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Premier League

  • 31 March 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 18033
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QPR 2-1 Arsenal: Diakite gives Rangers hope of beating the drop as Gunners lose their grip on third

QPR 2-1 Arsenal: Diakite gives Rangers hope of beating the drop as Gunners lose their grip on third

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The Rs were brilliant all over the park as they out-battled the Gunners with first Premier League goals from Taarabt and Diakite to claim crucial win

QPR took a huge step towards survival with a hard-fought and ultimately deserved 2-1 win against Arsenal at Loftus Road.

First Premier League goals for Adel Taarabt and Samba Diakite either side of a Theo Walcott tap-in ensured a second successive home win for Mark Hughes' strugglers.

Striker Djibril Cisse missed out after receiving his second red card since joining the Rs in January during last week’s defeat at Sunderland but captain Joey Barton did make a return after being dropped to the bench.

Mikel Arteta made his 200th Premier League appearance, while Laurent Koscielny returned to the centre of defence alongside Thomas Vermaelen.

The hosts started the stronger of the two but Arsenal had the first chance of the game when Van Persie'a free-kick was held at the second attempt by Paddy Kenny after Walcott was scythed down from behind by Clint Hill.

At the other end Morocco international Taraabt was inch-perfect with his free-kicks all match, and in the 13th minute he located the ever-lively Zamora who headed over when he really should have forced Wojciech Szczesny into action.

DAZZLING DIAKITE

 PLAYER RATING
8.5 Terrific display in the midfield heartlands. Never allowed Arteta and Song to dominate, used the ball impressively and popped up in the box to emphatically restore QPR's advantage with their second goal.
Arsene Wenger’s men were struggling to get into the contest and were being hounded far up in their own half by the likes of Shaun Derry and Zamora.

But it was free-kick maestro Taarabt who opened the scoring on 22 minutes after a fine through ball by Hill found the Moroccan, he dropped his shoulder, turned Vermaelen inside out, before rifling home past Szczesny

The visitors' equalised with their first real attack of the game after 37 minutes and it was completely against the run-of-play.

Midfielder Tomas Rosicky passed to Van Persie whose nicked pass when falling over through the middle of the defence found Walcott in space.

His initial curling effort cannoned back off the post back into the path of the winger and the England international was left with a simple tap-in.

Aaron Ramsey and Van Persie both went close just before the break as the tide slowly changed following the equaliser.

And it was the away side who continued to pose a threat at the start of the second-half without giving Paddy Kenny much to do but the Dutch international would keep him busy twice just before the hour mark.

Another free-kick was punched away by the Irish international from the Premier League's leading goalscorer before he second-guessed what Van Persie was going to do when put one-on-one with the goalkeeper after being released by Alex Song's pass.

A terrific save around the post kept his side in the game and Taarabt had a shot from range well held by Szczesny.

And that gave QPR their impetus back, and the lead hugely down to Mackie’s persistence and slightly due to Vermaelen being at fault again.

The energetic striker worked his socks off all game and had the beating of Vermaelen, who slipped over allowing him the space to cut-back into the box for Diakite to clinically dispatch past a stranded Szczesny after 66 minutes.

Barton then almost went from zero to hero with a brilliant shot but an even better save from Szczesny kept his side in the game.

Arsenal had a late, late chance with yet another Van Persie free-kick but he only found the wall as QPR held on in four added minutes for three massive points.

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