champ-highlights,-round-up:-bournemouth,-derby,-qpr-win

Champ highlights, round-up: Bournemouth, Derby, QPR win

Bournemouth extended their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship to four points after a 3-0 win over 10-man Cardiff on Thursday.

Having got back to winning ways with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at QPR on Monday, Scott Parker’s men knew they could seize the opportunity to end the year with a healthy lead over second-placed Fulham, particularly given the fact postponements have prevented the Cottagers from playing since December 20.

They started positively at the Vitality Stadium and took the lead after 25 minutes when Ryan Christie struck his first goal for the club since a summer move from Celtic. The visitors were reduced to 10 men before the break, too, with Leandro Bacuna dismissed for a poor challenge on Philip Billing.

Dominic Solanke then scored his 19th goal of the season in all competitions after the break, before the comfortable victory was rounded off inside the final 10 minutes when Bluebirds goalkeeper Alex Smithies helped the ball into his own goal after a shot from Jefferson Lerma.

At the bet365 Stadium, Derby again showed their fighting spirit to beat Stoke 2-1.

Rams teenager Luke Plange opened the scoring after 16 minutes when he slotted home his second senior goal in just four appearances after being located by Kamil Jozwiak.

Tom Ince hit back on 78 minutes against his former employers to level the game for the Michael O’Neill’s side, but Colin Kazim-Richards was the match-winner for the second game in succession to earn Derby – who are now just 11 points from safety – a third straight win.

QPR came from a goal behind to earn a 2-1 win over 10-man Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Robins starlet Alex Scott, 18, struck inside three minutes to give Nigel Pearson’s side the ideal start, though their cause was not helped by an equaliser from the spot, courtesy of Charlie Austin, and a second yellow card for Andy King early in the second half.

And just when it looked as though the points would be shared in the teams’ final outing of 2021, Yoann Barbet crashed the ball home from a Stefan Johansen corner to send the travelling support wild.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest were punished for failing to take any of their numerous chances as Huddersfield left the City Ground with a narrow 1-0 victory.

Duane Holmes scored the only goal of the game, controlling a pass from Harry Toffolo and squeezing a shot past Brice Samba from a tight angle.