2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Harry Wilson (42')
  • Alex Smithies (45'+4' OG)
  • Kamil Grosicki (62')
  • Abel Hernández (69')
  • Nedum Onuoha (90')

Tigers move another step closer to safety

Hull moved one step closer to maintaining their Championship status for next season following a convincing 4-0 victory over 10-man QPR.
Fellow strugglers Barnsley defeated Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United in the earlier kick-off to drag 18th-placed Hull back into the relegation battle prior to kick off - but a first win in four matches moved the Tigers seven points clear of the drop zone.
Two goals in three first-half minutes from Harry Wilson and an Alex Smithies own goal set Hull on their way before substitute Kamil Grosicki and Abel Hernandez rounded off an emphatic performance, before QPR captain Nedum Onuoha saw red in stoppage-time.
Both sets of supporters paid tribute to former QPR player-manger Ray Wilkins with a minute's applause following his death on Wednesday morning at the age of 61, with the visiting fans also chanting the former England international's name.
Hernandez shanked an effort well wide before Jarrod Bowen went even closer on 11 minutes when his curling effort deflected just wide - but chances were at a premium during a cagey first half-hour.
Bowen was in the thick of the action once more when he put a 25-yard free-kick narrowly over the crossbar, with Smithies well beaten before QPR had their first notable effort nine minutes before the break.
A lovely passing move saw Freeman find Darnell Furlong inside the penalty area but his effort was deflected wide by Michael Hector.
However, Hull should have taken the lead when a pass by Michael Dawson set Wilson free and found Bowen at the far post to cushion to Hernandez but he failed to connect from 10 yards.
Hernandez made amends with a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Wilson, the Wales international composed himself to slot in off the far post to break the deadlock two minutes before half-time.
A neat passing move from QPR saw Massimo Luongo break into the penalty area but he could not keep his effort down and the visitors were made to pay for their wasted chance in first-half stoppage-time.
Jon Toral stole possession before playing in Markus Henriksen, who in turn found Hernandez. The Uruguayan striker rattled a shot off the crossbar which ricocheted off the back of the unfortunate Smithies and into the net.
After the restart, Luke Freeman fired just wide from 20 yards before Eberechi Eze spurned two decent openings as QPR searched for a way back into the match with a positive start to the second half.
Hull took advantage of their opponents profligacy in front of goal just after the hour mark to extend their lead through Grosicki, who collected a slide-rule pass from Wilson to slot under the body of Smithies for his first goal since December.
It was 4-0 to the hosts after 69 minutes when a searching pass to the far post by Sebastian Larsson when met first time by Henriksen, who cushioned a pass across the six-yard box for Hernandez to tap into an empty net.
Substitute Fraizer Campbell came close to adding a fifth as Hull eased down the clock, but there was still time for Onuoha to earn a straight red card as he steamed into the chest of Henriksen with his shoulder after the Norwegian midfielder shoved Josh Scowen for a late challenge on Jackson Irvine.

English League Championship Standings

1 Norwich City 21 +14 43
2 Leeds United 21 +17 42
3 Sheffield United 21 +10 37
4 Derby County 21 +7 37
5 West Bromwich Albion 21 +14 36
6 Middlesbrough 21 +9 36
7 Nottingham Forest 21 +10 34
8 Aston Villa 21 +9 32
9 Birmingham City 21 +5 30
10 Stoke City 21 +2 30
11 Blackburn Rovers 21 -4 30
12 Swansea City 21 +2 29
13 Bristol City 21 +1 29
14 Queens Park Rangers 21 -6 28
15 Preston North End 21 -3 25
16 Wigan Athletic 21 -6 25
17 Sheffield Wednesday 21 -11 24
18 Brentford 21 +1 22
19 Hull City 21 -9 21
20 Rotherham United 21 -11 21
21 Millwall 21 -9 19
22 Reading 21 -8 18
23 Bolton Wanderers 21 -14 18
24 Ipswich Town 21 -20 11