Queens Park Rangers 2-3 West Bromwich Albion Player Ratings: Holgate impresses

Jake Livermore’s injury-time winner gave West Bromwich Albion a 3-2 win at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night and a priceless three points in the Championship automatic promotion race. Here’s our Player Ratings from the contest.

QPR

Joe Lumley – the young goalkeeper was in outstanding form for QPR between September and Christmas, but he appears to have gone downhill since the turn of the year, as could be expected from a young goalkeeper learning his trade at this level. This performance confirmed that he is having a blip, but he should be back to his best soon. 4

Darnell Furlong – the academy graduate is perhaps better suited to playing as a wide centre-back in a back-three than he is operating as one of two central defenders, but his best position is right-back and on two occasions, he failed to track his man and let him run into the box. 4
Toni Leistner – the QPR skipper provided strong leadership qualities and, at 6’3″, his height made him an obvious reference point in the opposing box, especially from set pieces. Perhaps at times he struggled to deal with the pace of West Brom’s attacks, but the German should not be considered the primary reason QPR lost. 6
Joel Lynch – the former Huddersfield defender can be strong when his only responsibility is heading balls away but, given that West Brom were operating without a target man, that was not his remit and Lynch therefore looked error-prone in a defensively poor team display. 3

Pawel Wszolek – the right-sided utility man can offer confidence in possession and a willingness to get forward, but as this performance showed, he can also be defensively suspect as a wing-back rather than as a winger. Angel Rangel’s return will be welcome. 4
Jordan Cousins – the former Charlton man carried out his duties out of possession with minimal fuss, putting in a number of tackles. There was certainly nothing wrong with his attitude, even if he is not the best passer of a ball in the world. 6
Massimo Luongo – the Australian was considered a key man before going to the Asian Cup, but has divided opinion since returning. Retained possession reasonably well here but did not take the initiative to shoot from distance quite as often as one might have hoped. 5
Jake Bidwell – the former Brentford man is normally a solid, reliable left-back for Championship level, but here he let too many crosses come into the box. Considering he relies on his defensive ability, due to not contributing a single dribble all evening as a wing-back, this must be classified as a poor performance. 4

Luke Freeman – the ex-Bristol City playmaker has long been among the most creative magicians and set piece specialists outside the Championship elite; if he is out for a while, QPR need to consider recalling Ilias Chair from his loan spell at Stevenage. 6

Nahki Wells – since the turn of the year, we have not seen Wells run the channels with quite the same confidence we saw earlier in the campaign and, if there was a similar type of striker in the squad, perhaps he would benefit from some time out of the limelight. Unfortunately, McClaren does not have the luxury of being able to shuffle his pack. 4
Matt Smith – the question surrounding Smith is not whether he has qualities to provide – we saw last season just how strong he is in the air – but whether it is worth altering the collective style of play to maximize those qualities. QPR’s best form has arguably come without the former Solihull Moors man up top, Eze behind Wells with emphasis on football on the deck. 5

Eberechi Eze (on 45) – perhaps the 20-year-old is a victim, partially, of his own success. Eze showed so much ability on the ball after returning from his loan spell at Wycombe last season, then at the beginning of the current campaign, but dips in form are inevitable for somebody still getting used to this level. 5
Tomer Hemed (on 71) – a promotion-challenger previously with Brighton, Hemed is slightly better with the ball at his feet than Smith so, if McClaren wants to play with two classic centre-forwards, then perhaps the Israeli represents the favourable option. Netted the penalty to equalize and is 7/2 with free bets UK to score at Middlesbrough on Saturday. 7

Bright Osayi-Samuel (on 71) – the wide man, formerly of Blackpool, injected pace and exuberance into QPR’s play. 6

Steve McClaren’s side travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday and are 4/1 to attain victory attain a victory on Teesside that would aid their push for a top half berth.

