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Report: Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Rovers

Yoann Barbet's close range finish is the difference at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium

6 February 2021

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Yoann Barbet's close range finish was the difference as Rovers' unbeaten start to 2021 in the league came to an end at Queens Park Rangers.

The Frenchman latched onto the end of a lucky ricochet to prod beyond Thomas Kaminski early into the second half.

Rovers had their chances throughout the game at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, with Adam Armstrong seeing Seny Dieng in inspired form throughout the game.

The pick of the saves came midway through the second half, with the Swiss stopper producing an outstanding stop to tip over the forward's curling strike that was looping towards the top corner.

It turned into a day of frustration in the capital, but Rovers couldn't find a route back into the game against a Rangers side that had six at the back by the end of the game.

Tony Mowbray made three changes to his team for the encounter against Mark Warburton's hosts.

The birth of his daughter meant Barry Douglas sat the game out, with Amari'i Bell coming in to replace the Scot at full back.

Further forward, Jacob Davenport came in for Stewart Downing, whilst Sam Gallagher earned a start in place of the benched Ben Brereton.

Rovers had an early let-off just seven minutes into the clash when former loanee Todd Kane drove wide of Thomas Kaminski's left-hand post when he really should have tested the Belgian.

It took Rovers until the 20th minute to test Dieng, but the returning Davenport saw his volley fly wide of the Swiss stopper's left-hand post.

Dieng was called into action a moment later as he dived to his left to tip over Armstrong's dipping free kick from 25 yards out as Rovers began to grow into the match.

Armstrong in particular was starting to become influential for the visitors, with his cross deflecting off Rob Dickie and clanging against the post before his cut-back was slammed over the upright by Harvey Elliott.

Armstrong again went close with five minutes of the half remaining, but after collecting Joe Rothwell's diagonal pass, he jinked beyond Dickie but fired just past the post.

The sides went into the break all square, but Rovers will have counted themselves unfortunate not to have gone in with a slender lead for their first half showing.

That man Armstrong had the first opportunity of the second half, but he saw the impressive Dieng in his way again after racing clear, with his effort stinging the palms of the home goalkeeper from just outside the box.

However, the hosts took the lead 10 minutes into the second half through Barbet's close range finish.

A free kick into the box wasn't cleared well enough, the ball fell kindly to the French centre back and he tucked into the bottom corner from just six yards out.

Rovers responded well though and after a volley from Lewis Holtby was parried by Dieng and fell the way of Armstrong, a superb block from Dickie stopped a certain equaliser.

Armstrong continued to be denied just a few minutes later when Dieng produced an unbelievable save to tip over the hitman's curling effort that was destined for the top corner with 22 minutes of the encounter remaining.

However, Holtby, who had come on as a substitute just after the hour, was forced off with what looked like a knee injury just 15 minutes later and was replaced by Brereton.

Rovers were being patient in their play and it was Brereton's hook forward which was comfortable for Dieng to hold as the clock ticked into the final minute of normal time in west London.

That was to prove to be the final chance of an equaliser as Rovers went home disappointed to take nothing away from a game they deserved at least a point from.

Queens Park Rangers: Dieng, Kane, Wallace, Dickie, Barbet, Dykes (Adomah, 83), Chair, Ball, Johansen (Bettache, 74), Cameron (c), Austin (Bonne, 74)

Unused substitutes: Lumley, Thomas, Willock, Kakay, Hamalainen, Kelman.

Goal: Barbet, 55.

Booked: Austin, 5, Ball, 20, Adomah, 90.

Rovers: Kaminski, Nyambe (Harwood-Bellis, 62), Lenihan (c), Branthwaite, Bell, Travis, Davenport (Dack, 62), Rothwell (Holtby, 62) (Brereton, 77), Elliott, Armstrong, Gallagher (Dolan, 75).

Unused substitutes: Pears, Downing, Buckley, Bennett.

Booked: Davenport, 10, Gallagher, 60.

Referee: Tony Harrington.


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