Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo got away with a clear handball as Queens Park Rangers beat Ipswich Town 2-1 to move to eighth in the championship.

Visiting manager Mick McCarthy was left dismayed after Luongo used his hand before laying the ball off to Pawel Wszolek, whose cross set up Jamie Mackie. Referee Andy Davies let play continue.

Luke Freeman doubled QPR’s lead early in the second half before Bersant Celina pulled a goal back for the visitors with a superb strike.

“We had a massive stroke of fortune where the referee should have seen a handball,” QPR manager Ian Holloway said.

“The ball has popped up to ‘Mass’ and I think he’s just moved it with his hand. The fourth official should have seen it and should have the power to tell the referee.

“I’d be fuming if I were Mick. We (managers and officials) had a meeting in the summer and talked about game-changing moments – well if that’s not a game-changing moment I don’t know what is.

“They should see that. Luckily for us today we were able to capitalise on that and then get the second goal. Up until that point anybody could have scored.”

But Holloway was also full of praise for his team, who maintained their 100 per cent home record in the Championship this season.

“We defended brilliantly and didn’t give them too many chances. It was magnificent,” he said.

“The group is doing what I’ve asked them to, which is to defend and put bodies on the line. We fought to the end and I’m delighted with the way we managed to see that through.

“The lads are rolling their sleeves up. They’ve got skill and are also working hard for each other.”

McCarthy bemoaned the decision to let the opening goal stand but conceded that his team were second best.

“It was handball. I’ve told the referee what I think of the decision and what it’s done to the game,” McCarthy said.

“We’ve lost the game and I seem like I’m moaning, but it’s a handball. The goal before half-time has knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.

Elsewhere Leeds United, out of the top flight of English football since 2004, went second in the Championship (second tier) with an emphatic 5-0 win at home to lowly Burton Albion.

Pierre-Michel Lasogga, a German striker on loan from Hamburg, scored the first and fifth goals in front of a crowd of 33,404.

The victory closed the gap to two points on leaders Cardiff City, who failed to win for the first time this season when they were held 1-1 at Fulham.

Big-spending Wolverhampton Wanderers went into third place, a further point behind, with a 1-0 win at home to Millwall, who were reduced to 10 men when Aiden O’Brien was sent off.

Sheffield United stayed in the playoff places with a 2-1 win away to relegated Sunderland, who were left in the bottom five.

Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak again watched from the bench as Aston Villa were held to a 0-0 draw by lowly Brentford at Villa Park.

© Reuters 2017
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