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2 March 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 31728
G. Ramírez 45'+
Queens Park Rangers
L. Rémy 15'
J. Bothroyd 77'
Redknapp will be over-the-moon as he celebrates his 66th birthday with an absolutely vital win. Can this victory be the catalyst for change for the West London side? I've been Ben Cullimore, and thank you for following Goal.com's LIVE text commentary of Southampton vs. QPR. Goodbye for now!
FULL TIME! QPR have held on to pick up a huge three points that puts them now only three points behind nearest rivals Reading. Southampton were arguably the better side but Harry Redknapp's team showed great composure and fluidity in both attack and defence and were rewarded with only their third Premier League victory this season.
90' + 5'
Seven red shirts can be spotted inside the Hoops' penalty area but the away side hold firm and quell attack after attack.
90' + 4'
Yoshida pumps a long ball forward (almost from the edge of his penalty area to the edge of QPR's) and it bounces over the QPR defenders but into the safe hands of Green.
90' + 2'
Bosingwa handles the pressure of constant Southampton attacks well in the heart of the QPR defence and clears the ball towards the halfway line to earn his side a much-needed breather.
Fabio Da Silva
Six minutes of injury time have been indicated, much to the disgust of Harry Redknapp on the sideline.
QPR have pushed every available body back to desperately defend this lead in the hope of picking up their first league win since January 2nd.
The chances are coming in thick and fast as Southampton pump ball after ball into the QPR area, but Green pulls off three fine saves one after another to keep his side ahead.
A fantastic bullet header from Yoshida from a Saints corner but Green reacts quickly and saves perfectly to deny the Japanese defender his first goal for the club.
Southampton attack and cross in again, this time down the opposite wing, but Rodriguez's header bounces just wide of the near post.
Shaw fires in a cross into the crowded QPR penalty area but it's slightly too close to Green and the goalkeeper collects the ball with ease.
The away side have slowed down play slightly since going ahead but are in danger of losing the ball to a very determined Southampton attacking force.
QPR have been second best for the majority of this game but have been impressive going forward since the start, and it's paid off handsomely. What a huge three points this would be for the Hoops!
Assist Ji-Sung Park
Goal Jay Bothroyd
GOAL! QPR have been utilising the wings fantastically in this second period and Park whips in the ball from the right to find Bothroyd who taps it in with the easiest of touches.
Harry Redknapp decides not to risk Cesar any longer and the 33-year-old leaves the field to be replaced by Rob Green who hasn't made an appearance for QPR since Boxing Day.
Rodriguez has another good effort from far out and Cesar, again, fumbles the effort. Luckily, the QPR defence are on hand to clear the danger.
After receiving medical attention, Cesar gets back on his feet and continues. Robert Green, who was waiting expectantly on the sideline with his gloves ready, looks disappointed and sits back down on the substitute's bench.
Cesar goes down in his area holding the top of his leg following a clash with Rodriguez as the two went up in the air for the ball. It looks like the young Englishman really clattered the Brazilian in his calf with his knee.
Jenas carries the ball far down the centre of the field before laying it off to Remy on the wing, but the forward takes too long on the ball and is disposed by the experienced Fonte on the edge of the area.
Some fantastic passing moves from Southampton lead to a Schneiderlin chance in front of goal, but the Frenchman is marginally offside. "Liquid football" as John Stammers at St. Mary's describes it.
Neither side are able to carve out any real chances as the game slows down slightly since Fonte's long-range effort, with most of the play being confined to the middle of the field.
Fox has seemingly picked up a nasty injury and leaves the field slowly to be replaced by 17-year-old Luke Shaw to rapturous cheers from the home crowd.
Rodriguez, always a threat in attack for Southampton, goes close with a powerful shot from outside the box that flies just over the bar.
Granero is substituted for Jermaine Jenas and trudges off the pitch in a slow and disapproving manner. His face told a thousand stories about QPR's current problems...
Southampton win a corner of their own but Fox's corner is cleared. Fonte picks up the ball from Ji-Sung Park and fires in himself from a similar distance to Bosingwa's and the Portuguese defender's shot goes a lot closer on target than his fellow countryman's effort did.
