QPR cling on to give Michael Beale his first win as R’s boss with a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough

A scintillating first half was enough to give Queens Park Rangers their first points of the season with a 3-2 victory over promotion favourites Middlesbrough.

The Rs raced into a 3-0 lead inside 38 minutes with strikes from Chris Willock, Jimmy Dunne and Lyndon Dykes. But goals from Matt Crooks and Marcus Forss either side of half-time ensured a nervy finish for Michael Beale’s side.

QPR were cheered on by England hero and lifelong fan Chloe Kelly, who was given a rousing reception by both sets of supporters as she brought out the match ball before kick-off. Kelly scored the winning goal in the Euros final last weekend and her presence perhaps provided her side with some much-needed inspiration.

They had not managed a shot on target in a disappointing opening day defeat to Blackburn last weekend. But importantly they did not have Willock, who was one of their best players last season before a hamstring injury in March cut his campaign short. The forward was handed his first start in five months and he returned with a bang.

Using his strength and power, Willock drove forward and shrugged off challenges from Isaiah Jones and Anfernee Dijksteel before firing a rocket into the top left corner to give QPR the lead in the 13th minute.

That goal was spectacular but the hosts’ second was a tad fortunate. On-loan Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen came and missed Ilias Chair’s corner and the ball hit an unsuspecting Dunne on the side of the head and bounced in.

QPR were flying and 11 minutes later they had a third as Dykes got away from his marker and stooped to head home Stefan Johansen’s free-kick from six-yards out. But Boro replied with a set-piece of their own three minutes later, as Matt Crooks met Ryan Giles’ corner to send a bullet header past Seny Dieng.

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder threw Chuba Akpom on at half-time and the striker was straight into the action, forcing Dieng into a smart save with a powerful header. Boro were camped in QPR’s half and in the 56th minute they found the net. Akpom laid the ball off to Crooks and his cross from the right picked out an unmarked Forss, who slotted home from close range.

After a quick start to the second half, Boro struggled to create clear cut chances as QPR looked to consolidate. Paddy McNair did find the net with a finish at the back-post but long after the assistant referee’s flag had been raised for offside.

QPR still looked dangerous on the break and Albert Adomah almost restored their two-goal advantage with a shot that fizzed just wide of the far post.

Six minutes were added on but Boro’s chances of a comeback were dashed when Darragh Lenihan was adjudged to be the last man when he brought down Macauley Bonne just past the halfway line. The defender was shown a straight red by referee Josh Smith and Boro failed to threaten the hosts goal before the final whistle.

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  • 8 минут назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Erik ten Hag admits he has a ‘HELL of a job’ on his hands after Man United’s home loss to Brighton

    Erik ten Hag was frustrated with his players after his first Premier League game in charge of Manchester United ended with a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton.

    German midfielder Pascal Gross scored twice for the Seagulls in the first half, with the Dutchman admitting his team gave ‘two easy balls away’ in the build-up for both goals.

    The hosts were only able to get one in response through an own goal by Alexis Mac Allister in the 68th minute.

    In his post-match press conference, ten Hag was not pleased with the errors that his team made, and hopes it will be a learning experience for United.

    ‘We made mistakes on the ball and organisation mistakes in defending,’ ten Hag said. ‘We have to take the lessons and learn quickly from it.

    ‘Brighton are a decent team, all the compliments, but I look to my team and we should not give two easy goals away.’

    The 52-year-old was despondent with the team’s performance, but spotted promising signs in the later stages of the match.

    ‘Of course definitely a setback and real disappointment,’ ten Hag fumed. ‘I knew from the start it would not be easy.

    ‘It is clear to see the second half we were better in midfield with [Christian] Eriksen down and [Cristiano] Ronaldo up. We created and [Marcus] Rashford had two good chances, it is a shame we did not score.

    ‘I am not satisfied, totally not. We lost and it was not necessary. We should do better.’

    He doesn’t even think that United need to sign more talent in the transfer window, with the former Ajax coach stating: ‘We could do better with the players we had.’

    Ten Hag said he does not know when Anthony Martial will return from a hamstring issue picked up in pre-season, saying ‘we have to wait’.

    After falling to defeat against the Seagulls, it is the future where the former centre back is keeping his focus.

