QPR 2-0 Luton Town: Hoops move up to fifth with win against a lacklustre Luton
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

In the first EFL game back after the international break, Queens Park Rangers defeated a spirited but misfiring Luton Town

A sublime chip from Chris Willock in the first half and a close range header from Charlie Austin in the second, were enough for Mark Warburton's men to beat the travelling Hatters.

Individually, Willock's strike was his fourth of the season and for Austin - it was his first goal in 11 league games.

After this, QPR now move up to fifth before this weekend's action. Nathan Jones' side however, stay in 11th. 

  • Teams

After the international break, Queens Park Rangers faced Luton Town with three changes to the line-up that drew 1-1 with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. 

Moses Odubajo was replaced by Lee Wallace. The Scott came into the side pushing Andre Dozzell out to the left wing. Wallace was joined in centre midfield by Stefan Johansen, who replaced Luke Amos. The final change saw Charlie Austin replace Lyndon Dykes up top. 

QPR: Dieng; Barbet, Dunne, Dickie, Adomah, Dozzell, Wallace, Johansen, Willock, Chair, Austin.

Luton's selection also reflected three changes of their own. Fred Onyedinma came in for Amari'i Bell to add his attacking exuberance to the left side. Gabe Osho was replaced by Henri Lansbury in the midfield and Tom Lockyer was in for Reece Burke

Luton Town: Sluga; Onyedinma, Bradley, Lockyer, Naismith, Bree, Mpanzu, Lansbury, Campbell, Cornick, Adebayo.

  • Story of the match

The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium saw a frenetic start to this Friday night fixture. Elijah Adebayo pounced on a lapse of concentration, intercepting a Rob Dickie throw back to Yoann Barbet. He then evaded his man, and would have been able to slot home, had goalkeeper Seny Dieng not got a vital hand to the ball to stop the run across the box. 

Rangers braced well and hunkered down amidst the early pressure. They prepared so well, that it was actually a Luton corner that was the visitor's own undoing. The flicked ball scuttled out of the box and Ilias Chair superbly pinged a long pass for Chris Willock to chase. The winger was away and as the ball sat up kindly, he saw Simon Sluga drifting into 'no man's land'. He lobbed the Croatian calmly to seal his second goal in two games just inside 10 minutes. 

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The early goal had the home side in the ascendency, but Luton still persevered. Here began a real end to end period. First on 15 minutes, Lee Wallace received the ball from the left wing before curling his edge of the box effort across Sluga's goal. 

The Hatters reacted with persistence and a minute later had the ball in the QPR box. Barbet forced Harry Cornick right but couldn't stop the tight angle shot. Dieng stayed low at his front post to deny the forward. On 18 minutes, Luton were back it again but this time it was Adebayo who couldn't convert. Yet again on the right side of the box, Barbet put an end to the build up with a superb sliding block. 

After some continued back and forth, the next notable effort was from Charlie Austin on 25 minutes. Surging down the left, the front man couldn't capitalise on space and blasted his shot wide of the near post. Five minutes later, he would mark the half hour with another miss - this time missing left from a Johansen corner. 

Luton ended the first half with a couple of missed chances. On 38' Adebayo had his long range effort saved. On 44', just before the half was out, Cornick had his attempt from outside the box blocked. At the half time whistle, Luton would've rued their chances but still felt they were in the game - evident as Nathan Jones looked to push the momentum by sending the squad out early. 

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This seemed to keep the visitor's fired up, as the men in orange began well. A corner from the right found Kal Naismith at the near post. His headed effort had the away support fooled on 49' - rippling the side netting. This and an Onyedinma effort after cutting in from the left on 51 minutes seemed promising for Town, but QPR held out and hit back with a sucker punch. 

54 minutes saw Charlie Austin double the home side's lead. Coming from a contentious free kick on the right, the second phase of play saw a ball in from the left headed back across by Jimmy Dunne. The ex-Burnley mans nod was met by Austin who headed past Sluga to seal his 3rd goal in three matches against Luton. 

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After this, a yellow card for Andre Dozzell for a robust elbow on 58' and Pelly Ruddock-Mpanzu's blazing the ball into the stands, signified a scrappy period of play. The collective bar was raised though with some classy defending by Dunne inside 65 minutes. His touch was crucial in making Naismith's ball from the left evade the onrushing Harry Cornick

This would be Cornick's last action, as two minutes later he made way for Admiral Muskwe. The substitute seemed to add more offensive gusto and Luton surged forward. Henri Lansbury's jinking run was ended by a lazy Adomah challenge. The prevailing free kick was wasted on the 70 minute mark, Bree smashing straight into the wall before Lansbury sent the rebound from 25 yards in to the stands. His three and a half year wait for a goal continued...

78 minutes saw more changes across the board. Goal scorer Austin was replaced by Sam Field. For Luton, Campbell came off for Cameron Jerome and then finally Albert Adomah came off to great applause for Osman Kakay

On 82 minutes, Luton continued with one of few consistent themes in their play - the inability to finish. Substitute Muskwe found the ball at his feet and struck first time from the right inside the box. He had plenty of power but less precision as his shot flashed over and wide. 

Fan favourite Ilias Chair made way for Luke Amos 88 minutes in, to yet another round of applause. The West London faithful were clearly happy after a good day's work from the Moroccan. 

After the signalled four additional minutes were up, the final whistle signified a frustrating evening for Luton, but QPR immerged as deserved winners. This victory, although before a weekend of EFL action, sees them move to fifth. Luton on the other hand stay 11th.  QPR's next game is at home to Huddersfield Town and Luton face Nottingham Forest away. 

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