QPR thrashed Leeds United 4-0 in the Championship on Friday, ensuring Leicester City booked their promotion straight back to the Premier League.

Ilias Chair was the star for the Hoops as he scored the opener and assisted two more goals to ensure QPR will stay in the Championship for another season.

Lucas Andersen, Lyndon Dykes and Sam Field also got their names on the scoresheet in an emphatic win for Marti Cifuentes' side.

Leeds' heaviest defeat of the season was a huge blow in the race for an automatic promotion spot, with Ipswich Town just one point behind them in third place with two games in hand going into their away clash against Hull City on Saturday.

Managerless Plymouth claimed a much-needed 85th-minute leveller to earn a late 1-1 Championship draw at home to relegation-rivals QPR.

Following a goalmouth scramble in which Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper twice brilliantly saved on his line, Sam Field hammered the ball home from close range after 73 minutes to give the visitors the lead.

But Albert Adomah put into his own net with five minutes remaining as Argyle claimed a share of the spoils.

Ilias Chair fired over from 20 yards out as the ball fell to him from QPR’s first corner of the game.

Adam Randall won and took a 13th-minute free-kick for the hosts which flew over from 20 yards out.

Top scorer Morgan Whittaker went the closest with his 25-yard shot on the run which went just wide of Asmir Bergovic’s goal in the 15th minute.

It was the closest either side went in a tentative getting-to-know-you start from both teams.

Callum Wright helped continue a flowing move with a cheeky acrobatic back heel which resulted in a shooting opportunity for the attacking midfielder just outside the QPR penalty area.

Wright’s thumping 26th-minute shot from 20 yards flew just over the crossbar, while Chair continued to be a thorn in Argyle’s side and when he cut inside from the left – three minutes later – his low goal-bound shot had to be blocked by a defender.

Minutes later Lucas Andersen beat two defenders as he cut inside from the right and let fly with a low angled drive that flew just wide of the diving Cooper’s far post.

Paul Smyth went even closer in the 36th minute, latching onto a Chair cross from the left at the far post. Smyth controlled the ball well and his first-time shot on the half volley rocketed into the side netting.

Ryan Hardie’s shot from centre of the penalty area eight minutes before the break was comfortably saved by Begovic.

A slip on the ball by Anthony Phillips allowed Chair a run-on goal from the halfway. The Morocco international homed in on goal before firing just wide from the edge of the box.

Cooper made a brilliant 56th-minute save to deny Smyth as he looked certain to score after being teed up inside the box by Lydon Dykes. Somehow the Argyle number one kept out Smyth’s measured shot.

A minute later, Begovic was forced to save low at the foot of his post to keep out a Bali Mumba shot.

Central defender Lewis Gibson looked set to score when a corner, flicked on, landed at his feet at the far post but his shot across goal curled away from the target and sailed inches wide.

Plymouth defender Dan Scarr did brilliantly to head off the goal line in the 68th minute as QPR upped the pressure and Smyth’s cross looked to be heading in.

Field finally broke the deadlock from close range after 73 minutes to give QPR the lead.

Begovic made a brilliant stop to deny Mumba – as Argyle piled on the pressure – but Adomah appeared to score an own goal, under pressure from substitute striker Mustapha Bundu, at the far post as QPR failed to clear the 85th-minute corner.

Sam Field boosted QPR’s Championship survival hopes by scoring a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw against his former club West Brom on an emotional and controversial night at Loftus Road.

Field opened the scoring on night where QPR paid tribute to club great Stan Bowles, who died last month.

Promotion-chasing West Brom quickly turned the game around with two goals in three minutes from Mikey Johnston and Grady Diangana.

QPR missed one penalty before they were denied another when Cedric Kipre appeared to use his hand to stop the ball going into the net.

But Field levelled with nine minutes left to earn the hosts a draw which moved them a point clear of the bottom three.

Loftus Road held a minute’s applause for Bowles before kick-off and there was a mosaic in his honour in the stand named after him, while members of his family attended along with team-mates from the 1975-76 side who were pipped to the league title by Liverpool.

The hosts went ahead after 17 minutes. Alex Palmer spilled Ilias Chair’s shot from the edge of the box and Michael Frey went down under the goalkeeper’s challenge looking for a penalty, before Lucas Andersen retrieved the loose ball and squared it for Field to score from close range.

