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QPR Secure a Win as Preston Loses Again

Toby Young Getty

QPR won back-to-back Championship matches for the first time since April, thanks to an outstanding second-half effort by Ilias Chair.

The Londoners won their first game in 13 matches last time out, and another three points at Deepdale means Marti Cifuentes’ resurgence is fully underway after only five games in charge.

Preston went into the game knowing that a win would bring them into the play-off positions, but instead, they must face the reality of three defeats in a row, with home fans booing Ryan Lowe’s team from the field.

The freezing conditions didn’t help the first half, but Chair’s introduction at halftime changed the game, with the Morocco international setting up Paul Smyth and Chris Willock for straightforward finishes. QPR are still in the relegation zone but are only three points away from safety, while Preston are still in ninth place.

Cifuentes will be pleased with how quickly his QPR players have adapted to his techniques, but he was concerned about the game even taking place before kick-off. The Spanish coach, who has already managed in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, voiced anxiety over the pitch’s temperature, which was below zero.

But the officials were oblivious, and play proceeded as planned – though many who had traveled to Deepdale may have wished it hadn’t. In a boring first half, Preston and QPR combined for one shot on target and an expected goals total of 0.07, with boos accompanying the players down the tunnel.

The only incident in the opening 45 minutes was a brutal elbow into the face of Andrew Hughes by Lyndon Dykes, which left Lowe enraged that the QPR striker did not receive a red card.

Freddie Woodman’s excellent save from range stopped Andre Dozzell, but he couldn’t stop Willock from clinching the game moments later after Chair picked him out with a low cross. Preston finished the game with one shot on goal and an expected goals total of 0.19 in what turned out to be a disastrous night for the hosts.

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