed plenty of questions by the movement of the visiting forwards in the second half and given the slip by Marcus Forss for the second Boro goal. But, like Dunne, was much better in the final 20 minutes to help close out the win.
Kenneth Paal: 7
A much better performance than at Blackburn last week. Like the rest of the defence he had some nervy moments with a couple of impetuous challenges in dangerous dead-ball situations. However, despite his lack of height the Dutchman made some fine defensive headers and showed his bravery by putting his head where it hurt to put through Macauley Bonne, who was then poleaxed by Darragh Lenihan late in the game. Still finding his feet in an attacking sense.
Sam Field: 6
Put in a huge shift in the middle of the park but for much of the second half was unable to get on the ball and ease the pressure as Rangers found themselves over-run. Had a good battle with the physical Crooks.
Stefan Johansen: 7
A real captain’s display, but an early knock did appear to hinder his movement. The Boro midfield on occasions glided past him with ease. However, his beautifully-weighted free-kick to tee up Lyndon Dykes was top class and he used all of his experience to help see out the game with some moves from the first page of football’s book of dark arts. Limped off late in the game after being caught by a heavy challenge.
Luke Amos: 8
Was excellent in the first half, with some tireless running and won many tackles to help put his side on the front foot as they stormed into a 3-0 lead. Visibly tired in the second half but more than justified his inclusion as he worked so hard for the team in midfield.
Ilias Chair: 6
A brilliant end to a week that saw the Morocco international welcome his first child into the world. Had some nice moments in the first half as Rangers raced into a three-goal lead but faded in the second half as the hosts struggled to get the ball out of their own half. Had a great chance to make it 4-2 from another mistake by the hapless Steffen but couldn’t get a shot on target.
Chris Willock: 8
Marked his much-anticipated return to action after tearing a hamstring in March with a goal of the highest quality. Showed shades of Les Ferdinand at his pomp by picking the ball up inside his own half, out-muscling three Boro defenders before smashing the ball into the top corner after just 13 minutes. Looked understandably rusty given his long lay-off, but showed flashes of brilliance on the ball to show just why he is the main attacking force in this team. Subbed after 70 minutes but will be better for the run-out.
Lyndon Dykes: 8
A much-improved display following his struggles at Blackburn last week. Scored with a smart diving header after nipping in front of the Boro defence to nod home Johansen’s free-kick after seeing a fine earlier effort from distance tipped away by Steffen. Worked tirelessly to help his team defensively and almost added a fourth after running 70 yards as Rangers turned defence into attack but his tired shot bounced just wide.
Albert Adomah: 7
Added a much-needed outlet down the right flank after coming on as substitute for Willock as Rangers found themselves penned in their own half for long periods after half-time. His introduction was key to Rangers regaining a foothold in the game as he got himself into some great crossing positions and almost scored with a fine shot that just flew wide.
Macauley Bonne: 6
Not on for long but played a big role in closing out a narrow win when he was introduced late in the game. Was clean through on goal after latching onto Paal’s header with a smart run only to be taken out by an awful challenge by Lenihan.