A Yoann Barbet tap in gives QPR a 1-0 victory as Rovers suffer their first league defeat of 2021 as they looked to move closer to the play-offs.
In what was a tight game, Barbet’s early second half goal proved enough to give QPR the victory at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
A lot of credit will have to go to Semy Dieng in the QPR net as he twice denied Adam Armstrong with great saves, while defender Rob Dickie provided a mesmorising goal saving block to deny the Rovers top scorer.
Tony Mowbray made three changes from the side that beat Luton 1-0 last weekend, Sam Gallagher and Jacob Davenport replaced Ben Brereton and Stewart Downing who dropped to the bench also Amari’i Bell replaced Barry Douglas who yesterday welcomed his new baby daughter into the world.
📋 Team News
🔄 Three changes for #Rovers:
⬅️ Douglas, Downing, Brereton
➡️ Bell, Davenport, Gallagher
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) February 6, 2021
It was all QPR in the early proceedings, former Rovers loanee Todd Kane fired wide just after eight minutes after Jarrad Branthwaite blocked a shot from the lively Ilias Chair.
There were three bookings given out in the opening quarter of the match, Charlie Austin was booked just after a minute for pushing Lewis Travis to the floor, while Davenport was also given a yellow card for a challenge on Dickie and then Dominic Ball halted Gallagher as he looked to break away which resulted in the third yellow card.
The away side started to grow into the game with their first real chance coming from an Armstrong free kick which was superbly kept out by Dieng.
Armstrong started to cause havoc on the left hand side, he looked to isolate Dickie and his first attack saw him get to the byline, his cross got a deflection off Geoff Cameron which turned it against the outside of the post.
As we passed the half hour mark it was Armstrong again bursting down the left hand side after a brilliant pass from Davenport before cutting it back to Harvey Elliott who will be really annoyed not to have at least hit the target as he blasted it over.
As Rovers looked to push on it was the home side with the next opportunity, Chair ventured into the space on the left hand side and chose to drive towards the penalty area, his shot looked to be heading into the corner but Branthwaite was in the right place to clear it away.
Armstrong continued to be a handful for the QPR defence, he picked the ball up on the left hand side skipped past two men before firing just wide of the near post.
Rovers ended the half the strongest with Darragh Lenihan clipping a ball down the line which found Ryan Nyambe, his cross found Gallagher but he couldn’t get a good enough connection on his header to trouble the keeper.
Half Time QPR 0-0 Blackburn Rovers
For Rovers this marked the 11th game in their last 12 where the first half ended goalless.
As the second half got underway it was the away side that started how the left off, Lenihan’s ball forward found Armstrong who’s shot was straight at Dieng and he easily palmed it away.
It was clear to see that QPR’s best chance of scoring was through long balls into the box or a set piece, one ball dropped very kindly for Austin who’s shot was brilliantly blocked by Nyambe.
Very quickly after that it was the home side that took the lead from a free kick. Chair delivered from the right hand side and the ball bounced around in the box for what felt like an eternity before it fell to Barbet who stabbed the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
— QPR FC (@QPR) February 6, 2021
Mowbray looked to his bench for an impact and made a triple change bringing on Taylor Harwood-Bellis for his debut as well as Bradley Dack and Lewis Holtby.
Instantly after coming on Holtby was straight into the action firing a volley towards goal forcing save from Dieng which he palmed out straight to Armstrong who’s shot was superbly blocked by Dickie as he threw himself in front of the ball.
Rovers were pushing for an equaliser as Armstrong came forward once again on this left hand side, the ball fell the Dack who laid it back to Armstrong and his first time shot was remarkably saved by a full stretched Dieng.
The final 20 minutes were plagued by changes and stoppages which stopped any sort of flow that the game had which allowed the home side to see out this game rather comfortably.
With this result Rovers remain in eighth place and will be very disappointed as this was a great opportunity to close the gap between them and the play-off places.
Rovers return to action on Friday as the face local rivals Preston North End at Ewood Park.
Full Time QPR 1-0 Blackburn Rovers