Sheffield Wednesday match report: Queens Park Rangers 1 Owls 2

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday
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First half strikes by Adam Reach and Daniel Pudil ensured play-off chasing Sheffield Wednesday secured a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers as they maintained their upward momentum.

The result was the Owls' fourth consecutive Championship win and sees Carlos Carvalhal's side move up to fifth in the table with three matches remaining.

Head coach Carvalhal shuffled his pack for the Owls' second fixture in the space of four days, making three changes to the side who beat Cardiff City on Good Friday. Liam Palmer filled in at right-back, with Jack Hunt ruled out because of a calf problem.

Glenn Loovens was passed fit to play, having shrugged off a groin injury, and Jordan Rhodes was paired with Gary Hooper up front. Vincent Sasso and Steven Fletcher dropped to the bench.

Wednesday dominated possession in the early stages and opened the scoring in the 12th minute with their first meaningful opportunity.

The hosts failed to effectively deal with Daniel Pudil's centre and the ball ricocheted through to Reach, who drilled an unstoppable left foot shot past Alex Smithies. One chance, one goal.

It was Reach's third goal of the season and first since the victory over Birmingham City.

QPR looked devoid of confidence and belief and Pudil's header forced Smithies into another save after a neat knock down by Tom Lees.

But out of nothing, the R's restored parity in the 20th minute, with Idrissa Sylla deftly lifting his shot over Keiren Westwood after a great run by Jamie Mackie. Wednesday switched off defensively and paid the price.

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Ross Wallace's delivery from dead ball situations caused QPR problems throughout the first period and it proved their undoing just after the half hour mark. Pudil nodded home from close range after Smithies thwarted Jordan Rhodes, who was one of three changes made by Carvalhal.

It took a superb last ditch tackle by Jack Robinson to prevent Wallace from testing the reflexes of Smithies after a lovely throughball by Reach.

It was end to end stuff and Westwood produced a brilliant reflex stop to palm over Sylla's header following a long throw in by Robinson.

QPR, adopting a 3-5-2 formation, stepped things up after the restart and Jake Bidwell should have done better with a volley from inside the penalty area. Jamie Mackie had a penalty shout waved when he appeared to be clattered in to by Westwood on the right-hand side of the area but referee Andy Davies was not interested.

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Wednesday always offered a threat on the counter attack and Rhodes' downward header was kept at bay by Smithies before Barry Bannan's rasping left foot drive drifted narrowly over.

It was an open, entertaining affair and substitute Kazenga Lualua curled over for the R's after a speedy counter attack.

Carvalhal's men spurned a string of chances to grab a third as Pudil header over when well-placed. Moments later, substitute Fernando Forestieri tried to create a little bit of space for himself in the penalty area but James Perch dived into block his effort.

QPR piled on the pressure in the closing stages and Matt Smith flashed a header inches off target after an inviting cross by Jake Bidwell.

But Wednesday refused to buckle and held on for a first victory at Loftus Road since 2000.

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