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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 21 39
2 Middlesbrough 21 39
3 Derby County 21 38
4 Ipswich Town 21 38
5 Brentford 21 37
6 Watford 21 35
7 Norwich City 21 33
8 Blackburn Rovers 21 31
9 Nottingham Forest 21 30
10 Charlton Athletic 21 30
11 Cardiff City 21 30
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 30
13 Sheffield Wednesday 21 28
14 Fulham 21 25
15 Birmingham City 21 25
16 Reading 21 25
17 Huddersfield Town 21 24
18 Bolton Wanderers 21 23
19 Leeds United 21 23
20 Millwall 21 23
21 Rotherham United 21 21
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 21 18
23 Wigan Athletic 21 17
24 Blackpool 21 13

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