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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 Watford 44 85
2 Bournemouth 44 84
3 Middlesbrough 44 84
4 Norwich City 44 82
5 Derby County 44 76
6 Ipswich Town 44 75
7 Brentford 44 72
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 44 72
9 Blackburn Rovers 43 60
10 Charlton Athletic 44 60
11 Nottingham Forest 44 59
12 Sheffield Wednesday 44 59
13 Cardiff City 44 56
14 Birmingham City 43 54
15 Huddersfield Town 44 53
16 Leeds United 44 52
17 Bolton Wanderers 44 51
18 Fulham 44 49
19 Reading 42 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 44 46
21 Rotherham United 43 44
22 Millwall 43 40
23 Wigan Athletic 44 39
24 Blackpool 44 25

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