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Queens Park Rangers vs Sheffield United. Sky Bet Championship.

Kiyan Prince Foundation StadiumAttendance15,824.

Queens Park Rangers 1

  • C Austin (31st minute)

Sheffield United 3

  • I Ndiaye (54th minute)
  • J Robinson (73rd minute)
  • C Hourihane (94th minute)

QPR 1-3 Sheffield United: Blades come from behind to inch closer to Championship play-off spot

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between QPR and Sheffield United at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as goals from Iliman Ndiaye, Jack Robinson and Conor Hourihane moved Paul Heckingbottom's Blades closer to a top-six finish on Friday night

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

Sheffield United took a step closer to securing their place in the Championship play-offs after coming from behind to beat QPR 3-1.

If Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Millwall all fail win their respective matches on Saturday afternoon, Paul Heckingbottom's Blades will be assured of a top-six finish.

Image: Conor Hourihane sealed victory for Sheffield United with a third goal in second-half stoppage time

Charlie Austin - who appeared to wave goodbye to the QPR fans as he left the pitch in the second half - opened the scoring with a deft header, but Iliman Ndiaye, Jack Robinson and Conor Hourihane hit back for the Blades after the break to seal a more than welcome first away win in seven attempts.

Heckingbottom's Blades inch closer to a top-six berth

Knowing a win would move them ever closer to cementing a play-off spot, Sheffield United started on the front foot in west London. The only thing was, though they continually penned Rangers back into their own half, there was no end product to match.

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Charlie Austin opens the scoring for QPR against Sheffield United

Enda Stevens saw a fierce shot blocked, Morgan Gibbs-White fired straight at goalkeeper Murphy Mahoney and Ndiaye blazed well over the bar after a fast Blades break, but there was little to get the vocal travelling fans off their feet, in terms of chances, at least.

With just over half an hour gone, QPR took the lead. Albert Adomah made good progress on the right flank, turned Stevens inside and out and then floated a beautiful cross into the box that Austin - who seemed to hang in the air for a lifetime - headed home after holding off Chris Basham.

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Iliman Ndiaye levels for Sheffield United after pinball in the area

The intensity from the visitors increased significantly after the break. Gibbs-White had a shot cleared off the line and then saw a looping header come back off the post, and, in between the two openings, Mahoney made a stunning stop to push Robinson's header round the post.

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But the half was barely 10 minutes old when the equaliser their pressure warranted arrived, as Ndiaye found himself in space to fire the ball home from close range after a shot had been charged down in the wake of a dangerous Oliver Norwood corner.

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Jack Robinson puts Sheffield United ahead with a header against QPR

The turnaround was complete just over 15 minutes from time. Norwood's free-kick was headed across the box by Basham to Robinson, whose own powerful header left Mahoney with no chance.

And though QPR hit the bar late on when Osman Kakay's scuffed shot was deflected goalwards, late substitute Hourihane wrapped up the points with a sumptuous first-time effort after connecting with Basham's cross.

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Conor Hourihane makes it 3-1 to the Blades with a fantastic finish

Man of the match - Oliver Norwood

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Jack Robinson and Ollie Norwood speak to Sky Sports after Sheffield United's 3-1 win away to QPR

What the managers said...

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Mark Warburton speaks to Sky Sports after his side's defeat to Sheffield United at home

QPR's Mark Warburton: "They stepped up a level in the second half and had real quality about them. I thought we started the second half as we did the first; gave the ball away cheaply. We then got into the game, moved the ball better and looked a better team. Second half, we wanted to come out and take care of the football, but we didn't do that. There were a lot of players in the side with Premier League experience and when they stepped it up a level, we didn't match that.

"It [the reception from the fans] meant a lot. It's not about ego or any of that nonsense, it's purely about the fact that those fans have been very supportive. The backing has been outstanding and some of the comments, individually, from the fans has been nice and pleasant to hear because you get enough abuse at times, that's for sure!

"But the fans here have been first class. I mentioned my appreciation of the support they have given over that three-year period and I hope tonight they saw that was a genuine thank you from me to them for all of that backing."

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Paul Heckingbottom says he was particularly pleased with his side's performance in the second half of their 3-1 win at QPR

Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom: "We probably made it difficult, but I thought we were good all game and fantastic in the second half. By half-time, there were not enough shots, not enough of a killer instinct. They got in our box twice, got two efforts on goal and one of them was a goal. Same old message; we don't want to be a pretty team that don't win. In the second half, we did everything right, probably.

"It was a simple half-time team talk because you could see what was wrong. To be honest, the boys have responded every time - they have been great. But when you are so close [to the play-offs] it means more and when it is something as simple as that, for me, the game will never change. What you do between the boxes is the most important thing.

"Day out with the wife tomorrow! We've done our bit, but it's the same all along. You can get lost in looking at results, fixtures and who plays who and try and guess what's going to happen, but we'll relax this weekend and start again on Monday."

What's next?

At 12.30pm on the final day of the season, Saturday May 7, QPR travel to the Swansea.com Stadium to take on Swansea, while Sheffield United host Fulham at Bramall Lane.

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