Queens Park Rangers picked up their first Championship victory in five games as Ilias Chair scored in each half to see off an out-of-form Birmingham City.
QPR striker Charlie Austin saw a golden chance saved by Matija Sarkic but the hosts did go ahead when Chair’s strike deflected in off the head of Blues defender Marc Roberts.
Lee Bowyer’s Blues came close to equalising when Lukas Jutkiewicz fired just over after replacing Troy Deeney before the hour mark.
But they were second best at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, QPR sealing the points with a clinical second from Chair from a Lyndon Dykes through ball.
Austin struck narrowly over as Mark Warburton’s R’s chased a third goal but the win ends a run of three successive defeats and moves them up to eighth. Birmingham slip into the bottom half after a fourth game without victory.
Blues edged the early exchanges, on-loan Manchester United winger Tahith Chong’s diving header kept out by Seny Dieng, but QPR soon found their feet, Austin somehow denied from point-blank range.
Moses Odubajo’s cross then found its way to Morocco playmaker Chair, whose shot was heading for visiting keeper Sarkic until his team-mate Roberts inadvertently diverted it away from him and into the net.
In the driving west London rain, Birmingham once again came out the traps well after the break, but it was to be a third consecutive game without scoring.
QPR, on the other hand, have only been outscored by Championship leaders West Brom and Chair showed pace to get clear of the Blues back-line and confidently tuck away his second.
QPR manager Mark Warburton told BBC Radio London:
“I’m very pleased. We got goals at good times against a very well-organised and positive team.
“We probably didn’t play anywhere near as well as we did, for example, at Bournemouth and Bristol City, but we’ve come away with the three points.
“It was important to get the clean sheet as well – we stood up to their physicality and movement, showed good energy in their final third and looked dangerous on the counter.”
Birmingham head coach Lee Bowyer told BBC WM:
“I think we could still be out there until tomorrow and we wouldn’t have scored.
“Again our problem was putting the ball in the back of the net when we were on top and creating chances – you have to take them because if you don’t, you get punished in this league.
“The difference on the night for me, standing on the sidelines, was [Ilias] Chair. He was more clinical in front of goal – he had two or three chances and scores two goals.
“In my opinion the scoreline doesn’t reflect the performance – I think we should’ve got a bit more from tonight.”
- 17DozzellBooked at 54minsSubstituted forAmosat 63′minutes
- 9DykesSubstituted forAdomahat 72′minutes
- 11AustinSubstituted forGrayat 72′minutes
- 5de Wijs
- 4RobertsSubstituted forMcGreeat 71′minutes
- 34SunjicBooked at 86mins
- 9HoganSubstituted forAnekeat 71′minutes
- 36DeeneySubstituted forJutkiewiczat 56′minutes
- Michael Salisbury
Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 2, Birmingham City 0.
Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 2, Birmingham City 0.
Attempt missed. Chuks Aneke (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lukas Jutkiewicz with a through ball.
Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Riley McGree.
Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Chris Willock (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).
Attempt missed. Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jérémie Bela.
Offside, Queens Park Rangers. Seny Dieng tries a through ball, but Andre Gray is caught offside.
Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Yoann Barbet.
Attempt blocked. Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jérémie Bela.
Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers).
(Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Woods (Birmingham City).
Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Maxime Colin with a cross.
Foul by Luke Amos (Queens Park Rangers).
Riley McGree (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Queens Park Rangers. Albert Adomah replaces Lyndon Dykes.