Rangers seemed to be in control but the tide suddenly turned, with Johnston continuing his fine form since his loan move from Celtic.

Johnston is gaining a reputation for scoring spectacular goals and he struck another after 25 minutes to haul Albion level.

He cut in from the left, past Jimmy Dunne and Paul Smyth, and sent a cracking strike beyond goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and in off the near post.

Diangana, who like Johnston scored in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Friday, then put the visitors ahead two minutes later.

Tom Fellows did superbly on the right and picked out Diangana, who took a touch to ease himself away from Andersen and then fired past Begovic.

Early in the second half, Rangers missed a penalty and should have been awarded another.

After Adam Reach blocked Andersen’s right-wing cross with his elbow, the resulting spot-kick by Frey was saved by Palmer.

A couple of minutes later, Field’s header from Dunne’s cross initially appeared to have been superbly tipped over by Palmer or cleared off the line by Kipre. Replays showed that Kipre used his hand to prevent a goal – an offence which would almost certainly have resulted in a red card as well as a penalty had it been spotted.

But Rangers went on to find their equaliser. After Chris Willock’s cross was headed back across goal by Steve Cook, Dunne headed against the bar and Field followed up to nod home.

And there was more late drama when centre-back Cook’s overhead kick was cleared off the line by ex-QPR man Darnell Furlong.

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca said his team will need to be mentally strong after losing the last three Championship games and seeing their lead at the top of the table cut to just three points.

QPR produced a shock result at the King Power Stadium as goals from Ilias Chair and Sinclair Armstrong earned them a 2-1 win that boosts their hopes of avoiding relegation.

Leicester pulled a back through defender Ben Nelson’s first senior goal but they could not find an equaliser and both Ipswich and Leeds are closing in on the leaders.

“It’s a bad feeling. In the last three defeats, we dominated with the chances but the most important thing is to score goals. We lacked quality in the last third,” said Maresca.

“I don’t think it was a matter of being nervous, I didn’t have this feeling from the players. With 11 games to go, we need to finish in the best way.

“It’s been long time since we have been at the top and everyone is chasing us, we can’t think about that, we just need to win games.

“When you drop points and the rest win, you see yourself that they are coming, but we need balance at the moment. You cannot be so happy or so sad.

“If you get too nervous it could be dangerous, if you relax, it could be dangerous. You have to be mentally strong because we have a game in three days (at Sunderland).”

QPR manager Marti Cifuentes praised his players, but said a “great escape” is still not complete after a third successive win, which only lifted them one place up the table and leaves them outside the bottom three only on goal difference.

“We performed at a really high level against a team that is extremely good. They are a very good side with a fantastic coach and I’m sure they will go up despite the last three defeats,” said Cifuentes.

“All the credit to the players because they were very well organised for a long time. We were clinical as we had to be.

“I thought Leicester would be more dangerous and angry after the last two defeats.

“It was an important win for us, but I’m not getting carried away with a victory. The reality is the table shows we are still in a big battle. To get out and achieve this great escape, there is still a lot more to be done.”

Cifuentes praised Chair for opening the scoring. The Morocco international has continued to feature amid reports he faces a year in prison after being found guilty in Belgium of assault, with QPR saying on February 23 that “the legal proceeding is yet to reach its conclusion”.

The Spanish coach added: “I am very pleased with Ilias and the rest of the players so I am not talking much about other things that the club had already commented on. I am pleased about his goal and he is a very important player for us.”

Cifuentes was also delighted with 20-year-old forward Armstrong, who scored with his first touch after coming on as a 57th-minute substitute.

“It was a fantastic first touch, a fantastic way to start the game for him, he gave us exactly what we were looking for,” he said.

Leicester’s lead at the top of the Championship has been cut to just three points with 11 games to go after relegation-threatened QPR claimed a surprise 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium.

Goals from Ilias Chair and substitute Sinclair Armstrong – who scored with his first touch after coming on just before the hour – earned improving Rangers their third successive victory.

The Foxes quickly pulled a goal back through teenage defender Ben Nelson but they could not find an equaliser as they slumped to a third league defeat in a row, with second-placed Ipswich Town now closing in on them.

The result was a valuable one for QPR, but lifted them just one place up the table and they remain outside the bottom three on goal difference.

