Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Birmingham City vs Queens Park Rangers. Sky Bet Championship.

St. Andrew's StadiumAttendance20,265.

Birmingham City 1

  • E Nsue (93rd minute)

Queens Park Rangers 4

  • M Smith (18th minute)
  • C Washington (47th minute)
  • I Sylla (84th minute)
  • Y Ngbakoto (88th minute)

Birmingham 1-4 QPR: Matt Smith inspires Hoops win

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham and QPR

Matt Smith inspired QPR to a 4-1 success at struggling Birmingham in the Sky Bet Championship.

The 6ft 5in striker put Rangers on the road to victory with a first-half goal - his first strike since September.

Smith, who only joined Rangers last month from Fulham, was a persistent threat in a win which was sealed by a 46th-minute goal from Conor Washington and two more by Idrissa Sylla and Yeni Ngbakoto in the last 10 minutes.

Manager Ian Holloway was delighted with a vital morale-boosting win, which eases their relegation fears, but it was another sad defeat for a Birmingham side who have now collected only six points from a possible 36 under Gianfranco Zola.

Birmingham's shortcomings were highlighted early in the game when their defence came under immediate pressure, highlighted by a powerful long-range drive from the ever-dangerous Luke Freeman.

But it was Birmingham who carved out the best opening to go ahead. Jerome Sinclair whipped over a cross, but Emilio Nsue was unable to make a clean contact from a few yards and the ball bounced wide.

Smith's threat was evident when he cleverly lobbed Birmingham goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak but Ryan Shotton was on the line to prevent Rangers going ahead. However, the persistent Smith could not be denied as he put Rangers ahead in the 19th minute, rising high and unchallenged to head home Freeman's left-wing corner.

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Free-flowing Rangers continued to dominate as Birmingham struggled to find some rhythm. The Blues suffered another setback when a concussed Cheick Keita had to leave the field and shortly afterwards Rangers twice went close to increasing their lead.

Darnell Furlong and Smith both had headers saved on the line by Kuszczak as Birmingham were in danger of being over-run.

They regrouped and Sinclair fired in a shot which Alex Smithies finger-tipped onto the bar. But another golden opportunity went begging for Rangers just before the break when Smith fluffed his shot with only Kuszczak to beat.

A minute into the second half, Birmingham's back three was exposed when they failed to clear a relatively simple cross and Washington scored with an unstoppable shot.

Birmingham made an attempt to rescue a dire situation but Rangers remained in control, despite a couple of efforts from Sinclair which were brilliantly saved by Smithies.

Joel Lynch powered in a smart header from a Ryan Manning cross only to by thwarted by an excellent save by Kuszczak.

But Birmingham's day got even worse in the 84th minute when unmarked substitute Sylla headed home a right-wing cross from Pawel Wszolek. Two minutes from time Ngbakoto added a fourth with a powerful long-range free-kick, before Nsue grabbed a late consolation.

Birmingham boss Gianfranco Zola: "Obviously I need to have a chat with the owners.

"I really care about this club and I want to help them. As long as they trust me I am willing to try and do my best for everyone at St Andrew's.

"At the moment I am feeling very low but I take full responsibility. I am probably not giving enough and it is making me upset.

"I have committed myself to the club and I am doing it with a lot of passion. We do not like where we are at the present time."

QPR boss Ian Holloway: ​​​​​​​"There is now a good feeling within the team after this win. I'm delighted with the performance.

"Our second goal put us in a very good situation and what was also pleasing was that all my strikers scored against Birmingham.

"Smith is a player I've always wanted. He is still catching up to speed. He is such a handful and he scored with a brilliant header.

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