2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Tom Cairney (32')
  • Lucas Piazon (45')
  • Massimo Luongo (45'+3')
  • Pawel Wszolek (81')

Fulham pegged back by QPR and miss the chance to close the gap

Fulham's efforts to step up their bid for an automatic promotion place suffered a setback as they squandered a two-goal lead and drew 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers at Craven Cottage.
Tom Cairney and Lucas Piazon had put Slavisa Jokanovic's side in control, but Massimo Luongo pulled one back for the visitors in first-half added-time before Pawel Wszolek completed the comeback in the 81st minute.
The draw at least meant the Cottagers set a new club record of 16 unbeaten league games.
But their failure to hold onto the lead meant they missed out on the chance to close the gap on second-placed Cardiff to five points, 24 hours before the Welsh side travel to face Derby.
Rangers deserved a point for their second-half recovery but they were assisted by a number of Fulham errors, in particular when Denis Odoi was caught in possession by Wszolek, allowing the winger to run clear on goal and finish past Marcus Bettinelli.
Jokanovic's side have been in formidable run of form at home, coming into the clash on the back of nine league wins at Craven Cottage.
And the confidence generated by recent results was evident in a positive start that saw them dominate early possession and almost force a fourth-minute opening goal.
Cairney found space on the edge of the Rangers area and drilled in a low shot that keeper Alex Smithies could only push into the path of Ryan Sessegnon, whose effort was ruled out for offside.
Sessegnon was denied again in the 22nd minute with a far-post header and it was no surprise when the breakthrough came 10 minutes later.
Piazon picked up a loose ball near halfway before Stefan Johansen picked out Cairney's forward run and the Fulham skipper placed a precise left-foot shot inside the post from 25 yards out.
Fulham keeper Bettinelli had been largely untroubled but was forced to make a good save to deny Wszolek after left back Matt Targett had carelessly given the ball away.
Moments later, Piazon doubled Fulham's lead in the 45th minute after Ryan Fredericks had delivered a low cross that was helped into the path of the Brazilian by Sessegnon.
The home side appeared in complete control but Rangers were handed a lifeline when Matt Smith headed Luke Freeman's free-kick down towards Luongo who hooked the ball past Bettinelli.
The goal had given Ian Holloway's side hope and Fulham were again guilty of creating problems for themselves when Fredericks needlessly gave the ball away inside his own half.
Rangers worked the ball towards Smith who had a clear run on goal and was denied by another good save from Bettinelli.
Fulham then paid a heavy price for their carelessness when Odoi gifted Wszolek the chance to level.

English League Championship Standings

1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 43 +42 95
2 Cardiff City 42 +29 83
3 Fulham 43 +31 82
4 Aston Villa 43 +27 79
5 Middlesbrough 43 +19 69
6 Millwall 43 +15 69
7 Derby County 42 +18 68
8 Preston North End 43 +9 66
9 Sheffield United 43 +8 66
10 Brentford 43 +11 65
11 Bristol City 43 +10 65
12 Ipswich Town 43 -3 56
13 Norwich City 43 -8 56
14 Leeds United 43 -7 54
15 Queens Park Rangers 43 -11 53
16 Sheffield Wednesday 43 -8 50
17 Nottingham Forest 42 -15 49
18 Hull City 43 +2 47
19 Reading 43 -15 43
20 Bolton Wanderers 43 -30 40
21 Birmingham City 43 -31 40
22 Barnsley 42 -19 38
23 Burton Albion 43 -45 35
24 Sunderland 43 -29 34

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