2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Massimo Luongo (39')
  • Matt Smith (55')
  • Eberechi Eze (60')
  • Ryan Manning (80')
  • Ryan Manning (38' OG)

Matt Smith inspires QPR to convincing home victory over Norwich

Matt Smith scored one goal and provided two assists as QPR thrashed Norwich 4-1 at Loftus Road.
Massimo Luongo's goal - his fourth in seven games - hauled Rangers level straight after Ryan Manning's freak first-half own goal had given the Canaries a 38th-minute lead.
Smith headed home 10 minutes into the second half to put the hosts ahead, and then teed up youngster Ebere Eze to make it 3-1 five minutes later. Manning scored at the right end with 10 minutes remaining, heading in Jake Bidwell's left-wing cross to complete a resounding QPR triumph.
Norwich had made the better start and Nelson Oliveira was denied by challenges from Smith and Bidwell early on.
Oliveira saw a shot deflected wide by Smith after being found by James Maddison, while Bidwell reacted quickly to move across from left-back and prevent Mario Vrancic's cross reaching the
City forward.
Vrancic headed wide from Maddison's corner before Rangers finally registered a shot on target when Gunn gathered a long-range effort from Joel Lynch.
Luke Freeman then had one shot saved by Gunn and fired another wide before a frenetic four-minute spell sparked the game into life.
Smith headed Eze's cross against the post shortly before the visitors went ahead.
Harrison Reed raced down the left and crossed towards Josh Murphy. Josh Scowen slid in to tackle the Canaries winger and the ball ricocheted off the unlucky Manning and into the net.
But Rangers took less than two minutes to find an equaliser.
Luongo exchanged passes with Smith inside the box, evaded two challenges and nudged the ball beyond Angus Gunn and into the far corner.
It was one-way traffic after the break.
Smith's goal was his fourth in his last seven starts and his ninth of the season.
When the ball looped into the air after Smith had stuck out a foot and inadvertently blocked Scowen's shot, keeper Gunn looked well placed to mop up the danger.
However, he was left embarrassed by target-man Smith, who rose above him and nodded in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Smith then laid on a goal for Eze, heading Scowen's long ball down to the teenage forward, who held off Ivo Pinto and slotted past Gunn.
Freeman then went close with a free-kick before Manning emphatically ended any prospect of a late Norwich comeback.

English League Championship Standings

1 Norwich City 17 +8 33
2 Middlesbrough 17 +11 31
3 Leeds United 17 +12 30
4 Sheffield United 17 +8 30
5 West Bromwich Albion 17 +12 28
6 Derby County 17 +5 28
7 Nottingham Forest 17 +7 27
8 Swansea City 17 +6 26
9 Blackburn Rovers 17 -1 26
10 Queens Park Rangers 17 -4 26
11 Aston Villa 17 +4 24
12 Birmingham City 17 +3 24
13 Bristol City 17 +1 22
14 Stoke City 17 -1 22
15 Brentford 17 +4 21
16 Wigan Athletic 17 -7 20
17 Sheffield Wednesday 17 -9 20
18 Preston North End 17 -4 18
19 Rotherham United 17 -9 18
20 Reading 17 -5 16
21 Millwall 17 -7 16
22 Hull City 17 -8 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 17 -12 16
24 Ipswich Town 17 -14 11