Middlesbrough moved up to second place in the Championship table thanks to a 3-2 win over QPR at Loftus Road on Friday.
Aitor Karanka’s side leapfrogged over Brighton into one of the two automatic promotion spots with a first league victory on the road since February 27.
They were gifted the lead in the 18th minute when Grant Hall’s weak header set up Jordan Rhodes. The forward rounded goalkeeper Alex Smithies before scuffing his attempt behind the sliding Hall and into the net.
QPR drew level in the first half when Jamie Mackie produced a wonderful first-time shot with his left foot, his attempt hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing over the line.
However, the hosts conceded twice in the space of five minutes in the second half, with both goals coming from corners.
Having seen his penalty excellently saved by Smithies, Grant Leadbitter curled over the resulting corner for Gaston Ramirez to flick home. Ben Gibson followed suit soon after, albeit from a set-piece taken on the opposite side of the field, to give Middlesbrough a two-goal cushion.
QPR set up a nervy finish when Tjaronn Chery’s long-range effort with his left foot halved the deficit in the 86th minute, but Middlesbrough held on to secure three welcome points in their push to reach the Premier League.
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