Leicester began the game boosted by promotion rivals Leeds drawing at struggling Huddersfield, but they suffered an early blow when midfielder Dennis Praet had to come off injured after 15 minutes, Yunus Akgun taking his place.

Enzo Maresca’s side dominated possession and Harry Winks came close to opening the scoring when he curled a shot just wide of the far post from 20 yards out.

QPR full-back Kenneth Paal then stopped Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall putting Leicester ahead after 26 minutes when he turned away a cross from Yunus for a corner.

But Rangers soaked up the pressure and broke away to take the lead after 38 minutes. Chris Willock advanced on the right-hand side and found Lyndon Dykes whose cross was met by Chair and he squeezed the ball just inside the post.

Armstrong came on as a 57th-minute substitute for QPR and made an immediate impact to give Marti Cifuentes’ side a two-goal lead.

Jimmy Dunne’s header found Sam Field in the penalty area and he stopped the ball before Armstrong followed up to score with a powerful drive.

Leicester pulled a goal back three minutes later to give themselves a lifeline.

Stephy Mavididi rolled a free-kick to Dewsbury-Hall and although his shot was pushed out by Rangers goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, Leicester defender Nelson followed up to clip the ball in.

It was the 19-year-old’s first senior goal and gave his side some hope of forcing their way back into the game.

With 21 minutes left, Abdul Fatawu cut in from the right and curled a shot just over the bar, as he tried a repeat of his winning goal in the midweek FA Cup tie at Bournemouth.

But Leicester struggled to break the Rangers defence down and could not force an equaliser.

Chair had a chance of a third goal for QPR in stoppage time, but he put his shot wide with only Leicester goalkeeper Mads Hermansen to beat.

Leicester’s final chance to level the scores disappeared when Winks had a shot charged down.

The game was reminiscent of Leicester’s previous home game against Middlesbrough when they also went two goals behind and could not recover.

But some Foxes players surrounded the match officials at the final whistle as they claimed a late penalty should have been given in their favour.

QPR head coach Marti Cifuentes praised a quality goal and an impressive performance after his team boosted their Championship survival hopes with a deserved 1-0 victory at Bristol Rovers.

Ilias Chair’s cool finish, passing the ball into the net from Lucas Andersen’s 42nd-minute cross, was enough to lift the visitors to within one point of fourth-from-bottom Millwall.

The visitors defended their lead with organisation and tenacity in the second half, showing the sort of character they will need to escape the drop.

And a delighted Cifuentes said: “I know we have the necessary spirit to move up the table and it was evident today.

“Our goal came from two quality players combining. Ilias Chair is already a top player for us, but I have told him he has the ability to do even greater things.

“Lucas Andersen also has a lot of quality and it was good to see them working together to create the chance.

“But every member of the team deserved credit for a tremendous performance against very good opponents.

“Bristol (City) had beaten Southampton in the week and we knew how tough it would be to come here and win.

“We worked on certain things to combat their strengths and it was important we bounced back quickly from a poor performance against Stoke.

“It sums up the Championship that Bristol (City) were so good in midweek and yet we were able to restrict them to very few chances today.

“What’s so difficult is to put together consistent performances and results. That is what we must be aiming for in our remaining games.

“Today we have been very good, but being like that for one game is not enough.”

City head coach Liam Manning admitted it was a rare off-day for his team, who have been closing in on the play-off positions.

“From the start, we never got going,” he said. “Collectively – and that includes me with the changes I made – we were not good enough.

“It has been a really hectic schedule since Christmas and perhaps that showed physically and mentally today.

“It’s not an excuse because top teams like Manchester City cope with tough programmes. But they have some of the best players in the world.

“We will give our lads tomorrow and Monday off because I think a short rest will do them good.

“Then it will be back to prepare for our next game. We knew we would have to cope with expectation levels today after our win against Southampton.

“Queens Park Rangers are a better side than their league position suggests. I watched them and was aware that we would be in for a very tough game.

“The players are as frustrated as myself because we can be so much better. But they are an honest group and I have nothing but praise for their efforts in recent weeks.”

City lost young striker Sam Bell with a hamstring injury after only 22 minutes and Manning added: “We won’t be sure how serious it is until we get a scan, but obviously it didn’t look good.”

Ilias Chair’s first-half goal boosted QPR’s survival chances in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

The key moment came three minutes before half-time when Lucas Andersen’s low cross from the right was stroked home right-footed by the unmarked Chair, who coolly passed the ball into the net from 12 yards.

