QPR 2 – 0 Coventry

Second-half goals from Lyndon Dykes and Yoann Barbet gave QPR a 2-0 victory at home to Coventry.

Dykes scored on 68 minutes – just after coming on as a substitute – and Barbet doubled the lead eight minutes later.

It means Rangers go into the international break unbeaten in their first five Sky Bet Championship matches of the season and second in the table, below west London neighbours Fulham.

QPR celebrate their victory over Coventry

Dykes’ goal – the Scotland striker’s 10th in his past 14 league appearances – came against the run of play, with his side having spent much of the game on the back foot.

Coventry failed to clear Chris Willock’s ball into the penalty area and Dom Ball intelligently headed towards Dykes, who found the bottom corner of the net with a right-footed strike.

And there was no way back for the Sky Blues after Barbet netted in fine style.

The Frenchman was denied a spectacular goal when keeper Simon Moore kept out his long-range half-volley, but Barbet continued his run towards the box and pounced on the loose ball to fire home.

QPR have had a tendency to start games slowly under boss Mark Warburton, who called for a better start from his players.

He did not get his wish – they were sluggish early on again and Coventry were the better team in the first half.

The visitors looked threatening, especially in the opening 20 minutes, and Seny Dieng was called upon to keep out shots from Ian Maatsen, Callum O’Hare and Gustavo Hamer.

At the other end, Moore did superbly to tip Ilias Chair’s free-kick onto the top of the bar and also clawed away a header from Jordy de Wijs.

Coventry were on top again in the early stages of the second half and keeper Dieng was called into action once more, this time to deny Martyn Waghorn.

QPR then finally began to impose themselves but struggled to create chances, with Charlie Austin an isolated figure in attack until Warburton made an all-important change, sending on Dykes and switching to two up front.

It had an immediate effect, dramatically turning the match in Rangers’ favour.

Their start to the season is the club’s best for eight years and they have lost just seven of their 31 league matches in 2021.

Substitute Osman Kakay almost added a late third when he shot into the side netting after good work by Moses Odubajo.

What the managers said…

QPR’s Mark Warburton: “It’s fair to say we could have been one down easily. They were the better team in the first half. They were far more dangerous. We were second best in the first half and fortunate to come in at half-time with a clean sheet.

“We were much better in the second half but still nowhere near the level. To win that game, keep a clean sheet and get three points and not be at your best, the boys deserve enormous credit. The international break comes at a good time. Some of the boys are running on empty.”

Coventry’s Mark Robins: “When you’re in control like we were – against a really good team by the way – you need to take one of your chances and if you do that it puts a bit of doubt into them and the crowd. We have to take one of the chances we had early on to create that impetus.

“It was a bit of a lesson for us, but there are lots of positives to take from it. It’s been a brilliant start to the season for us and with some rest and some work now, four of the next block of six games after the international break are at home, so there are some really tasty games there. We have to make sure that we get things right and not give up chances, but once we get into our stride I think we’ll improve.”

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