Nottingham Forest 0-1 QPR: Hoops end City Ground hoodoo
QPR had not won any of their previous 34 trips to Nottingham Forest.
Last Updated: 22/12/18 7:06pm
QPR earned their first ever win at the City Ground as a header from Toni Leistner helped them secure a 1-0 success against Nottingham Forest.
In 34 previous visits Rangers had suffered 20 defeats and claimed 14 draws - but they finally ended that dreadful run as Steve McClaren returned to haunt his former club.
Aitor Karanka's side had done their best to cancel out the 45th-minute header from the Rangers skipper, which proved to be the only goal of the game.
But Joe Lumley produced a stunning late save to tip a spectacular effort from Adlene Guedioura onto the crossbar to preserve his clean sheet and secure an historic win.
Forest dominated possession in the first 15 minutes but without carving out a chance of any note.
It was not until Guedioura flashed a low shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide, from the edge of the box, that either side mustered any threat.
QPR were struggling to get out of their own half, with a wild, wayward shot from Massimo Luongo their only effort of the first 20 minutes.
Saidy Janko did have to produce a vital header to deny Ebere Eze a sight of goal as the QPR man looked to attack a cross in the centre, after the visitors had threatened with a speedy counter-attack.
Christmas is for football
Get Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football for just £18 a month
Joe Lolley finished a flowing passing move from Forest by sending a shot bouncing a foot or so wide from 22 yards.
It was the visitors who were to take the lead in the 45th minute, as Guedioura fouled Nahki Wells just outside the box, giving Rangers a dangerous free-kick.
Luke Freeman whipped in a teasing, crisply delivered ball towards the far post and Leistner rose to glance a header into the back of the net beyond Costel Pantilimon. It was only the second effort on goal from the visitors, but they made it count.
Forest made a double change in the 55th minute as forwards Daryl Murphy and Karim Ansarifard were introduced, in place of Ben Osborn and Lolley.
Forest had to make a third and final change in the 75th minute when Tobias Figueiredo suffered an injury, with Michael Hefele replacing him.
Hefele had a good chance to draw Forest level from a corner, but sent his header over the bar in the 81st minute. Tendayi Darikwa came rather closer when he flashed a shot towards the far post - but just wide, as Forest pushed for an equaliser.
Guedioura then let fly with a trademark effort from range and it was a stunning strike - but Lumley produced an outstanding save to push his rocket of a shot onto the crossbar.
Aitor Karanka: "We need to forget this as soon as possible but also, at the same time, to know that if we continue in this way it will be impossible to win games.
"We had intensity at Derby and it's difficult to understand. The players should be committed, they should be supporting each other, but today we didn't see that."
Steve McClaren: "We all know the history. We know that this is a tough place to come and a very good Forest team, but I thought the players were magnificent. It was an unbelievable result for us and I'm so proud of the players. It was a win against a very, very good team.
"All you ask for is for a solid performance, and for the players to work for each other and be competitive. We are seeing that. If you do that, you will win eight games out of 10 and probably draw one and lose one beyond that. In the last few weeks, against some good teams, we have defended so well. Joe Lumley made a great save that got us the points, but it was a great team effort which got us the points."