From then on Rangers defended their lead with great tenacity against an out-of-sorts home side, who struggled to create meaningful openings.

QPR remained in the relegation zone, but they sit just a point behind fourth-bottom Millwall.

City made two changes from the 3-1 midweek win over Southampton, with Ross McCrorie and Nahki Wells replacing George Tanner and Tommy Conway, who dropped to the bench.

Rangers boss Marti Cifuentes made five alterations to the team beaten 1-0 at Stoke, welcoming back the influential Chris Willock and Chair to his starting line-up.

The home side lined up wearing a replica strip of the one worn by their counterparts of 50 years ago as City celebrated their FA Cup fifth-round replay victory over then unbeaten First Division leaders Leeds at Elland Road in February 1974.

But the historic kit failed to inspire as Liam Manning’s side looked a shadow of the team who had beaten Southampton so convincingly during a dour first half in which they barely tested visiting goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

City had plenty of the ball, without creating clear openings. Their best effort came in the 37th minute from Anis Mehmeti, whose curling shot from the corner of the box was parried by Begovic.

Jason Knight and McCrorie fired narrowly wide, while at the other end Willock had a shot charged down. But there was little to enthuse either set of fans until Chair’s quality finish.

Knight and Joe Williams had efforts blocked at the end of a half which ended with boos from some City fans.

Chair’s goal had been Rangers’ only shot on target. But they began the second half on the front foot, with his low 49th-minute shot saved by the diving Max O’Leary.

By the 58th minute Manning had seen enough and sent on Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Dire Mebude and Tommy Conway for Williams, Knight and Mehmeti.

It made little difference. O’Leary kept his side in the game with another diving stop, this time to keep out Andersen’s powerful drive.

City continued to flounder going forwards and Rangers defended their lead with comfort as both coaches made further changes.

Conway shot narrowly wide after 82 minutes for City, but it was Rangers who finished the stronger, Willock twice foiled by O’Leary saves and substitute Michael Frey shooting into the side-netting.

QPR scored twice in three second-half minutes to boost their survival hopes with a 2-1 win at Blackburn.

QPR took a 61st-minute lead through an unfortunate Aynsley Pears own goal, which owed much to the magic of Ilias Chair, but it was the least they deserved and Joe Hodge’s assured finish seven minutes into his QPR debut doubled their advantage.

It was too much for Blackburn’s supporters, who vociferously protested against owners Venky’s and their CEO Steve Waggott before Sam Gallagher’s fourth of the campaign halved the deficit 17 minutes from time.

But the visitors held on for their first win on this ground since October 1999 and with Blackburn now only five points clear of danger after a winless run of eight, QPR may have dragged them into the relegation battle.

Benjamin Chrisene should have given Rovers a fifth-minute lead when he found space inside the box and switched onto his right foot but got his curling effort all wrong and missed the target.

QPR looked the most assured of the two sides though and Chair engineered space on the left soon after, cutting inside before unleashing a rasping shot that Pears tipped away.

They went even closer when a flowing move saw Reggie Cannon cross for Sinclair Armstrong at the near post but he put his first-time shot the wrong side of the post.

Rovers were toothless, though Joe Rankin-Costello forced Asmir Begovic into a low save before Armstrong’s shot from a narrow angle was tipped behind.

The visitors went close again two minutes after the restart when Chair whipped a dangerous cross to the back post that Steve Cook met but his header whistled just wide, before Armstrong missed a glaring chance when over-running the ball clean through, allowing Pears to smother.

QPR got the goal their performance deserved just after the hour and it was thanks to the game’s outstanding player in Chair, who jinked inside from the left and dummied before letting fly with a ferocious low 25-yard strike that clattered the post and rebounded in off Pears.

They doubled their advantage three minutes later and there was no luck about this one as Armstrong found Hodge’s perfectly timed run into the box and he had time to pick his spot, slotting the ball beyond Pears into the right corner.

The atmosphere was bordering on mutinous after the second goal but Blackburn rallied and grabbed a lifeline when Rankin-Costello chased his mis-hit shot and bundled the ball into the path of Gallagher who fired through the legs of Begovic.

Begovic produced a sprawling save to deny Gallagher, and Semir Telalovic poked over deep into added time, but QPR held on for a vital win.

