QPR sink Cov to go five clear

Adel Taarabt inspired QPR to a 2-1 victory over Coventry as Neil Warnock's side moved five points clear at the top of the Championship.

Last Updated: 23/01/11 at 15:35

Taarabt: Mobbed after his equaliser

Taarabt: Mobbed after his equaliser

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Wayne Routledge marked his second QPR debut with a goal as the Championship leaders came from behind to sink the Sky Blues.

This time last year the winger left Loftus Road for Newcastle and helped guide the Magpies to promotion and the title.

He looks eager to repeat the trick having rejoined Rangers on loan and got off to the perfect start by hitting the winner against the Sky Blues.

Taarabt had earlier added another dazzling solo effort to his growing collection to cancel out a shock opener from Coventry's Marlon King.

Rangers' early-season promotion charge may have slowed down to more of a canter - this was only their third win in eight outings - but they still sit a handy five points clear of the chasing pack.

Routledge set about Coventry from the off and almost set up an opening goal after 12 minutes.

The winger turned Martin Cranie inside-out before crossing to Heidar Helguson, whose downward header bounced up and over the crossbar.

Rangers were screaming for a penalty after 23 minutes when a bullet header from Helguson struck Cranie's arm but referee Mark Haywood was not interested.

Moments later City goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was called into action to tip a fierce drive from Shaun Derry over the crossbar.

Yet against the run of play the visitors opened the scoring in the 25th minute with their first attack of the game.

Gary McSheffrey's ball across the face of goal was missed by Rangers defender Matt Connolly and King was left with a simple tap-in past Paddy Kenny.

The hosts could have found themselves two down when Freddy Eastwood burst into the area and got the better of Connolly, but the former Southend frontman dragged his shot wide.

Taarabt, the player who has had more shots than any other in the Championship this season, then took aim from 25 yards but his effort flashed past the post.

But the Moroccan found his range in first-half stoppage time, jinking inside Richard Keogh before unleashing a stunning curler from the corner of the area beyond Westwood and into the net.

Rangers came agonisingly close to taking the lead six minutes after half-time when a free-kick from Alejandro Faurlin beat the dive of Westwood but came back off the inside of the post.

But they were not to be denied and with 11 minutes left Taarabt's lofted pass sent Routledge through and with a delightful first touch and finish he secured the three points.

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Position Team P GD PTS
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2 N Forest 10 10 20
3 Watford 10 8 20
4 Derby 10 9 19
5 Ipswich 10 6 18
6 Wolves 9 5 18
7 Charlton 10 4 18
8 M'boro 10 6 17
9 Sheff Wed 10 3 16
10 Reading 9 0 14
11 Blackburn 10 -2 14
12 Brentford 10 -3 14
13 Cardiff 10 0 13
14 Leeds 9 -2 13
15 Bournemth 10 1 12
16 Millwall 10 -3 11
17 Rotherham 10 -4 11
18 Brighton 10 -2 10
19 Birmingham 10 -6 10
20 Wigan 10 -2 9
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23 Fulham 9 -12 4
24 Blackpool 10 -9 3

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