Super Eagles target Chuba Akpom bagged a brace to help Middlesborough record a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers and go four points behind second placed Sheffield United as they continue their chase for automatic Premier League qualification.
After an uneventful first half and a slow start to the second half, Michael Carrick’s men turned up the heat on QPR which yielded result when Akpom put Boro in front in the 64th minute. Akpom made it 2-0 for the hosts in the 77th minute scoring from close range after his penalty was saved by R’s goalkeeper Seny Dieng.
Ilias Chair scored what only proved to be a consolation goal in the 89th minute before Riley McGree put the game beyond the visitors scoring Boro’s third to make it 3-1 in the 92nd minute. The win is Boro’s fifth consecutive victory in the league.
Akpom was shown a yellow card in the encounter for taking off his jersey after scoring the opener. It is his third caution of the season. The Arsenal youth product leads the scorers chart in the championship with 19 goals from 26 league games while Coventry City’s Viktor Gyökeres is second on the log with 14 goals from 32 games. Luton Town’s Carlton Morris has registered 12 goals from 31 league games this season.
After grinding out a tough win, Carrick hailed the entire team as well as the industry from Akpom.
“Chuba got us a big goal, the first one was terrific. He influenced the game really positively. As a team, to score three goals is really pleasing, I would have taken a clean sheet to be honest but it was a hell of a free-kick,” the former Manchester United midfielder and interim coach said after the match.
“He’s a part of the team, Chuba understands how important the boys around him and the service that they give him.”