Stoke City 1-0 QPR: Adam winner piles pressure on beleaguered Hughes
More misery for the Rs as the Potters grind out a much-needed home win to leave the visitors still searching for their first Premier League win of the season
By Alex Fisher at the Britannia Stadium
Charlie Adam’s strike early in the second half earned Stoke City a 1-0 victory over QPR, that leaves Mark Hughes’ men still searching for their first win of the season.
The former Liverpool man came to the Potters’ rescue after a dismal opening 45 minutes, the Scot finding room inside the penalty area to send a volley past Julio Cesar to secure all three points.
Stoke made two changes to the side that were beaten at Norwich last time out, with Michael Kightly and Dean Whitehead dropping to the bench in place of Glenn Whelan and winger Matthew Etherington. The visitors made just one change as Jamie Mackie made way for Alejandro Faurlin to return to the starting line-up.
Adel Taarabt and Junior Hoilett looked dangerous for the visitors, in an otherwise dour first half, but were continually denied by the resolute Stoke defence.
Steven N’Zonzi created the best chance for Stoke in the 38th minute as he broke behind the QPR defence and pulled a low cross into Peter Crouch’s path, only for the striker’s effort taking a deflection off Nelsen to send the ball skipping past the post.
As the half drew to a close, Hoilett intercepted a loose cross-field pass and weighted an inch-perfect delivery into the path of Taraabt inside the penalty area. However, the Moroccan’s decision to try and chip the ball over Asmir Begovic saw the ball bounce harmlessly away from danger.
The hosts came out after the break with far more intent and had to wait just seven minutes to grab a deserved lead.
Jon Walters flicked a neat pass towards Crouch but although the striker failed to control the ball, he was able to steer it into the path of Adam who duly lashed it past Julio Cesar.
That goal sparked QPR back into life and Taraabt soon brought two good saves out of Begovic with long-range efforts that the keeper was able to deal with fairly easily.
Taarabt’s seemingly one-man mission to turn the game into his side’s favour continued as the Morocco international skipped cleverly into the area, but his effort from 12 yards was pulled wide as he began to frustrate himself and his manager.
Hughes’ men continued to pile on the pressure, but Tony Pulis’ charges held on for a valuable win as Begovic kept late efforts from Esteban Granero and Taraabt.
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