West Brom

Sam Johnstone – he perhaps should have narrowed the angle for QPR’s first goal, leaving a lot of the goal open. Question marks linger over the goalkeeper’s command of area, too as he struggles to continue his impressive 2017-18 form with Aston Villa. 4

Mason Holgate – the Everton loanee is a similar type of player to previous right-back incumbent Tosin Adarabioyo, in terms of his desire to pick perfectionistic passes. With more experience of playing in the senior game however, he also appears to have more of the presence to back that up and, after setting up the winner at Loftus Road, he furthered his individual claim as the best right-back in the Championship. 8
Craig Dawson – the experienced defender struggled to get into the team at the start of the campaign, with fans not happy with the way he had handled a prospective move to Burnley that fell through and that seems to have hindered his season, with a shaky performance here. 5
Ahmed Hegazi – the Egyptian centre-back did not look especially comfortable on the ball earlier in the campaign, but appears to have grown increasingly convincing as the season has gone on and turned in a colossal display at Loftus Road, with his passion for the club highlighted by his celebrations. 8
Kieran Gibbs – without making any singular, match-defining contributions on the ball, the former Arsenal stalwart got forward well in another lively performance from arguably the Championship’s most consistent left-back. 7

Jake Livermore – the experienced midfielder made himself the hero by scoring the winner in injury-time. Although Livermore’s commitment has never been in question, there have been doubts about his mobility and range of passing, which means there was room for improvement in terms of his performance in general play. 5
Sam Field – finally, West Brom are getting some good players out of their academy setup. Field showed good energy as well as the ability to retain possession shrewdly, helping Albion get a handle on the midfield. 7
Stefan Johansen – set pieces aside, this was not the most convincing performance from Johansen, who appears to have suffered from a lack of match practice while at Fulham. At fault for QPR’s first goal and looked a shadow of the dynamic, box-to-box man we have praised over the previous two campaigns. 4

Josh Murphy – as well as taking his goal well, the former Norwich winger showed here his main strength, which is his swift turn of pace that gets him beyond his man and cut-backs across the box. Sometimes though, there were not enough other forward players on his wavelength. 7
Jay Rodriguez – West Brom’s only outfield player to start every game turned in another hardworking performance and linked play well, showing good movement in the process. Although Rodriguez was not among the goals himself, wasting two good first half opportunities, he was still a key component of a good attacking performance. 7
Jefferson Montero – five minutes into his first start since 2016, Montero took his goal well and showed his usual pace. At certain points however, his decision-making was questionable which suggests he will have a battle on to keep his place when other forwards and wide men come back into the fold. 6

Rekeem Harper (on 57) – the young midfielder showed remarkable poise to back-heel in a tight area for Holgate in the lead-up to Livermore’s injury-time winner. 8
Gareth Barry (on 65) – made a real difference to the side, offering the level of composure and decision-making one would expect from a midfielder who has played in the top division throughout his career. 8
Matt Phillips (on 81) – the former QPR man was one of the first names on the teamsheet pre-injury, but the rise of Harper means his place in Darren Moore’s 4-3-3 system is now by no means guaranteed. 6

The performance from Holgate and Hegazi, as well as substitutes Harper and Barry, must be considered real positives from West Brom’s performance. The result does not move them up from fourth but it does leave them just one point shy of the automatic promotion places ahead of Saturday’s fixtures, albeit with third-place Leeds having a game in hand. The Albion are currently 10/11 with free bets UK to go up this season, either by finishing in the top two or winning the play-offs.

The current favourites for promotion are Leeds, Norwich and Sheffield United – the Championship is a very intriguing betting market. Unlike the Premier League, in which Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are the dominant forces, the Championship is a more competitive division because the gap in quality is generally narrower and thus harder to predict, which also means left-field tips are more likely to hold substance. Free Bets are working with Bet365, PaddyPower and MoPlay to provide the best betting offers.

Although an instant return to the Premier League is the primary target, another crucial thing Darren Moore has done is re-kindle a sense of community and identity within the club, for which he deserves great credit.