This is how it played out as Sunderland fight back to secure big QPR win
Sunderland beat QPR 3-1 on Saturday afternoon
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Sunderland continued their excellent form by coming from behind to secure a 3-1 win at QPR.
Kenneth Paal had given the hosts an early lead but the complexion of the game changed entirely when former Black Cats Jack Colback was shown red for a late challenge on Jobe Bellingham.
Jack Clarke got his side level just before the interval when his effort was deflected in, and goals from Dan Ballard and Abdoullah Ba secured the three points from a dominant second half. The only negative from the game was an early injury to Pierre Ekwah, who has been so influential in recent months.
Tony Mowbray's side started the game in control of possession, Ballard going close when he met Clarke's corner at the back post but could only turn over the bar on the stretch. That bright start began to slow as the tempo of the game dipped, Pierre Ekwah receiving treatment for a knock.
That have QPR a platform into the game and with their first effort on target, they were ahead. Sunderland dealt with the first phase of a long throw well enough, they couldn't fully clear their lines and the ball broke for Kenneth Paal on the edge of the area, his low drive going through a crowd of bodies and nestling in the bottom corner.
Sunderland's problems were worsened as Ekwah limped out of the contest shortly after. The Black Cats looked a little laboured but they were given a lifeline ten minutes later when Jack Colback miscontrolled a pass, crashing into a late challenge on the back of Jobe's ankle with studs raised. He saw red and Sunderland had their opening.
Jobe headed a cross into the net shortly after but the flag was raised for offside and in truth, Sunderland for the rest of the half struggled to make their advantage count. QPR's work ethic out of possession was excellent and they were successful in slowing the game down, constant stoppages keeping the ball away from their goal. Sunderland, for their part, were sloppy in possession and spurning promising positions when they came.
So it was something of a surprise when they levelled in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Clarke driving across goal and firing in a long-range shot. Begovic would likely have saved easily, but Cook delivered it into the bottom corner.
After the break Sunderland looked a different side, making their extra play show in their domination of the ball. Ballard should have put them ahead almost immediately, bit couldn't make a good enough connection on a free header. Jobe was then inches from turning a low cross at close range, denied only by an excellent saving tackle. The reprieve was brief. Pritchard did superbly to control the following corner as it was headed out and then played a delicate 1-2 with Roberts. Begovic made the save, but could only palm it into the path of Ballard who scored from a yard out.
Sunderland continued to create chances, Ba striking the post from a narrow angle before substitute Aouchiche curled an effort just wide of the far post. The debutant was showing excellent intelligence, regularly picking up dangerous positions and pockets of space. That eventually told for Sunderland as Pritchard's clever pass found him at the byline. His cross was just over the top of Jobe but there to meet it was Ba, crashing an excellent first-time effort into the top corner on his weaker foot.
QPR could have reduced the deficit when a couple of crosses into the box presented half chances, but they were equally vulnerable on the break and Roberts went close to extending the lead when he met Ba's audacious backheel in the box.
Sunderland XI: Patterson; Hume, Ballard, O'Nien, Huggins (Roberts, 45); Neil, Ekwah (Pritchard, 13); Ba, Jobe (Hemir, 83), Clarke; Burstow (Aouchiche, 60)
Subs: Bishop, Seelt, Triantis, Rigg, Bennette
QPR XI: Begovic; Kakay, Cook (Clarke-Salter, 73), Fox, Paal (Willock, 67); Colback, Field, Dozzell; Smyth (Dykes, 59), Chair (Larkeche, 67), Armstrong (Kolli, 67)
Subs: Walsh, Adomah, Dixon-Bonner, Duke-McKenna
Bookings: Armstong, 32 Kakay, 79
Red card: Colback, 21