Premier League - Dazzling Townsend strike helps QPR floor Sunderland

Premier League, Loftus Road - Queens Park Rangers 3 (Remy 30, Townsend 70, Jenas 89) Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 20)

Premier League - Dazzling Townsend strike helps QPR floor Sunderland

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Andros Townsend celebrates his goal against Sunderland (AFP)

Andros Townsend unearthed one of the goals of the season as QPR boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Loftus Road.

It was the first time Townsend had scored in the Premier League as he met the ball some 25 yards from goal before smashing a looping volley into the net to give QPR their first back-to-back wins in England's top division for the first time since December 1995.

Substitute Jermaine Jenas - on for fellow goalscorer Loic Remy on 80 minutes - finished off the visitors with a low driven volley from 22 yards out one minute from time after Remy (30) had cancelled out Steven Fletcher's opening goal for the visiting side on 20 minutes.

QPR are level on points with Reading at the foot of the table, and are only four points from safety with Aston Villa clinging to the life raft in 17th spot after their 2-1 victory at Reading elsewhere on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp raised his arms to the heavens in celebration.

And it is little wonder with QPR looking highly impressive throughout the afternoon in displaying a spirit and unity that was lacking under Mark Hughes earlier in the campaign.

QPR were without goalkeeper Julio Cesar, but Bobby Zamora started for the home side. Brazil international Cesar had to be replaced in the second half of last weekend's 2-1 win at Southampton following a heavy collision, while Zamora was doubtful with the ankle injury that has kept him out of that match. Robert Green, who made a vital late save after coming on at St Mary's, enjoyed a relatively sedate afternoon as Sunderland toiled to open up the home team.

Martin O'Neill's Sunderland were unchanged from the side that drew with Fulham last week.

Redknapp had targeted 37 points before this match for survival - five wins and two draws from their remaining 10 Premier League fixtures.

This is one of those victories, but they had to do it the hard way after falling behind when Fletcher tucked away Adam Johnson's driven shot across the face of the home goal after some bright play by Stephane Sessegnon out wide.

It was Sunderland's first real attack of the match, but QPR were quick to restore parity when Remy slipped the ball beyond Simon Mignolet after a Townsend effort had broken kindly to him inside the home box.

QPR moved clear when Townsend's volley flew beyond Mignolet after Sunderland seemed to have cleared a corner with Jenas doing likewise with another fine effort from distance that probably gave a truer reflection of the nature of the match.

Jenas had failed to score in his previous 43 Premier League appearances. It was his first Premier League goal since September 2009 when he scored in Tottenham’s 5-0 win over Burnley at White Hart Lane. More importantly, it gives QPR real momentum in their push to avoid relegation with only seven points now splitting the seven bottom teams in the table.


Andros Townsend (QPR): An excellent performance by the youngster was endorsed by his stunning volley that helped ensure his side the three points.


QPR: Green 7, Bosingwa 7, Samba 8, Hill 8, Fabio 7, Townsend 8, Park 7, Mbia 7, Hoilett 8, Zamora 7, Remy 8..subs: Wright-Phillips 6, Mackie 6, Jenas 8

SUNDERLAND: Mignolet 7, Gardner 6, Colback 6, O'Shea 6, Bramble 7, Johnson 6, Sessegnon 7, N'Diaye 6, Larsson 6, Graham 5, Fletcher 6..subs: Bardsley 6, Rose 6, Vaughan 6,


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