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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 Derby County 34 65
2 Middlesbrough 34 63
3 Norwich City 34 62
4 Watford 34 62
5 Bournemouth 34 60
6 Ipswich Town 34 60
7 Brentford 34 58
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 57
9 Nottingham Forest 34 50
10 Sheffield Wednesday 34 46
11 Blackburn Rovers 34 45
12 Charlton Athletic 34 42
13 Birmingham City 34 42
14 Huddersfield Town 34 42
15 Cardiff City 34 41
16 Leeds United 34 41
17 Bolton Wanderers 34 40
18 Reading 34 40
19 Fulham 34 39
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 34 37
21 Rotherham United 34 37
22 Millwall 34 31
23 Wigan Athletic 34 28
24 Blackpool 34 22

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