sábado, 24 de marzo de 2012

Sunderland 3 - 1 Queens Park Rangers

Sunderland cruised to a 3-1 win over 10-man Queens Park Rangers on Saturday (local time) to stretch their unbeaten run over the visitors to 10 games.

Denmark international Nicklas Bendtner met James McClean's cross shortly before half-time to head Sunderland ahead at the Stadium of Light, before QPR's Djibril Cisse was sent off for a dangerous two-footed challenge early in the second half.

The excellent McClean then made the scoresheet with a deflected effort on 70 minutes and Stephane Sessegnon made it 3-0 six minutes later, with Taye Taiwo grabbing a consolation for QPR with a superb free-kick after 79 minutes.

The result continued QPR's poor away form, with Mark Hughes' side picking up only two points out of the last 27 available.

After a cagey opening McClean, who signed a new contract at the Stadium of Light this week, made his first impact on the game with a darting run, but Anton Ferdinand and Taiwo were able to clear their lines.

Jack Colback had two good chances in succession on 15 minutes, first scuffing a low shot wide before being found by Bendtner and drilling a left-footed strike into the side netting.

QPR's first chance fell to Jamie Mackie moments later when he met a Luke Young cross, but the Scot's header was deflected over Simon Mignolet's crossbar.

John O'Shea limped off just before the half-hour mark with a calf injury, and Martin O'Neill brought on Fraizer Campbell to replace him, meaning a shift in formation for the hosts.

McClean made another dangerous run into the QPR box on 36 minutes and drilled a low cross looking for Bendtner, but Taiwo was able to clear.

The hosts broke the deadlock on 40 minutes when McClean found himself in space on the left, and his deep cross was met by Bendtner, who rose high to nod low to Paddy Kenny's left and put Sunderland in front.

Hughes did not wait long to change things for QPR in the second half, bringing on Akos Buzsaky for Samba Diakite after 51 minutes, with the midfielder's early yellow card in mind.

Craig Gardner rattled the crossbar with a fine curling effort, and QPR's afternoon got worse on 54 minutes when Cisse received a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Campbell.

Sunderland immediately began to enjoy their numerical advantage, with Sessegnon making a good run and flashing a shot over the bar.

Hughes reacted shortly afterwards by bringing on Shaun Wright-Phillips for Adel Taarabt in an effort to salvage the game.

The pressure finally told on 70 minutes as a high ball was found by McClean, who scored with a deflected effort that wrong-footed Kenny.

Sunderland then moved further ahead on 76 minutes when McClean linked up well with David Vaughan on the left, and his precise low cross found Sessegnon, giving him the easiest of finishes to make it three.

Taiwo struck a superb 25-yard free-kick into the top corner to make it 3-1, but there would be no miracle comeback for QPR, who slumped to their sixth loss from their past eight Premier League games.

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