Millwall 0-2 QPR: Chris Willock and Stefan Johansen steer Rangers to victory | Football News

QPR returned to winning ways with a 2-0 London derby success away at Millwall in the Championship.

Chris Willock’s stunning turn and finish from outside the box, not long after half-time, broke the deadlock at the Den and put Rangers on course for all three points.

Norwegian skipper Stefan Johansen then made the game safe after firing home following a well-worked quickly-taken corner to send the travelling fans into raptures.

Both sides created plenty of chances in a fiery all-capital affair, but it was clinical finishing that made it a successful trip south of the river for Rangers.

As football resumed following the weekend postponements, both clubs played a heartfelt tribute to the Queen before kick-off, which included a minute’s silence followed by the national anthem.

Zian Flemming very nearly got the hosts’ return to action off to the perfect start but his well-struck free-kick was saved smartly by Seny Dieng.

In a lively few opening minutes, the visitors went straight down the other end and nearly opened the scoring themselves. Aston Villa loanee Tim Iroegbunam’s initial effort was saved before Tyler Roberts somehow managed to steer a header wide from close range.

That was as close as either side came to breaking the first-half deadlock, although Rangers created further chances.

The lively Ilias Chair fired over on the quarter-hour mark following good work down the right wing from Willock.

Johansen then saw a header narrowly shave the bar before another Chair effort tested Bartosz Bialkowski as QPR turned up the pressure on the Millwall goal.

The Lions had started quickly after the interval and were nearly rewarded when Tom Bradshaw fired just over with Dieng beaten.

But Willock’s super strike sucked the energy from the Lions and Chair nearly doubled the lead with a curling effort that went narrowly past the post.

Millwall substitute Benik Afobe almost hauled the hosts back into the game but could only flash a header wide when unmarked in the penalty area.

Johansen’s goal with 20 minutes left took the game away from Millwall, although captain Jake Cooper went close to kickstarting a comeback, his clever effort on the turn trickling just wide.

Flemming then went mightily close when his powerful shot smashed down off the underside of the crossbar without crossing the line.

Millwall’s luck in front of goal was summed up when substitute Tyler Burey headed straight at Dieng when well-placed in the closing minutes.

What the managers said…

Millwall’s Gary Rowett: “They have made their two chances count and we have not. It was disappointing because I didn’t think there was much in the game, I thought it was a pretty even game. But we knew they were dangerous from around the box, we spoke about that all week. We know the first goal in the Championship is so important and I felt it changed the outcome of the game.

“On the second goal, I really don’t know what we’re doing to be honest. We do a lot of work on set-pieces and we should be better with that. I think there are four players not even looking at the ball when they play a quick one. As a manager you’re sat there quite disheartened to be 2-0 down at that point because they only had those shots in the second half and that really was it.”

QPR’s Michael Beale: “It’s a difficult place to come, The Den. Fair play to Millwall for the tributes to the Queen beforehand, because I thought that was very emotional. The game started with a good energy after that. We had to get through the first 15 minutes. But then when we started to play after that, I thought we were good tonight.

“He (Willock) is in fantastic form at the minute. He is an excellent player, you look at his CV we know we’re fortunate to have him at QPR. I think he can play at the next level, he just has to make little adjustments. It’s a wonderful goal but it would be wrong to not keep my foot on the accelerator with him in terms of demands. He has as much talent as nearly everyone I’ve worked with, so I want more for him. Hopefully that is with QPR.”

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