    ‘It is a hell of a job,’ ten Hag told reporters. ‘We have to work really hard, analyse, then move forward.’

    United’s next outing is a visit to Eriksen’s former club Brentford on Saturday.

  • 1 час, 22 минуты назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Lewis Hamilton cautious of Toto Wolff approach at Mercedes with ‘a lot of pride’ at play

    Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want Mercedes to be too “stubborn” in their plans for the W13 as the team bid for their first win of the year after the summer break. Mercedes raised plenty of eyebrows in the official F1 test in Barcelona earlier this year when they completely changed the design of their car which featured ‘zero sidepods’.

    It was an extreme concept compared to Red Bull and Ferrari, both of whom had much wider cars heading into the campaign. Mercedes have since been playing catch up to their rivals and have made great progress in the past few months.

    Toto Wolff has maintained his confidence in Mercedes that their sidepod-less design remains the best way forward for the team. Some have called on Mercedes to scrap the design and follow in the footsteps of Ferrari and Red Bull.

    It’s worked to some degree so far and Hamilton was the fastest man on track at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix as he finished second. But that first win of the season has still evaded them so far and Hamilton hopes “pride” won’t stand in the team’s way of changing things if it becomes clear the victory won’t come.

    “I honestly think there is potential to win races and every week I’m hoping that they find something that just brings us that little bit of extra downforce without bouncing,” he told ViaPlay. “But it’s been tough for the team achieve, but no one’s given up on it.

    “I think fundamentally we have to acknowledge that the others have done a better job and whichever philosophy that’ve taken has worked well for them and we have to be conscious of that moving forward. We can’t be stubborn and say, ‘no our way is definitely the way and it will eventually work’ because we could wait years for that.

    “We have to be quick, we have to be concise, we have to be humble in our approach which I think we will be I hope. That’s a conversation that’s in the background because you know how engineers are, there’s a lot of pride in everyone’s work as there should be, but I really do hope by the end of the year that we’re able to get a win.

    “I truly believe we will get a win this year but one win is not enough for us in terms of what we work for. I think right now when I’m talking to the team I’m like, ‘hey, this is what I don’t want next year and this is what I need next year in this car’ so I’m trying to help steer them to make sure they provide us with that next year.”

    Hamilton holds an incredible record of winning at least one race in every F1 season he’s competed in. But he’s running out of races to make that happen with just 9 Grands Prix left this year.

  • 1 час, 22 минуты назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture on Man Utd bench immediately after Brighton’s opening goal

    Cristiano Ronaldo was apparently more active on the bench for Manchester United than Erik ten Hag after Brighton took the lead midway through the first half. Ronaldo faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford, but declared himself ready to play for United’s opening Premier League fixture against Brighton.

    That’s despite the Portuguese football icon missing most of United’s pre-season fixtures due to ‘family reasons’ and some disagreements with Ten Hag. The new United boss was not impressed at Ronaldo and Diogo Dalot after the pair left last week’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano early, calling it “unacceptable”.

    Multiple reports have linked Ronaldo with a move away from Old Trafford, but he was in the squad for their opening Premier League fixture against Brighton. He was only named on the bench though with Christian Eriksen occupying the central role in United’s attack.

    The game started slowly with United creating half chances, but Robert Sanchez was barely troubled. That all changed on the half hour mark when Danny Welbeck had broke the offside trap before drilling in a low cross where Pascal Gross was waiting to tap into an empty net.

    Brighton fans immediately sprung out their seats to celebrate while United supporters were noticably stunned. Cameras soon panned to Ten Hag, who didn’t even react to the goal going in.

    But Ronaldo was much more active on the bench as he waved his arms in the air. The forward appeared to try and rally his team-mates to pick themselves back up and not let the goal affect them.

    United failed to learn their lesson though with Brighton continuing to find pockets of space in midfield to feed into their attacking players. And Gross ended up bagging his second just nine minutes later after good work from Solly March, who saw his drilled shot parried away by David de Gea.

    But the Spaniard incidently pushed the ball into the path of Gross, who beat Fred to the ball to once again tap in from close range. Ten Hag was once again motionless on the touchline with United unable to find a way back into the match before the break.

    Despite United’s poor opening 45 minutes, Ten Hag opted against making any changes at half-time. Ronaldo had his shirt in his hands while sat on the bench, but will have to wait to make his first appearance of the new season.

