THRILLER: Middlesbrough lose to ten men QPR
QPR continued their unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season with a 3-2 win at Middlesbrough – despite falling behind and being reduced to 10 men.
Moses Odubajo was shown a second yellow card in the 50th minute.
That formed part of a dramatic second half which started with Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson turning Lee Wallace’s cross into his own net to cancel out Uche Ikpeazu’s seventh-minute penalty.
Six minutes after Odubajo was sent off, QPR took the lead when striker Lyndon Dykes hammered the ball low and through former team-mate Joe Lumley’s legs.
It looked like Middlesbrough would still make the extra man count when Matt Crooks’ cool finish levelled things up again after 72 minutes.
But less than four minutes later Chris Willock, who set up QPR’s second, found the net himself with a calm finish into the bottom corner to give his side seven points from nine.
Boro had looked hungry to carry on from where they left off by beating Bristol City at the weekend and that lifted the home crowd from the first whistle.
When Howson’s low drive from 22 yards bounced off a post, Isaiah Jones was on hand to turn the rebound beyond goalkeeper Seny Dieng but QPR’s Jordy De Wijs was on the line to clear.
The resulting corner at the end of that attack was headed back across the six-yard area by Ikpeazu and Dykes was spotted pulling Dael Fry’s shirt by referee Stephen Martin.
Ikpeazu, who had scored the opener five days earlier, hit the centre of the net with his penalty as Dieng dived to his right and Middlesbrough went ahead.
Willock’s run and cross was ideal for Dykes to turn the ball goalwards but Lumley prevented an equaliser with his leg and then gathered.
Almost immediately after the restart QPR were level when Wallace’s cross from the left, after he was played down the line by Ilias Chair, was turned into his own net by the outstretched leg of Howson at the near post.
But shortly afterwards Odubajo, who had played a key role in that break, was issued with his second caution of the night for bringing down the lively Jones before he entered the box.
QPR responded well and with the hour approaching, Willock’s little chip for Dykes was hammered goalwards first time from a tight angle and Lumley allowed the ball to go through his legs at his near post.
There was still more to come. When Jones’ tenacity earned him the right to pass to Crooks with 18 minutes remaining, the former Rotherham man controlled before side-footing beyond Dieng.
But four minutes later QPR had the lead once more. This time Willock was picked out in space in the area, he side-stepped Fry before rolling the ball into Lumley’s bottom-right corner.
Despite 10 minutes of added time, there was no way back for Middlesbrough.
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