Queens Park Rangers are back in winning ways after winning the 2-0 London Derby at Millwall in the tournament.
Chris Willock’s stunning turn and finish outside the box, not long after the break, broke the deadlock at Dunn and put Rangers on their way to getting all three points.
Norway captain Stefan Johansen then made the match safe by shooting home after a well-executed corner kick that quickly sent the traveling fans into ecstasy.
Both sides created plenty of opportunities in the Fiery Capital affair, but the clinical termination made it a successful trip south of the river for the Rangers.
With football restarting after weekend delays, both clubs gave a heartfelt salute to the Queen before kick-off, which included a minute’s silence followed by the national anthem.
Zian Flemming almost got the hosts back in action to start the perfect match, but his powerful free kick was cleverly blocked by Seny Dieng.
In a lively opening few minutes, the guests headed straight to the other end and almost opened the scoring themselves. Tim Erogpunam’s effort on loan from Aston Villa was saved before Tyler Roberts somehow managed to head a wide header from close range.
That was as close to breaking a tie in the first half, although Rangers created more chances.
Elias’ racy chair fired over a quarter of an hour after fine work on the right wing of Willock.
Johansen then saw a header slash the bar before another attempt by the president to test Bartosz Bialkowski as QPR raised the pressure on Millwall’s goal.
The Blacks started fast after the first half and were nearly rewarded when Tom Bradshaw fired a little more by hitting Ding.
But Willock’s super hit sucked energy from the Lions and Chair nearly doubled the advance with a coiling effort that went off the post.
Substitute Bennik Afobe, substitute at Millwall, almost got the hosts back in the game, but was only able to pass a header just wide of the goal in the penalty area.
Johansen’s goal with 20 minutes left kept Millwall away, though captain Jake Cooper came close to returning, his clever turn effort well within sight.
Fleming then came close when his powerful shot hit the underside of the crossbar without crossing the line.
Millwall’s luck in front of goal summed up substitute Tyler Bury’s header straight at Dieng when he was in good shape in the closing minutes.
What did the managers say…
Millwall Gary narrated: “They took their chances and we didn’t. It was disappointing because I didn’t think there was much in the game, I thought it was a nice match. But we knew they were dangerous from the penalty area, we talked about it all week, and we know that the first goal in The tournament is very important and I felt that it changed the outcome of the match.
“In terms of the second goal, I don’t really know what we’re doing to be honest. We do a lot of work on set pieces and we have to be better at it. I think there are four players who don’t even look at the ball when they’re playing fast ball. As a coach, I was sitting there pretty frustrated. To be 2-0 down at that point because they only got those shots in the second half and that was really it.”
QPR’s Michael Bell: “It’s a hard place to get to, The Den. Just played Millwall on honoring the Queen beforehand, because I thought that was too emotional. The game started with a good card after that. We had to get through the first 15 minutes but then when we started playing after that, I thought We were fine tonight.
“He (Willock) is in great shape at the moment. He’s an excellent player, look at his resume and we know we’re lucky to have him at QPR. I think he can play at the next level, he just has to make minor adjustments. It’s a great goal but it would be It’s a mistake not to keep my foot on the accelerator with him in terms of demands. He has talent like almost everyone I’ve worked with, so I want more for him. I hope so with QPR.”