Adel Taarabt seems to have found his feet at Queens Park Rangers, where his excellent start to the season has contributed to them being top of the table with a perfect record after three games.
Influential in last week's 3-0 victory at Sheffield United, the mercurial Moroccan was in outstanding form again yesterday as QPR brushed aside Scunthorpe by a 2-0 scoreline that did not reflect their dominance. Taarabt, a constant torment to Scunthorpe, took the corner from which Bradley Orr headed Rangers in front after 17 minutes, and he slid a pass through the left channel for Heidar Helguson to lob the second four minutes before half-time.
Neil Warnock clearly does not want QPR to appear a one-man team. "Adel Taarabt will get all the plaudits," he said. "But as manager, the top men for me were Matt Connolly at the back and Alejandro Faurlin in midfield. I've never worked with anyone like Alejandro. He's a great player and a great professional."
Cardiff, Burnley, Coventry and Ipswich are in hot pursuit, two points behind QPR. Lukas Jutkiewicz set Coventry on their way to a 2-1 win over Derby with a penalty after Dean Leacock fouled Gary McSheffrey, but Derby equalised when Robbie Savage, playing his 500th League game, sent John Brayford away to cross for Dean Moxey to score. Ben Turner settled things with a header from a corner in the 80th minute.
Burnley took until added time in the first half to break through against Leicester, Ross Wallace scoring with a 25-yard drive. After the break their superiority told, with Chris Iwelumo heading the second and Graham Alexander wrapping up a 3-0 victory with a penalty after Michael Lamey fouled Chris Eagles.
Bristol City have hardly been out of the news this season – signing the England goalkeeper David James, opening up with a 3-0 home defeat by Millwall and Steve Coppell deciding once again that management was not for him. The drama was on the pitch yesterday. City went 2-0 down against Barnsley in 12 minutes to two goals by Andy Gray, the first a penalty after a foul by Cole Skuse on Hugo Colace. Marvin Elliot and Albert Adomah brought them level within 10 minutes, but Adam Hammill put them behind again five minutes after the break. They grabbed a point when David Clarkson netted a penalty after Jay McEveley fouled Ivan Sproule on the hour.
Norwich City fought hard to beat Swansea, with all the significant action coming in the final 10 minutes. John Ruddy stopped Swansea taking the lead by saving David Cotterill's penalty after the goalkeeper had fouled Scott Sinclair and then Norwich went ahead when Ashley Williams turned Anthony McNamee's cross into his own net. In added time Simeon Jackson scored from Grant Holt's cross.
Elsewhere, Preston rose from the bottom by beating Portsmouth 1-0, Reading and Nottingham Forest drew 1-1 and Hull drew 0-0 with Watford.
Carlisle dominated against Milton Keynes Dons, winning 4-1 to go top. They took advantage of Charlton and Oldham, the top two at kick-off, drawing 1-1 in south London. Scott Wagstaff gave the home side the lead after 24 minutes, but Dean Furman cracked in a fine equaliser just before half-time for an Oldham side who finished with 10 men after Jason Jarrett's late second yellow. Giles Coke's first goal for Sheffield Wednesday gave them a 1-0 home win over Brighton in a hard- fought game that made them the fourth side on seven points at the top.
Match of the day at this level? Take your pick. Rotherham came back from 3-1 down at home to Cheltenham to win 6-4, with Adam Le Fondre scoring four times – twice from close range and twice from the edge of the penalty area. But the biggest win went to Crewe, who thrashed bottom-of-the-table Barnet 7-0. Torquay kept another clean sheet, beating 10-man Bradford 2-0 with goals from Danny Stevens and Chris Zebroski to stay top.Reuse content