QPR 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Big win for Hoops
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/04/18 10:55pm
Relatives of former Ray Wilkins were at Loftus Road to see QPR beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 on an emotional night in west London.
The hosts were 3-0 up within 15 minutes after goals from Paul Smyth, Jake Bidwell and Idrissa Sylla.
The recalled Sylla got his second - a penalty after Tom Lees had fouled Bright Osayi-Samuel - eight minutes into the second half.
Fernando Forestieri, starting a game for the first time since August, pulled a goal back for Wednesday just after the hour mark.
Atdhe Nuhiu headed in Liam Palmer's right-wing cross nine minutes later to test Rangers' nerves, but their early blitz proved decisive.
There were emotional scenes before kick-off as QPR paid tribute to former England captain Wilkins following his death last week.
His sister Sandra and brothers Dean and Stephen joined Wilkins' ex-R's team-mates Les Ferdinand and Andy Sinton in laying wreaths in the centre circle before a minute's applause was held.
The opener came when keeper Joe Wildsmith could only palm Bidwell's left-wing cross as far as Smyth, who steered the ball into the corner of the net from 12 yards out.
And, after fumbling Bidwell's shot, Wildsmith managed to prevent Sylla getting to the loose ball but left-back Bidwell followed up to score.
Wildsmith partly atoned by producing a fine save to keep out Luke Freeman's low shot after the midfielder had been set up by Osayi-Samuel. But Wildsmith was powerless to stop striker Sylla nodding in Darnell Furlong's cross.
Having barely managed to get out of their own half, the visitors began to threaten before the interval and Adam Reach had a shot tipped over by QPR keeper Alex Smithies, who also denied Nuhiu at point-blank range.
Any prospect of a Wednesday comeback seemed to be quashed when Sylla tucked away his penalty.
But the Owls battled on and Forestieri fired in off the far post after finding space on the left of the penalty area. Nuhiu's finish was also emphatic, but the home side tightened up at the back to ensure they took the points.
Ian Holloway: "It's a very fitting evening for our football club to show how we feel about him and his family how we feel about him, and to show the world of football how we feel about him - because we feel he was ours. What he did for us in the dressing room I will never forget. There are some major people in your life who are immense and they don't even realise it. He was one of them.
"I'm really proud of his family being brave enough to go out there tonight and I'm bursting with pride about how my lads went about their work. I'm so proud of our club tonight. I know he'll be smiling up there. I was absolutely honoured to have known him, let alone have played with him and for him."
Jos Luhukay: "In the first 15 minutes we were not in the game. It was not good defending and we were only reacting to what QPR were doing. That first 15 minutes cost us the game. On the ball I thought were were good. But when you see the 90 minutes back we lost it in the first 15 minutes.
"I have no explanation for that. It is disappointing and we have never started as badly as that."