Yakubu returns as Blackburn edge past QPR

Blackburn 3 QPR 2

Ayegbeni Yakubu made a goalscoring return as Blackburn survived a second-half fightback from fellow strugglers QPR to secure three precious points at Ewood Park.

Rovers striker Yakubu, back from suspension, opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, Steven Nzonzi extended the lead in the 23rd by converting Junior Hoilett's pass and Nedum Onuoha's own-goal then made it 3-0 just prior to the interval.

Substitute Jamie Mackie netted in the 71st minute and again in the closing stages to set up a nervy finale, but Blackburn held on for the victory, the ideal response to last weekend's humiliating 7-1 defeat at Arsenal.

A two-goal win would have seen Rovers move out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone and send QPR into it, but Mackie's late second strike means the London outfit stay where they are in 16th, while Blackburn are up a place to 18th, with both clubs level on 21 points from 25 games.

Top scorer Yakubu returned to the hosts' starting line-up after serving a three-match ban, but defender Gael Givet was beginning a suspension following his sending-off in the Arsenal game, so Grant Hanley also came into the team, along with Bradley Orr, who was making his first start since joining from the R's on transfer deadline day, and Mauro Formica.

QPR's former Rovers boss Mark Hughes - without suspended frontman Djibril Cisse - made three changes following the 2-1 defeat to Wolves, bringing Fitz Hall, Armand Traore and Akos Buzsaky into the side.

Blackburn were eager to put their debacle at the Emirates Stadium firmly behind them but they almost suffered further embarrassment early on when Hanley made an error and Bobby Zamora looked to capitalise, only to see his cross intercepted.

Rovers soon settled down, with Hoilett firing an effort against Anton Ferdinand, and on the quarter-hour mark they took the lead as Yakubu marked his comeback in style.

The Nigerian collected the ball from Nzonzi's flick-on, turned and smashed home past Paddy Kenny for his 14th goal of the season.

QPR tried to make a quick response as Onuoha headed wide, but soon after Blackburn had doubled their advantage as Hoilett broke into the box and teed up Nzonzi, who swept the ball in.

Hoilett looked to put Rovers further ahead but his shot was blocked.

A tame attempt from QPR's Adel Taarabt did little to trouble Paul Robinson, and Morten Gamst Pedersen then drove a free-kick into the visitors' wall.

Hanley failed in a bid to connect with a corner, the Scot injuring himself in the process although he was able to carry on, before Buzsaky lashed well wide and Robinson got down to save Traore's shot.

Blackburn then made it 3-0 in first-half stoppage time, Scott Dann heading the ball across the area for Hoilett, whose shot went in off Onuoha.

There was a setback for Rovers at the start of the second half with Hoilett having to be withdrawn, Adam Henley the man to come on.

Moments later, though, they almost had another goal as Yakubu sent an audacious chip against the crossbar.

Onuoha found himself through in the 65th minute but produced a poor strike which Robinson saved with ease and Taye Taiwo then cracked one wide for the visitors.

QPR were applying some considerable pressure, and with a little under 20 minutes to go they pulled a goal back as Jamie Mackie - on for Buzsaky - put in Taiwo's cross with a close-range finish.

Mackie was then presented with another opportunity, but shot at Robinson.

The goalkeeper turned an effort from Taarabt around the post and Shaun Wright-Phillips hit one over the bar.

Mackie then struck at the death to make it 3-2, but it too late for the R's to salvage a draw.

PA

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style