Premier League: Queens Park Rangers out of relegation zone with win at Sunderland
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 11/02/15 11:00am
QPR moved out of the relegation zone after recording their first away points of the season with a 2-0 win at Sunderland.
Chairman Tony Fernandes might be closing in on his "dream" new manager following the departure of Harry Redknapp but caretakers Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond were the men who oversaw a first result on the road after 11 successive defeats.
The west Londoners had the game sewn up by half-time, thanks to Leroy Fer, who was later taken off with a knee injury, and a corking half-volley from Bobby Zamora.
QPR made six changes to the side that lost 1-0 at home to Southampton as Ramsey spoke of introducing more flair and attacking momentum to their game.
Top scorer Charlie Austin was missing with a foot injury but Zamora was a more than an adequate replacement, using his skilled hold-up play to lay the foundations for some early QPR pressure.
That pressure told on 17 minutes when Matt Phillips was given far too much space on the right flank to deliver a wonderful cross straight onto the head of the impressive Fer, who thumped the ball into the top corner.
Fer then came close to doubling lead on 29 minutes when he once again latched onto a Phillips cross but this time his cushioned right-footed effort hit the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line and away to safety.
QPR goalkeeper Rob Green was then called into action four minutes later to deny Connor Wickham with a splendid double save. Wickham’s first effort from six yards was pushed onto the bar by Green, who then reacted quicker than anyone to scoop the ball off the line.
That would have given the home fans plenty of hope for a comeback but Zamora soon put pay to that optimism with a stunning goal on the stroke of half-time.
Phillips again was the man with the assist from the right flank but all the plaudits have to go to Zamora, who hit the ball first time on the turn with his weaker right foot. Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon could only stand and stare as the ball flew into the top corner.
The hosts stepped up their attacking intent in the second period but everything they threw at QPR was thwarted by a combination of Green and Rio Ferdinand.
The ‘keeper denied Jermain Defoe his third goal in three games with a point-blank save on 63 minutes and then flew across his goal three minutes later to claw away a dangerous Ricky Alvarez effort.
Ferdinand summed up his team’s commitment with 10 minutes to play with a fine block in the six yard box to stop a certain Steven Fletcher goal.
QPR, who had lost all 12 away games in all competitions this season, send Aston Villa into the bottom three and keep Sunderland - now just two points above the drop zone - in trouble.
But while the visitors shook off one unwanted record, Joey Barton picked up one of his own after being booked for the seventh successive match - a Premier League first.
QPR: Green (8), Isla (7), Ferdinand (8), Caulker (7), Yun (7), Krancjar (7), Barton (8), Henry (7), Phillips (8), Fer (8), Zamora (8).
Subs: Zarate (6), Wright-Phillips (6), Doughty (6).
Sunderland: Pantilimon (6), Reveillere (6), Vergini (6), O’Shea (6), van Aanholt (6), Bridcutt (6), Larsson (5), Gomez (6), Johnson (7), Wickham (7), Defoe (6).
Subs: Brown (6), Fletcher (6), Alvarez (7).
Man Of The Match: Leroy Fer
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