The question today in bright sunshine at the stadium formerly know as Loftus Road was whether there would be a hangover from the lets face it, hangover performance against Watford.
The game started with a bang – Todd Cantwell, sold short with a pass out of defence, conceded possession and Kakay whipped a ball across the City goal.
Seconds later, city drove a free kick forward and Emi Buendia was through on goal but his lofted first touch was just wide.
The QPR front three were pressing Norwich at the back, but City usually found an answer, either working it out patiently as we have seen so often, or making more use of the driven long ball out be Grant Hanley, a tactic which was giving them some success.
It took about 20 minutes for the game to settle down and for City to begin to impose some sustained pressure on QPR. Rangers were happy to allow City possession in the wide areas but placed a wall of defenders in the way to prevent the ball being worked inside.
QPR were playing the unusual tactic of leaving three players up the pitch whenever City had a corner. Although it never really bore fruit in an attacking sense, it meant City’s attacking threat from the set pieces was dulled.
The possession football from the Norwich players in tight situations was impressive, Cantwell in particular frequently dropping a shoulder, twisting and turning to retain and recycle possession. A succession of chances were created, mostly long shots, as City turned the screw.
On 31 minutes, the patient possession paid off. Buendia had the ball on the right. He played it across the pitch to Xavi Quintilla who hit a dipping first-time shot which the keeper Dieng fumbled and the ball crossed the line.
Moments later, Kieran Dowell tried to get in on the act with a driving shot bundled clear.
QPR were still dangerous though. Chair played a great pass forward and found Dykes whose clever run took him across Hanley and Andrew Omobamidele only for Tim Krul to save with his feet.
The second half continued in much the same manner – crisp, incisive Norwich moves but QPR dangerous on the counter. In the 54th minute, a long ball forward broke into the City area. Hanley brought the QPR player down – penalty.
As Dykes placed the ball, there never felt like any doubt over the result. He stepped up deliberately waiting for the bouncing Krul to move and as he drove it down the middle, Krul thrust out a clog to keep the ball out.
Two minutes later, QPR were punished. Buendia picked the ball up deep and played it to Cantwell. He found Quintilla on the left who cut the ball back for Kenny McLean, whose curling, lofted cross beyond the far post was met on the volley by the onrushing Max Aarons for a great finish. Add £5m to that asking price…
It could have been all over five minutes later when Teemu Pukki was played through. He delayed his shot and dragged it wide.
QPR made a string of substitutions and put Adomah wide right and Austin in the middle. There began a dangerous passage of play in which a succession of early crosses were played in, only for the City defence to clear. QPR forced the ball home from a flicked corner, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Eventually, Adomah played a great ball down the right to put Willock through. He was able to run into the area and pick his cross. Austin fluffed his shot but Dykes made amends for his penalty miss and tucked the ball home.
QPR continued to press dangerously. Quintilla left the pitch with Jacob Sorensen, who had come on earlier for Dowell, switching to left-back, in an attempt to stem the flow down the right.
In the end City responded as only they can. Aarons flicked away a dangerous cross, used his pace to retain possession and City were able to move forward under control. There followed a sustained period of possession in the QPR half.
Ultimately, QPR tried to play it out from the back. McLean nipped in, exchanged a 1-2 with Cantwell before crossing for a gleeful Buendia to tap into the empty net.
Game over. Subs came and went in the remaining eight minutes, but City had done their bit to put one hand back onto the title.