Goals from Ilias Chair and Sinclair Armstrong gave relegation-threatened QPR a vital 2-0 win over Millwall at Loftus Road.

It was Rangers’ first victory in eight Sky Bet Championship matches and lifted them up a place, to third from bottom.

And it means they will move level on points with Huddersfield, the team immediately above them in the table, if they beat the Terriers in another crucial game next weekend.

In a feisty London derby, both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances before Chair put Rangers ahead in the 27th minute with his third goal of the season.

Lyndon Dykes, usually a striker but currently operating in a withdrawn role, played a big part in the build-up.

Dykes controlled the ball nicely and laid it to the right to Chris Willock, who turned away from Joe Bryan and delivered a left-footed cross to the far post, where Chair bundled home from close range after getting in front of Millwall’s on-loan Arsenal youngster Brooke Norton-Cuffy.

QPR continued to threaten after the goal and Willock fired over – again after turning away from Bryan – before Dykes’ side-footed effort flashed narrowly wide.

Millwall’s first real sight of goal came a couple of minutes before half-time, when Billy Mitchell sent a first-time strike over the bar after being found by Zian Flemming’s cross from the left.

Rangers were back on the front foot after the interval, with Dykes heading wide from Willock’s cross and then testing keeper Matija Sarkic with a low shot which was well saved.

And the hosts appealed in vain for a penalty when Wes Harding blocked Dykes’ shot with his hands.

Rangers then had a let-off of their own when keeper Asmir Begovic allowed Mitchell’s shot to squirm through his legs and was rescued by Reggie Cannon’s clearance off the line.

Cannon took a heavy knock in the process and as he lay on the ground the defender appeared to be struck by a number of objects thrown from the away fans’ section of the ground.

That was the closest Millwall came to an equaliser – and there was no way back for them after Armstrong’s 85th-minute goal.

Chair teed up Jack Colback and, after Sarkic failed to hold the veteran midfielder’s left-footed shot, Armstrong was on hand to tuck away the loose ball.

Millwall, who recently won three matches in a row under new boss Joe Edwards, have now suffered back-to-back defeats.

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes was thrilled with how Ilias Chair channelled his frustration at not starting by creating both goals in the 2-0 win over Preston at Deepdale.

Struggling Rangers have now won two in a row for the first time all season, under recently-appointed boss Cifuentes, who feels his side are starting to find their feet.

And it was the half-time introduction of Moroccan international Chair that made the difference at Deepdale, as the midfielder set up Paul Smyth and Chris Willock in the second half.

The manager said: “I spoke to Ilias at half-time and told him we desperately needed fresh legs out there.

“He wasn’t happy that he hadn’t started the game of course, but that’s what I want.

“I want players here who are disappointed to be on the bench.

“He’s got lots of really strong attributes and he was terrific. I felt confident at half-time that he could contribute.

“The identity of the team is really coming on.

“It’s great to be winning, and though it is small steps at this stage of the season, I can see real progress since I came to the job.

“I’m not looking at the league table at the moment.

“It’s far too early for that.

“Maybe in April we’ll look and see where we are, but for now, it’s just about trying to pick up as many points as possible.

“The team is performing well right now, and we don’t necessarily have to be dominant all the time.

“I’m pleased that I can see a clear picture now of how we want to play.

“I’ll be using all the players, and that can be the difference as we move further into the season.”

Preston missed the chance to move back into the top six as they slumped to a third straight loss, despite Ched Evans having the best chance of the opening stages, tamely shooting straight at Asmir Begovic from Mads Frokjaer’s cross.

Duane Holmes also looked lively for Preston, but one of his dangerous crosses was just beyond Will Keane as neither side could find a way through on a bitterly cold evening.

The introduction of Chair proved the difference, his dangerous in-swinging cross poked home from close range by Smyth.

Freddie Woodman then denied the Moroccan a goal of his own, but he ensured they would come away with all three points, crossing for the unmarked Willock to seal the deal three minutes from time, leaving Preston boss Ryan Lowe with plenty to ponder.

He said: “It’s a tough one to take.

“Both teams were a little bit flat I thought, especially in that first half, but we needed to raise our game maybe 10 or 15 per cent, and we just didn’t do that over the course of the rest of the game.

“They raised their game in the second half, and this is what happens.

“Overall we’re all very disappointed, but I’m scratching my head a bit right now.”

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