Reda Khadra free-kick ends Blackburn Rovers goal famine to defeat QPR | Championship


Reda Khadra made up for his midweek penalty miss by ending Blackburn’s five-match goal drought to register a 1-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls QPR.

The German’s difficult week, which began with a spot-kick failure against Sheffield United on Wednesday, looked set to continue when he missed a glorious first-half chance as Tony Mowbray’s side dominated the out-of-sorts visitors.

But Khadra’s 77th-minute free-kick – his fifth of the campaign – ended almost nine hours without a goal and could prove to be vital in Blackburn’s promotion push. More importantly, it ended Rovers’ recent lean run of just one win in seven and leapfrogged them over their visitors in the Championship table.

It should have been more comfortable, with Tyrhys Dolan and Ryan Giles passing up opportunities to extend the lead late on. The defeat leaves QPR a point behind Rovers after losing their third successive away league game without scoring.

Joe Rothwell was ruled out with a foot injury so Bradley Johnson was recalled in one of two changes for Rovers. For QPR, Rob Dickie replaced the suspended Dion Sanderson.

Blackburn started the game confidently, pressing and disrupting the visitors, and their dominance should have resulted in a 15th-minute opener when a Jan Paul Van Hecke pass set Khadra clear. But he struck his shot at the feet of Seny Dieng from 12 yards.

Despite being all at sea for most of the first half, QPR could easily have taken the lead when Jeff Hendrick’s slide-rule pass found the onrushing Albert Adomah, whose shot was smothered by Thomas Kaminski in the 35th minute. Moments later, Chris Willock’s deflected cross fell to Ilias Chair 12 yards out, but he could only fire wide.

A lively opening half ended with another gilt-edged chance as Sam Gallagher won the ball high up the pitch and squared to Johnson, who could not generate enough power on his weaker foot and Dieng made a smart low save.

Rangers were forced into a change in goal at half-time, and David Marshall proved his worth almost immediately, brilliantly parrying Khadra’s curling shot when seemingly unsighted until the last minute.

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There was a lull in the game after a serious-looking injury to Ryan Nyambe, but Rovers found their feet once again and took a deserved lead 13 minutes from time. Khadra curled in a powerful free-kick from an almost impossible angle close to the corner flag that somehow found its way beyond Marshall into the top corner.

Dolan forced Marshall into a sprawling low save late on, before Giles had a shot blocked by the goalkeeper, but Rovers held on comfortably.



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