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Queens Park Rangers vs Birmingham City. Sky Bet Championship.

Loftus Road StadiumAttendance17,170.

Queens Park Rangers 2

  • S Cook (65th minute)
  • J Dunne (92nd minute)

Birmingham City 1

  • J Bacuna (62nd minute)

Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Birmingham City: Jimmy Dunne's late stunner settles six-pointer

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City at Loftus Road on Good Friday | Jimmy Dunne scores stunner to boost Rangers' survival hopes in six-pointer

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham.

Jimmy Dunne's sensational stoppage-time goal gave QPR a crucial 2-1 victory at home to fellow strugglers Birmingham which took them four points clear of the relegation zone.

Dunne headed on goalkeeper Asmir Begovic's long kick and then, after Sinclair Armstrong had challenged Deon Sanderson, the defender controlled the loose ball near the edge of the penalty area and sent a spectacular left-footed volley into the top corner.

It consigned Blues to defeat in their first match since Gary Rowett's return as interim boss.

Juninho Bacuna's 62nd-minute goal had put the visitors within sight of a first win in seven games, but Steve Cook equalised three minutes later and Dunne's late cracker gave Rangers the points.

Rowett, back at the club he played for and previously managed, will have been encouraged by a spirited performance, but the result means Birmingham remain above third-from-bottom Huddersfield only on goal difference.

QPR created a number of openings in the first half and almost went ahead when Kenneth Paal's cross from the left just evaded Michael Frey and was nudged on to the bar by Lucas Andersen.

Danish playmaker Andersen also missed a great chance when he shot wide of the target from near the edge of the six-yard box after being found by Ilias Chair.

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Another Chair delivery from the left led to Dunne's header being saved by keeper John Ruddy, who also produced a fine stop to keep out Chair's header from Chris Willock's cross.

At the other end, Tyler Roberts sent an effort narrowly over and the home side survived a scare when Begovic had to scramble to clear after seemingly failing to anticipate Cook's back-pass.

There was another let-off for the hosts early in the second half when Jay Stansfield shot wide of the near post from close range.

With his team needing some impetus, Rangers boss Marti Cifuentes made a change up front on the hour mark, sending on youngster Armstrong in place of the ineffective Frey.

But it was Birmingham who broke the deadlock. Bacuna played the ball to Ethan Laird on the right and collected the full-back's return pass before firing into the top corner.

Rangers quickly hit back. Andersen's lofted free-kick was headed down by Dunne and, after Birmingham were unable to clear their lines, Cook blasted home after his first effort had been blocked.

Cifuentes' side should then have gone ahead when Willock volleyed over from eight yards out after Chair's ball in from the left had been headed on by Cook and then Dunne.

However, they eventually found a winner, with Dunne the unlikely hero.

The managers

QPR's Marti Cifuentes:

"He deserves everything. I'm very happy for him. He's a quality, quality human being.

"He will enjoy this moment, but when things weren't going his way and there were games he was not starting he was always first in training, supporting his team-mates and happy when the team won.

"Perhaps people tend to underrate him. In the Championship he has always played, with different managers, and there is a reason why.

"Sometimes players can think we take them out (of the team) because we don't trust them. It's not because of that, it's just because there is a lot of competition."

Birmingham's Gary Rowett:

"When you score that goal away from home you then need a period of the game where the opposition feel a bit more desperate.

"But they scored pretty much straightaway. Then we lost the game in the way that we did.

"I won't let that undo the positive things that happened in the game. I won't let it affect the players.

"Results-wise I don't think it massively changes the position we're in, but it's just one more opportunity we had to take something and I think we probably did deserve to take something.

"I knew this would be a challenging job. I didn't expect to wave a magic wand and change everything in the first game.

"It's one game down and we'll take the positives from it and make sure we improve."

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