May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Ian Cooper at Loftus Road
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Premier League: QPR 1 Tottenham 0
Adel Taarabt scored and was sent off against his former club as QPR dramatically boosted their survival hopes and delivered another damaging blow to Tottenham’s Champions League hopes.
Taarabt hit the winner with a brilliant first-half free-kick on a chaotic afternoon at Loftus Road, although the midfielder’s day ended in controversy as he was handed a second yellow card for kicking the ball away in the closing stages.
But that wasn’t enough to cloud another stunning result for the Rs: Mark Hughes’s side have now won their last four consecutive home matches and moved three points clear of the drop zone into 16th, level on points with Wigan Athletic.
Tottenham meanwhile, were left to reflect on another disastrous afternoon, as the Lilywhites dropped out of the top four and now trail Newcastle United by three points.
And despite his sending off, the afternoon undoubtedly belonged to Taarabt, who had managed only a handful of league appearances for Spurs before being shipped out by Redknapp to QPR.
There was no room in Hughes’s starting line-up for Djibril Cisse, who was available after his four-match ban but only made the bench as the manager stuck with Bobby Zamora as the lone striker.
For Tottenham, the injured Emmanuel Adebayor missed out, with Jermain Defoe leading the line.
Brad Friedel replaced Carlo Cudicini in goal, while Sandro started ahead of Aaron Lennon in midfield.
QPR set the tone for the first half with a high-octane start. Jamie Mackie’s driving run at Spurs left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto brought the first opening, but Mackie’s shot drifted across goal.
Harry Redknapp’s side, with one win from their last eight league games, struggled for cohesion in the opening stages, yet after a subdued start they then twice came close to taking the lead.
First, Rafael van der Vaart’s corner was met by Gareth Bale with a firm header which Paddy Kenny pushed over the bar. From the corner, van der Vaart’s curling shot was well held by the Rs keeper.
But having gradually found their way into the contest, Spurs then gifted the home side the lead.
Tottenham protested as Sandro was penalised for a foul on Taarabt, with television replays suggesting there was indeed little contact between the players. The Moroccan responded ruthlessly, curling a delicate free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner past a sprawling Brad Friedel.
Aggrieved, the visitors responded positively. A slip by Joey Barton in the penalty area allowed Van der Vaart to get away a shot which Kenny did well to block. Defoe was first to the rebound but could only loop his header onto the roof of the net.
Spurs finished the first half the stronger, although they might have conceded a calamitous second as Barton’s shot hit Scott Parker and cannoned back off the Rs captain to drop narrowly wide.
Redknapp withdrew Sandro at the break, bringing on Lennon. The second half opened with a forceful run into the box from Samba Diakite, who toe-poked his shot into the side-netting.
Spurs continued to look marginally the more dangerous side, but had only a wayward van der Vaart shot to show for their efforts. At the other end, Zamora’s goal-bound shot was well blocked.
With 12 minutes left Taarabt was appeared to kick the ball away, and referee Mark Clattenburg produced a second yellow card. Spurs almost took immediate advantage, but Luka Modric’s shot from the edge of the penalty area by Kenny.
Substitute Dos Santos tested Kenny again, but the keeper responded with a save at the foot of his post, and kept out Defoe’s follow-up as the visitors threw everything at QPR’s defence.
Van der Vaart let rip with a 25-yard shot which Kenny palmed away, while Modric saw his shot deflected wide in a frantic final few minutes.
But despite constant and desperate Tottenham pressure, the 10 men of Rangers held on to secure another priceless three points in their fight for survival.
QPR: Kenny, Taiwo, Hill, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Derry, Diakite, Barton, Mackie, Taarabt, Zamora.
Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Buzsaky, Helguson, Cisse, Wright-Phillips.
Tottenham: Friedel, Bale, Parker, Rafael van der Vaart, Gallas, Modric, Defoe, King, Walker, Sandro, Assou-Ekotto. Subs: Cudicini, Lennon, Dos Santos, Rose, Livermore, Khumalo, Smith.