  • 1 час, 22 минуты назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Roy Keane singles out two Man Utd stars for dire Brighton defeat – ‘All over the place’

    Manchester United icon Roy Keane took aim at two of Erik ten Hag’s players for their performance in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton on Sunday. Two Pascal Gross goals saw Graham Potter’s side claim all three points at Old Trafford as the Red Devils began the new Premier League season with a defeat.

    United’s problems of last season were their downfall once again despite the new manager, as Keane blasted midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay for their first-half performances. “The two in the middle of the park, all over the place,” Keane told Sky Sports. “Out of possession Man United are as poor as any team in the Premier League.

    “Man United look very, very fragile, same problems, question the personality in the team, the problem is out of possession they look so open. They started okay, great chance for [Bruno] Fernandes, he should hit the target. But after that, Brighton have been excellent, Man United gaps everywhere, so open it’s untrue.”

    United were unable to deal with the numbers in Brighton’s midfield, especially during the first half, as Moises Caicedo and Leandro Trossard were two of the stars alongside two-goal man Gross. “Caicedo has been excellent in that midfield,” Micah Richards said. “Soon as that ball gets turned over it’s numbers going forward.

    “Trossard has been excellent, look at the timing from [Danny] Welbeck – he’s been the best player on the pitch. [Lisandro] Martinez and [Harry] Maguire cannot deal with him, they don’t know whether to go short, go long.”

    Cristiano Ronaldo was brought on in the 53rd minute but former Manchester City defender Richards believes he should have been brought on at half-time. “Should be on at half-time definitely,” Richards said. “Get McTominay off he’s on a yellow card, getting overrun in the midfield, drop [Christian] Eriksen back into that midfield area I know they had a lot of possession but get Ronaldo in they need him. This shows you how much he’s worth for Man United.”

    DON’T MISSMan Utd have just seven players worth keeping under Erik ten HagMan Utd set price tag for Ronaldo to leaveMan Utd respond to claims De Jong doesn’t want to join

    The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was brought on for Fred as Eriksen was dropped deeper into the midfield, which Keane previously highlighted could be an issue as he does not believe the Dane is good enough defensively.

    “I think he’s a really good player,” Keane said. “Will he get Man United back competing for league titles? The answer is no.

    “My biggest worry for players like Christian and the big problem for Man United in the last year or two is out of possession against better teams so that’s not one of his strengths. A talented player but I’m not convinced but a good player.”

  • 1 час, 22 минуты назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Man Utd obviously need more signings and four other lessons from Brighton defeat

    Manchester United lost 2-1 to Brighton in their opening Premier League fixture on Sunday afternoon. Pascal Gross was at the double for Graham Potter’s side, notching twice in the first half to give the visitors all three points – despite Diogo Dalot netting a consolation. Express Sport will now analyse the contest and list five things we learned from the proceedings at Old Trafford.

    At the tail end of last season, Ralf Rangnick claimed United needed as many as eight new signings to turn their fortunes around.

    Just months on, and only Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen have arrived.

    United need two world-class midfielders, something that’s evident. A controller, like Frenkie de Jong, as well a defensive midfielder capable of doing the dirty work.

    A new right-back wouldn’t go amiss, while they also need a forward to provide energy up top.

    Whether United do take the necessary action, however, is something only time will tell.

    Man Utd transfers: Bruno Fernandes has approved Frenkie de Jong alternative

    United have spent millions on defenders in recent years.

    But they’ve not gone bang for their buck and, against Brighton, the usual shortcomings were there for all to see.

    Luke Shaw cut a frustrated figure throughout the showdown, with the England international failing to make an impact at either end of the pitch.

    Diogo Dalot was similarly poor, while Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez were hardly calming presences at the back.

    United are worryingly lacklustre when it comes to defending and all signs point to the club shipping goals aplenty over the course of the current campaign.

    DON’T MISSMan Utd have just seven players worth keeping under Erik ten HagMan Utd set price tag for Ronaldo to leaveMan Utd respond to claims De Jong doesn’t want to join

    With Anthony Martial out injured, United had a selection dilemma before the game.

    And they decided to go with a false nine in Bruno Fernandes, despite the Portugal international being a midfielder by trade.

