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Football: City thrash QPR
Hull City 4 – 0 QPR (Saturday April 7)
The Tigers were in fine form on Saturday afternoon as they handed out a 4-0 thrashing to Queens Park Rangers at the KCOM Stadium. Nigel Adkins’ side took control of the game in the latter stages of the first half, Harry Wilson opening the scoring on his return to the starting 11 before an own goal from QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies saw the lead doubled.
Kamil Grosicki added a third after the break before Abel Hernandez rounded off the scoring as a seven-point gap above the relegation places was maintained.
Hernandez, Jarrod Bowen and Wilson were amongst those recalled to the starting 11 as Adkins made five changes to his side following the mid-week draw with Wolves. Michael Dawson and Seb Larsson also came back in as Angus MacDonald, David Meyler, Fikayo Tomori, Stephen Kingsley and Nouha Dicko made way.
A quiet opening ten minutes brought little action of note. A couple of QPR corners were comfortably dealt with, while a well-timed challenge on Wilson at the other end prevented the winger from getting a shot away on the edge of the visitor’s box.
Bowen saw an 11th-minute effort deflect wide before QPR were forced into an early change when defender Joel Lynch pulled up and had to be replaced by Jack Robinson.
A half-chance came the way of Hernandez inside the six-yard box after promising work by Bowen down the right, but the Uruguayan striker couldn’t quite take control as he looked to turn and finish, with Jon Toral beaten to a follow-up cross from Max Clark.
A foul on Bowen then gave the Tigers a free-kick in a promising position 20 yards from goal. Bowen took it himself and curled an effort just wide.
Bowen and Jake Bidwell were both booked with half-an-hour played after clashing close to the touchline before Hernandez fired a low shot into the hands of goalkeeper Smithies.
The best chance of the half fell to Hernandez seven minutes before the break. Wilson’s deep cross was knocked back into the middle by Bowen only for the striker to miss his kick. Wilson then fired the loose ball over the bar.
However, the home side would still take the lead before the interval. Toral did well to nip in and win possession before being fouled, with the referee playing a good advantage as the ball rolled invitingly to Hernandez. He drove forward before playing in Wilson to his left and he found the far corner of the net with a composed low finish.
In fact, it got even better in added time as the Tigers made it 2-0. Again Toral was the man who started things before feeding Markus Henriksen. He in turn found Hernandez and when his shot came back off the crossbar, the luck was with the home side as the ball hit Smithies and rolled into the back of the net.
There was an early change in the second half as Bowen was replaced by Grosicki and that was followed by the introduction of Jackson Irvine for Toral just before the hour.
Luke Freeman fired just wide for QPR as they looked to bring the game back to life with Ebere Eze then seeing a shot deflect away for a corner which was well defended by the home side.
The Tigers killed the game dead, though, with a third goal on 62 minutes. Wilson was the creator, sliding a lovely ball through for Grosicki who did the rest with a calm finish underneath the advancing Smithies.
And it was soon 4-0 as Hernandez rounded off a lovely move that ended with Grosicki floating a delightful cross to the far post where Henriksen knocked the ball back into the middle and the Uruguayan could hardly miss from four yards.
It was the final contribution from Hernandez, who departed to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Fraizer Campbell.
Irvine picked up a late yellow card before Rangers were reduced to ten men in the final minute as Nedum Onuoha was given his marching orders after running 30 yards to barge into Henriksen when play had been halted for a foul on Irvine.
Campbell was denied a goal in added time by a good defensive block, with the Tigers comfortably claiming a clean sheet and a big three points.
Hull City: Allan McGregor, Ola Aina, Michael Dawson, Michael Hector, Max Clark, Sebastian Larsson, Markus Henriksen, Jarrod Bowen (Kamil Grosicki 51), Jon Toral (Jackson Irvine 59), Harry Wilson, Abel Hernandez (Fraizer Campbell 70).
Subs Not Used: David Marshall, David Meyler, Fikayo Tomori, Angus MacDonald.
Attendance: 14,181 (691 visiting supporters).
(Report courtesy of www.hullcitytigers.com)