Match Analysis: Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Match Analysis: QPR 2-1 Wednesday
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Sports Mole picks the bones out of Queens Park Rangers' opening-day comeback win over Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship.

After a nasty time in the Premier League last season, Queens Park Rangers began their Championship campaign with a visit from Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

The hosts raced out of the blocks, but it was Wednesday who went ahead when new signing Atdhe Nuhiu drifted past one challenge before accurately finding the bottom corner.

QPR went in ahead at the break, though, thanks to two quick goals from Nedum Onuoha and Andy Johnson.

That's how it stayed until full time and here, Sports Mole has cast its eye over the 90 minutes in West London.

Match statistics:

QPR:
Shots 15
On target 10
Possession 54%
Corners 6
Fouls 11

Wednesday:
Shots 9
On target 1
Possession 46%
Corners 1
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Yes. Many would have expected it to be more comfortable for the home side, but they came through by a single goal. It could have been very different, though, if referee Scott Mathieson had awarded the visitors a penalty when Michail Antonio tumbled under Armand Traore's challenge. Had Mathieson blown up, he would have had to give Traore his marching orders as well, so it could have been a completely different outcome.

QPR's performance

It was a frantic start from the home side and the only thing that would have displeased manager Harry Redknapp is that they didn't take the lead. Wednesday grew in confidence and stole the first goal before continuing to be the better side. Perhaps they got lucky when Traore stayed on the pitch and took full advantage by levelling just a minute later through Onuoha's far-post tap-in. The Owls were rattled and Johnson volleyed into an empty net after Joey Barton's header was saved to give the home side a surprise half-time lead. The second half was much calmer and although Wednesday threatened on the odd occasion, the victory was well seen-out by Harry's men. Charlie Austin made his debut from the bench and looked lively in attack.

Wednesday's performance

Owls fans won't have known much about 6'6" Austrian Nuhiu before today, but they would have been impressed with their summer signing, especially in the first half. The lanky left-footed striker of similar style to Luca Toni won headers and took his goal brilliantly. He faded in the second half, though, and his goal was the only shot on target. Last season Wednesday struggled for goals and manager Dave Jones will be hoping that Nuhiu finds the net with regularity. If so, then they could have an improved season this time around.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Junior Hoilett: In our season preview for QPR, we tipped the Canadian winger to be one of Redknapp's three key players this year and his performance today backs that up. Always willing to run at his man, the youngster would have got even more praise if he had put away a couple of great chances. One he carelessly volleyed over from close range, while the other, which came after a marvellous run, was well kept out by Chris Kirkland. The Wednesday goalkeeper was second in our man-of-the-match ratings.

Referee performance

Scott Mathieson was solid enough and decided not to award a penalty when Antonio went down. There was not much contact but it may have been enough to bring down the Wednesday man. Far from a stonewaller, but Jones has been berating his performance post-match, also criticising him for not awarding a spot kick when Jacques Maghoma went over Joey Barton's outstretched leg.

What next?

QPR: Next up for Rangers is an away tie in the League Cup against Exeter City before the second league meeting at Huddersfield Town in a week.

Wednesday: They travel up the road to Rotherham in the League Cup before hosting Burnley on Saturday.

QPR's Andy Johnson celebrates moments after scoring his goal against Sheffield Wednesday on August 3, 2013
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Live Commentary: QPR 2-1 Wednesday - as it happened
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2Cardiff CityCardiff138321810827
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd139041811727
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6Norwich CityNorwich136431314-122
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12Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest136071721-418
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14Hull City134452420416
15Millwall134451614216
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds134451616016
17Queens Park RangersQPR133641617-115
18Brentford132741718-113
19Barnsley123361518-312
20Reading123361114-312
21Birmingham CityBirmingham13328821-1311
22Burton Albion13247625-1910
23Sunderland131661625-99
24Bolton WanderersBolton13139724-176