    That decision backfired, however.

    United lacked an outlet in attack prior to the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Red Devils having nobody to aim for.

    Fernandes isn’t neat or technically good enough to play in the No 9 role, meaning Ten Hag can’t make this same mistake again in future matches.

    Want the new Man Utd shirt? Click here to buy it.

    There’s no denying Rangnick wasn’t good enough during his spell in the United dugout.

    But he may have been proven right on many issues against Brighton.

    He felt the club needed eight fresh faces and yet, despite that, only three have arrived.

    Rangnick didn’t entirely trust Harry Maguire or Ronaldo, too, with both players cutting anonymous figures throughout the showdown.

    And though the German is now a thing of the past, the club’s failure to act on his comments could hinder their future.

    Man Utd fixtures: When Erik ten Hag’s team face every Premier League team

    Since Brighton returned to the Premier League, they’ve gone from strength to strength.

    And it seems as though they’re set for another good year under Potter.

    Brighton were superb against United, particularly in the first half, playing some dazzling football and dictating the proceedings.

    On this evidence, despite losing Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella, they look like they’re about to provide another year to remember.

    Certainly, they looked far better-coached and managed than United today.

    Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here

  • 1 час, 22 минуты назад 07.08.2022Sport
    Man Utd duo Scott McTominay and Fred expose £4.5m Brighton transfer calamity

    Scott McTominay and Fred were handed a rude awakening on their return to Premier League action and there was one sole individual responsible. He is hardly an imposing figure but the diminutive Moises Caicedo, who only made his mark on English soil in the latter stages of last season, was a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the park.

    The Ecuadorian international bossed proceedings and was the best player on the pitch for the opening 45 minutes as Brighton put Manchester United to the sword.

    He was nipping in to snatch every loose ball while running rings around the helpless United midfielder, who could only watch on in awe.

    McTominay even left a nasty challenge on Caicedo out of spite, one that on another day could have easily seen red.

    Fred was hooked in the second half as United looked to inspire a comeback but in all honesty, Erik ten Hag did the Brazilian a favour. He was ruthlessly exposed by his South American counterpart.

    Caicedo is exactly what United are missing in midfield. An orchestrator, not shy of having the ball and relentless in his attempts to dispossess the opposition.

    He covered just about every blade of sun-kissed Old Trafford grass, picking holes in United’s set-up and allowing Brighton’s forward players to do the damage.

    Yet the biggest catastrophe of it all, was that United held extensive discussions over a deal for Caicedo that was worth as little as £4.5million.

    Now the 20-year-old is worth around 10 times that figure in yet another glowing reflection of Brighton’s exquisite scouting network and recruitment model.

    READ MOREFrenkie de Jong ‘handed Barcelona pay-cut ultimatum’ over mega-money £72m Man Utd transferRed Bull Salzburg respond as Man Utd enter fray for teenage sensation Benjamin SeskoMan Utd finally give in and identify ‘serious alternative’ to Frenkie de Jong transfer

    Brighton do things differently. They have just lost one of their most-prized assets in Marc Cucurella, yet you would not have even noticed.

    This is a team with a clear structure and tactical plan – masterminded by Graham Potter – that was executed to perfection at Old Trafford.

    Caicedo was the beating heartbeat that made it all possible, his mouthwatering display showed United exactly what they’re missing.

    But United do not have the nous to cherrypick these kind of gems. Instead, they will spend the best part of 12 weeks trying to sign a player in Frenkie de Jong that doesn’t even want to join them.

    Ten Hag’s squad is seemingly no better than the mess he inherited from Ralf Rangnick – despite the arrivals of Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.

    United need a lot more, most notably in midfield where McTominay and Fred are simply not good enough.

    That line of thinking has been the case for well over a year now, yet still United continue to persist with the industrious midfield pairing.

    It was the same story in May when Caicedo scored and ran the pair ragged in Brighton’s 4-0 demolition of the Red Devils at the Amex.

    Since then, there has been no evident improvement and having also lost Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, it could even be argued that United’s midfield options have been weakened.

    They will need a lot more in that department in order to mount a serious top-four challenge. There is is still three weeks left in the transfer market and United’s midfield is an issue that needs addressing.

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Sport QPR cling on to give Michael Beale his first win as R's boss with a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough