Report: QPR 1-2 Bristol City (20/21)
Tuesday, December 1st 2020
Nahki Wells scored against his former side to help City in a 2-1 win over QPR in West London.
The Hoops were arguably the better side in the first-half and they took the lead through Rob Dickie’s header inside just 12 minutes.
But City would have to come from behind with Callum O’Dowda in inspirational form. He set up the first with a cross for Wells who equalised at the far post just before the break, and the away team had a different look about them in the second-half.
Ádám Nagy struck the winner just five minutes after the interval with QPR a more nullified side as the game progressed. Nahki Wells could’ve had another goal but saw a late free kick kiss the post, while the hosts missed opportunities, notably through Macauley Bonne and Albert Adomah.
Adrian Mariappa made his City debut at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, while captain Tomas Kalas returned to defence after recovering from a tight quad. There was no place for Jamie Paterson though, who was rested. He had played every league game, starting 13 of the 14 to this point, but had been carrying a bit of an injury as the club looked to manage that too.
Nagy played with more of a licence and quickly found himself joining City’s first attack, coming inches from putting the Robins ahead. City launched a ball up towards Antoine Semenyo, and while he lost out in the air, the ball was recovered by Nagy. The Hungarian played a one-two with Chris Martin on the edge of the box before Nagy got his shot away but it trickled wide of the far post.
It was an early indication of City’s intentions to take the game to QPR but the home side would have a dangerous weapon in the form of Bright Osayi-Samuel down the right wing.
He would make it a tough night for Jay Dasilva and Osayi-Samuel was the first to be denied by Dan Bentley when he managed to get one-on-one.
However, the hosts scored inside the 12th minute after catching the visitors off guard from a corner. Nagy was doing his defensive duties this time bu after being teased by Chris Willock the ball was crossed into the box where R’s defender Rob Dickie arrived to head the ball past Bentley.
City had more defending to do with two vital blocks a minute apart. Chris Martin found himself getting in the way of a close-range shot from Tom Carroll, and Zak Vyner made another crucial goalline clearance from the resulting corner.
But after soaking up the pressure and with five minutes of the first half remaining, Wells struck against his former side with a second goal in as many games. Vyner made a positive run forward, finding Martin in an advanced position. He held up the play before picking out the underlapping O’Dowda and his low delivery across the Hoops’ goalline and Wells turned the ball in at the far post.
City did well to go in level at the break when Holden opted to swap Dasilva for Tommy Rowe and nullify the Osayi-Samuel threat down the right-hand side.
And City were ahead within five minutes of the restart with O’Dowda influential in putting them in front. The Republic of Ireland international won the ball back in midfield, and believed in his pace as he raced down the left before pulling the ball back across the QPR penalty area. He was initially looking for Wells but it rolled for Nagy instead, who took one touch to set himself before he rolled the ball into the bottom corner.
City were now not only a goal ahead but looking defensively solid with QPR a lesser threat than the first half, thanks to the half-time tweaks.
The Robins could have added to their lead too though Nagy fired over before Semenyo struck just wide.
QPR created a great chance though when Vyner and Mariappa misjudged their respective headers as they challenged for the same ball. It was controlled by Bonne instead who looked odds-on to score but Bentley did well to close the angle and Bonne’s effort rolled agonisingly wide of the far post, as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Semenyo soon departed with Tyreeq Bakinson his replacement as Holden looked to add to his midfield, and moments later they almost snatched a third.
Wells was the player to hit a free kick after O’Dowda was fouled, and only the post denied him from a second goal of the night.
That was his final action before making way for Taylor Moore in the last few minutes, while more fresh legs came in the form of Diédhiou.
At the other end, former Robin Adomah had a glorious chance to seal a point for the hosts but he dragged a shot wide, however the Robins wouldn’t be denied the three points as they saw the result out and head back down the M4 motorway with the win.
Holden’s men return to action this Saturday at home to Birmingham City (Saturday, December 5th, 3pm KO) which will be streamed exclusively live on Robins TV.