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Loftus Road (ATT 18,198) 2nd April 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: P Dowd

QPR Queens Park Rangers vs Sunderland S'land

QPR 1

ft

S'land 3

Black Cats move five clear

Last Updated: 02/04/05 5:30pm

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Championship leaders Sunderland produced a fine second half fightback to beat QPR 3-1 and move five points clear of Wigan and Ipswich with six games left to play.

Dan Shittu had put Rangers in front in the first half at Loftus Road, but the Black Cats came out fighting after the break and goals from Andy Welsh, Chris Brown and Julio Arca gave them the three points.

With a trip to Wigan looming in midweek for Mick McCarthy's men this seventh consecutive league victory was crucial for establishing a margin for error at the top.

It was the home side who forced the pace in the first half, with Lee Cook and Paul Furlong denied by goal-line clearances before the breakthrough came after 22 minutes.

Shittu was left completely unmarked at the far post as he met a corner from Martin Rowlands and he beat Thomas Myhre with a powerful header.

Sunderland should have equalised when Arca crossed towards Whitehead, but the young winger headed wide of Simon Royce's goal.

Furlong missed another good chance as he forced a smart save from Myhre, before Georges Santos had a header cleared off the line in stoppage time.

The second half was a different story as Sunderland took control and they wasted no time in drawing level, as Welsh volleyed in Stephen Wright's cross in the first minute of the half.

A fine passing move then led to the second goal on 63 minutes. Marcus Stewart released Whitehead down the right and his cut back was turned in from 10 yards by Brown.

Arca put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes from time with Sunderland's third, ramming the ball home after Royce had blocked Stewart's initial effort.

Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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