Cardiff City 0-2 QPR: Hoops take early lead at top of the Championship

15 Aug

QPR stormed to the top of the Championship with an impressive 2-0 win at Cardiff.


Steven Caulker and Tjaronn Chery both scored in the second half to clinch a second successive win.

Centre-back Caulker netted the opener against his former club before Chery wrapped up the win with a late penalty.

The result saw Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side move ahead of Bristol City at the top of the table on goal difference.

Both sides struggled to land a telling blow in the first half of a game that saw plenty of effort but little in the way of end product.

Rangers captain Nedum Onuoha and Chery were both booked for fouls as the game threatened to spark into life. Yet neither team could muster a noteworthy shot on target.

Grant Hall saw an early header sail over the crossbar while defensive partner Caulker, facing his former club, did well to deny Anthony Pilkington with a timely block.

QPR’s new signing Yeni Ngbakoto had an earlier-than-expected introduction to the Championship off the bench after midfielder Ben Gladwin hobbled off in the 11th minute with an ankle injury.

But even the pace of the recent arrival from Metz failed to break down a well-organised Cardiff side and even threatened to leave his own side exposed.

Wales defender Jazz Richards pressed forward time and again on an impressive home debut for the Bluebirds.

Yet having been held to a goalless draw in their opening game at Birmingham, Cardiff again failed to score.

Instead QPR began the second half on the front foot and looked far more likely to break the deadlock.

Jordan Cousins burst clear on the right flank after a clever exchange of passes with Onuoha but his cross narrowly evaded the onrushing Ngbakoto.

Massimo Luongo was shown a yellow card for a needless foul on Peter Whittingham on the hour but by now, Rangers’ midfield were on top.

Caulker headed wide from Ngbakoto’s cross and then struck the side-netting just moments later after a free-kick fell to him on the edge of the six-yard area.

But the defender was on-target to open the scoring in the 76th minute, thumping home Jake Bidwell’s set-piece delivery.

And Rangers doubled their lead after Bruno Ecuele-Manga hauled down Sebastian Polter in the penalty area five minutes from time.

Chery netted from the spot to score for the second game in a row and clinch all three points and top spot.

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