Queens Park Rangers are revelling in their destiny. They re-established a nine-point lead at the top of the Championship with a display that was so dominant and thrilling that it appears unlikely they will be shifted from their perch any time soon.
At the very least QPR are coasting towards promotion, although the title is rightly in their sights. This win, with two goals from Wayne Routledge and a stunning volley from Alejandro Faurlín, meant Rangers need three wins from seven games to go up.
Sheffield United could not cope with their quick-passing display – who have now lost just once in their last 15 games – and in which Adel Taarabt was influential, if not at his usual stunning levels. That, perhaps, was understandable given that the 21-year-old was playing for the first time since discovering that a cousin had been shot dead in Marseille last week. The Moroccan teased the Blades, who look doomed to relegation. They are seven points from safety with seven to play and seem not to have the full backing of their manager, Micky Adams, who accused his players of being "soft touches".
United's plight is of concern to the QPR manager, Neil Warnock, who managed his boyhood club for eight years. But his focus is on the league leaders.
"We have outstanding players and you can see we're enjoying the position we're in," he said. "But no one will be getting carried away in our camp. Most of them are too experienced for that."
Routledge's performance brimmed with assurance and he will have been disappointed not to have scored a hat-trick, after seeing a close-range drive well saved by Steve Simonsen late on. Before that the former Tottenham winger, who is on loan from Newcastle, opened the scoring with a side-footed shot on 29 minutes, after being left unmarked in the area by Nyron Nosworthy, and got the third with a low drive on 66 minutes. In between Faurlín, the Argentinian midfielder whose transfer is part of a Football Association investigation, doubled QPR's lead from outside the area.
The visitors created chances and arguably should have had a penalty just before half-time, when Stephen Quinn appeared to be pushed by Fitz Hall. Defeat, though, was inevitable. "It's the same story, away from home we make too many errors," said Adams. "All we can do is keep going."
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