Post lockdown football produced an amazing result as Barnsley tasted victory at QPR for the first time in 70 years and only the second time ever in their history in what was their first match in the month of June since 1947.
Prior to yesterday’s match Barnsley had drawn (2-2) and won (5-0) on their first two visits to this part of West London but had then failed to win any of the subsequent 26 in all competitions and had lost each of the past 11. But with no supporters in the ground an early effort from Elliot Simoes saw the Reds close the gap to safety down to four points.
This was also only the Reds second ever clean sheet at QPR alongside the 5-0 victory in January 1950. In the intervening years they have conceded 58 goals in 25 visits.
This result also mean that three of Barnsley’s four away victories in the elongated 2019-2020 season have come in London (Millwall, Fulham, QPR)
It is the first time they have won three matches in the capital in one season since 2015-2016 when they won at Millwall and twice at Wembley.
It is the first time they have won three regulation games in London since 1981-1982 when they won at Chelsea (2-1), Leyton Orient (3-1) and Crystal Palace (2-1) in the second tier.
Barnsley led a Championship match at half time for the ninth time this season, they have now gone on to win eight of those matches, only failing to do so at West Brom.
Eight of their nine league victories have come when ahead at half-time, the only exception being the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough.
The Reds have now won each of the last eight games in which they have scored the first goal of the game (Fulham, Huddersfield, Crewe, Millwall, QPR, Middlesbrough, Hull, QPR), last failing to do so against Reading in December (1-1)
Barnsley completed their third Championship double of the season – their most in a second tier campaign since 2008-2009 when they defeated four teams home and away (Burnley, Doncaster, Plymouth, Sheffield Wednesday)
As well as completing a second ever league double over QPR after 1949-1950 it also ended Rangers’ six match unbeaten run in the league – a run which had seen them alternate between a win and a draw.
Simoes early effort means that Rangers have now conceded the joint most home goals in the Championship this season (34) level with Hull and one more than Barnsley have conceded at Oakwell whilst home and away they have now conceded one more than the Reds (63-62)
This was the first time Barnsley have opened the scoring at Loftus Road in six visits, last doing so on the opening day of the 2008-2009 season when Iain Hume netted after only five minutes – Barnsley went on to lose 2-1.
It is Barnsley’s earliest away league goal in the Championship this season and since Marc Roberts scored after three minutes at Blackburn in April 2017.
This is the first away league match in which Barnsley have netted but Cauley Woodrow hasn’t since the 2nd January defeat at Derby…. when Simoes bagged his first career goal.
There was a surprise change in goal for the Reds with Jack Walton making his first Championship appearance since the day Barnsley were last relegated, at Derby in May 2018. He did gain his second win and clean sheet in four second tier appearances however but his first on the road. At any level this was his third Barnsley clean sheet having kept one at Walsall in League One.
Unfortunately Simoes picked up an injury in the first half and became the first scorer to be subbed at the break since Kieffer Moore at Bristol Rovers on the final day of last season.
Probably another surprising return was that of error-prone Mads Andersen who had been dropped following the 1-0 defeat against Birmingham in February. This was only the fourth clean sheet Barnsley have kept with Andersen in the side (from 33 games) and the first in 10.
Barnsley conceded 60% possession in this game – only the fourth time this has been 60% or higher this season and it is the first of those four they have won (W1 D2 L2)
Barnsley have now won four of their past six league matches (L2) as many as they had managed in 14 prior. All four of those wins have been accompanied by a clean sheet.
However this was only their ninth clean sheet in their last 57 Championship games.
Remarkably they were one of five away wins in the Championship this weekend. There were only two home wins from 12 matches.
Despite being a match played without the ferocious passion of a crowd there were 29 free-kicks awarded, the most in a Barnsley match in 12 outings. The 18 Barnsley conceded was their most since Cardiff away in December (also 18)
13. Jack Walton
3. Ben Williams
6. Mads Andersen
7. Jacob Brown
9. Cauley Woodrow
14. Kilian Ludewig
17. Marcel Ritzmaier
18. Michael Sollbauer
27. Alex Mowatt (C)
28. Elliot Simoes
41. Romal Palmer
11. Conor Chaplin (for Simoes 45)
4. Kenny Dougall (for Palmer 57)
20. Callum Styles (for Woodrow 74)
16. Luke Thomas (for Ludewig 84)
1. Sami Radlinger, 2. Jordan Williams, 19. Patrick Schmidt, 22. Clare Oduor, 24. Aapo Halme.
32. Liam Kelly
8. Luke Amos
9. Jordan Hugill
10. Ebere Eze
12. Dominic Ball
14. Ryan Manning
19. Ilias Chair
20. Bright Osayi-Samuel
22. Angel Rangel
23. Conor Masterson
29. Yoann Barbet ©
17. Olamide Shodipo (for Amos 45)
3. Lee Wallace (for Ball 61)
2. Todd Kane (for Rangel 80)
1. Joe Lumley, 18. Aramide Oteh, 26. Faysal Bettache, 47. Jack Clarke.
QPR manager Mark Warburton said:
"As a team we let ourselves down today,"
"We knew what we faced. They are the youngest team in the league and have real energy. They brought in real pace and we knew they would press us and we had to manage the game better.
"In the second half it was much better, but still probably a six or six-and-a-half out of 10. Still there were no shots on goal.
"Then we created chances but then you have to take chances even when you are playing below your best."
Sky Bet Championship results
SATURDAY 20TH JUNE 2020
Fulham (3rd) 0-2 Brentford (4th)
Middlesbrough (21st) 0-3 Swansea City (9th)
Ayew pen 34
Millwall (11th) 2-3 Derby County (12th)
Blackburn Rovers (8th) 3-1 Bristol City (10th)
Huddersfield Town (20th) 0-2 Wigan Athletic (17th)
Hull City (22nd) 0-1 Charlton Athletic (19th)
Luton Town (24th) 1-1 Preston North End (6th)
Queens Park Rangers (13th) 0-1 BARNSLEY (23rd)
Reading (14th) 1-1 Stoke City (18th)
Sheffield Wednesday (15th) 1-1 Nottingham Forest (5th)
West Bromwich Albion (1st) 0-0 Birmingham City (16th)
SUNDAY 21ST JUNE 2020
Cardiff City (7th) 2-0 Leeds United (2nd)
Barnsley lie in 23rd place in the Sky Bet Championship with 37 points from 38 games. We are 20 points outside the Play-Offs, 34 points outside the Automatic Promotion Places, 34 points outside First Place and 4 points inside the Relegation Zone.
Up to 21/6/20
Sky Bet Championship Matchday Thirty Nine: Barnsley v Millwall, Saturday 27th June 2020. Kick-Off: 1pm
On The Road:
Sky Bet Championship Matchday Forty One: Stoke City v Barnsley, Saturday 4th July 2020. Kick-Off: 3pm