A header from Dominic Solanke secured Bournemouth’s first win in seven games and took them to the top of the league with a win at QPR.
Solanke scored his 18th goal of the season after 41 minutes at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
But QPR, in its first game in 22 days because of Covid, missed the opportunity to climb into the top six with the loss.
They finished the game with 10 men as substitute Andre Dozzell was sent off in added time for two warnings.
More like that Parker cherries
Despite their high position, Bournemouth’s form heading into this game was poor. After opening the season with a 15-game unbeaten streak, Scott Parker’s men had collected just six points from the previous eight games, allowing others like Blackburn to close the gap.
After a suspicious opening, Solanke really should have put the visitors ahead but managed to come back four meters after a great cross from Philip Billing.
However, the Bournemouth number nine made amends when he scored with a much harder header, climbing the higher to guide one into the far corner of Stanislas’ free kick.
With 17 league goals to his name, only Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham and Ben Brereton Diaz of Blackburn have scored more this season than Solanke.
Solanke was twice denied by QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng looking for a second, but the most glaring opportunity came from substitute Jaidon Anthony, but he shot away from an open goal five yards after that Jack Stacey sparkled an inviting low balloon through the box.
But they did enough to overtake Fulham in first place, whose home game against Birmingham on December 26 has been postponed.
Difficult restart for Rs
It was unclear what to expect from the West London club as they hadn’t played since a 2-0 loss to Stoke on December 5, following a Covid outbreak and with two games carried over, and they’d slipped out of the top six.
Mark Warburton’s side took advantage of more possession, but struggled to open up against a defense expertly prepared by Gary Cahill.
It wasn’t until a late rally that they troubled the visitors, but goalkeeper Mark Travers made a vital interception at the feet of Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes and Jefferson Lerma threw himself in front of Chris Willock as ‘they slipped to a second straight loss.
And QPR finished with 10 men after Dozzell’s expulsion following a challenge between Solanke and QPR’s Yoann Barbet, which resulted in a scrum involving players from both teams.
They were booked, along with Dozzell after his clash with Cherries defender Chris Mepham – his second yellow card after an earlier warning.
Both sides will then be in action on Thursday, with Bournemouth hosting Cardiff and QPR heading to Bristol City (both 19:45 GMT) with neither side having played their Boxing Day match.
Then, to start 2022, the R’s will travel to Birmingham on Sunday January 2 (2:00 p.m. BST), while Bournemouth face Peterborough at home on Monday January 3 (7:45 p.m. GMT).
- 6BarbetBooked at 90 minutes
- 2KakayReplaced byAdomahat 70 ‘minutes
- 15DomainBooked at 40 minutes
- 3WallaceReplaced byGrayat 70 ‘minutes
- tenChairReplaced byDozzellat 45 ‘minutesBooked at 90 minutes
- 6MephamBooked at 90 minutes
- 4L CookReplaced byPearsonat 90 + 1 ‘minutesBooked at 90 minutes
- tenChristieBooked at 57 minutesReplaced byLoweat 82 ‘minutes
- 29BillingBooked at 76 minutes
- 19StanislasReplaced byAntoineat 60 ‘minutes
- Keith stroud
The match ends, Queens Park Rangers 0, Bournemouth 1.
Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 0, Bournemouth 1.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Queens Park Rangers).
free kick won Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Second yellow card to Andre Dozzell (Queens Park Rangers).
Ben Pearson (Bournemouth) is shown a yellow card.
Chris Mepham (Bournemouth) is shown a yellow card.
Yoann Barbet (Queens Park Rangers) is shown a yellow card.
free kick won Albert Adomah (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jamal Lowe (Bournemouth).
Attempt blocked. Jamal Lowe (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Dominic Solanke.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Ben Pearson replaces Lewis Cook.
Offside, Queens Park Rangers. Sam Field tries a through ball, but Stefan Johansen is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Chris Willock (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from the center of the box misses to the left.
Jimmy Dunne (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) fouls.
Foul by Stefan Johansen (Queens Park Rangers).
Free kick won Jefferson Lerma (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Robert Dickie (Queens Park Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.
Substitution, Bournemouth. Jamal Lowe replaces Ryan Christie.