Resurgent Birmingham City claimed their biggest scalp of the season as John Eustace’s side battled their way to victory over high-flying Queens Park Rangers.
QPR, second in the Championship and needing to win to go back on top, were done no favours by two of their London neighbours as Blues won with first-half goals from two loan men – Arsenal’s American defender Auston Trusty and West Ham United left wing-back Manny Longelo.
Any hopes that Michael Beale’s side might turn it round after the break were then ended with Blues keeper John Ruddy’s fine 79th-minute penalty save to deny Lyndon Dykes.
After winning four times in five away games, this was a second straight defeat on the road for QPR, while Blues’ third win in five – in front of 19,007, their biggest home crowd since before the Covid pandemic, lifts them into the top half.
It looked on the cards right from the moment when, in an already bouncing atmosphere at the reduced-capacity ground, still affected by the loss of 10,000 seats due to a delayed stadium refurbishment, Blues stole ahead in only the fourth minute with a freakish but inspired opening goal.