QPR 1 – 2 Watford

Jake Livermore scored twice from outside of the area as Watford came from under the cosh to dash QPR’s hopes of easing their relegation fears with a 2-1 win at Loftus Road.

Marti Cifuentes’ men stormed out of the blocks for the second half – after a goalless first – with Hornets goalkeeper Ben Hamer called into action to twice prevent Sinclair Armstrong from breaking the deadlock.

Watford's Jake Livermore celebrates scoring their second goal of the game
Watford’s Jake Livermore celebrates scoring their second goal of the game

However, Livermore curled a beauty past Asmir Begovic to give the visitors the lead very much against the run of play on the hour mark and then hammered home a second from outside the box five minutes later to take the game away from QPR.

Lyndon Dykes did tap home a Paul Smyth cross to halve the deficit with 13 minutes to play, but Cifuentes’ side could not force an equaliser, despite their bold efforts, to avoid a fifth defeat in six league games.

They remain 23rd, five points from safety, with Watford climbing to eighth, just a point outside the top six.

How the misery continued for lowly QPR

It had been over a month since QPR had recorded their last Championship win and, with the relegation battle starting to become more competitive, they clearly wanted to hit Watford with an early goal to set the tempo for the rest of the game.

Chris Willock and Armstrong went close early on while the home fans – so starved of positivity – were mocked for their cheers when Ilias Chair’s free-kick rippled the roof of the net – they thought it had hit the top corner.

Rangers were well-organised and it took 27 minutes for Watford to register their first shot, when Matheus Martins curled wide, but – given their perilous position – they needed a goal of their own. Plaudits alone would simply not do.

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Jake Livermore scored two goals in five minutes that were both from outside the area against QPR

Ben Hamer kept out a low drive from Armstrong just before the break and produced a strong left hand to keep out his effort no more than 15 seconds after the restart, with the hosts pressing aggressively in an attempt to seize control.

But on the hour mark, they were knocked back. Livermore received the ball in space 20 yards out and curled a sumptuous effort past Begovic to open the scoring with the Hornets’ first shot on target in the game.

And he did it again within five minutes, taking a touch after a cross from the left was cleared into his path and hammering into the net with Begovic rooted to the spot.

Rangers did find a way back with 13 minutes to play, when Dykes was left with a simple finish after substitute Paul Smyth had hung up the ball to the far post and it could have been 2-2 deep into stoppage-time had Hamer not produced the pick of his saves to push Jimmy Dunne’s shot away to allow Valerien Ismael’s men to close out the win.

What’s next?

Both teams are back in action at 3pm on Saturday January 20.

QPR host Millwall at Loftus Road, while Watford travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City.

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