The resulting corner is headed towards goal by the monstrous Samba who rises high over Rickie Lambert, but the Saints defence clear the ball from the penalty area before Jose Bosingwa shoots from 25 yards out only to miss the target spectacularly.
Hoilett skips his way through the Southampton defence with great flair but his left footed cross only finds the head of Fox, who puts the ball out for a corner.
Southampton start strongly again straight from the whistle but Samba stands his ground and the ball safely goes out for a Saints goal kick.
And we're back underway!
The teams are back on the pitch and warming up for the start of the second half.
As for QPR, Harry Redknapp's side have tightened up at the back considerably as the first half wore on and have shown danger on the counter-attack, so they too will be well aware that they have as much chance of victory as their hosts if they are able to play at their full potential when the two teams reemerge from the tunnel for the second half.
With 10 shots to QPR's 3 and almost 70% of the possession so far, Southampton will be confident that they can come away from the game victorious if they successfully sum up the energy that they exhibited in the early stages of the first half.
It's halftime at St. Mary's and the two sides head into their respective dressing rooms with the scores level at 1-1. After a strong start, some poor defensive play coupled with quick QPR counter-attacks saw the away side score first, but, after the initial scare of conceding to the West Londoners, Southampton have pushed hard and were rewarded with a well-deserved equaliser at the end of the half. It's all to play for now in this huge clash at the bottom.
45' + 3'
Yellow Card José Fonte
45' + 3'
Bothroyd picks up the ball inside a mass of players from both sides on the edge of the six-yard box but fires wide under pressure in what ends up being the last action of the half.
45' + 1'
Goal G. Ramírez
GOAL! Cesar's first save of the game is fumbled by the veteran Brazilian and Ramirez chips coolly into the back of the net. Pure class!
Yellow Card Armand Traoré
Lallana is unable to continue and slowly walks down the tunnel accompanied by the Southampton medical staff. Rodriguez replaces the captain.
Lallana still seems dazed from his collision with Hill earlier and exits the field of play momentarily to receive further medical attention.
Bothroyd commits yet another foul, this time on Yoshida. With a yellow card to his name already, he is playing with fire.
Lallana and Clint Hill clash heads in an off-the-head coming together near the Southampton penalty area, but, after medical attention, the two players seem well enough to continue.
Granero plays the ball over the Southampton defence towards Remy but the Frenchman's outstretched leg just misses making contact with it. For all of the attacking play that Southampton have been doing this half, there is a constant sense of danger from the QPR forwards.
The home side are creating good chances but seem to be constantly taking too many passes when it gets to the crucial last moment, allowing the QPR defence to regroup and clean up.
A swift counter-attack from Southampton leads to a multitude of passes and crosses in and around the penalty area but the QPR defence stay strong and clear the ball for a throw-in near the halfway line.
Yellow Card Stéphane M'Bia
Stephane M'Bia seems shocked at receiving a yellow card for his challenge on Cork on the half-way line, despite climbing all over him in almost WWE fashion.
The resulting corner doesn't result in anything for QPR, but the Southampton defensive nerves are clear for all to see...
Remy fires on goal from the edge of the box and what should be a routine save is fumbled out for a corner by Southampton goalkeeper Boruc.
QPR pick up a loose ball on the halfway line and almost fashion a decent chance on goal. It seems that Remy's opening goal has shaken many in the Southampton lineup, as poor passes have been aplenty in the last few minutes.
QPR break away again down the wing with Remy but a poor final touch allows Clyne to clear the ball away to safety.
Yellow Card Jay Bothroyd
Assist Junior Hoilett
Goal Loïc Remy
GOAL! Completely against the run of play, QPR take the lead with their first chance on goal. A beautiful lofted ball forward through the two Saints centre-halves finds Loic Remy who fires in to put the Hoops 1-0 up.
Jason Puncheon goes down in the box after Rickie Lambert's cushioned header finds the winger mere feet in front of goal, but the referee waves play on.
Adam Lallana fires over the bar for the Saints. The home side are pushing hard and the QPR defence are finding it difficult to handle.
Our man John Stammers reports on the increasingly hostile atmosphere at St. Mary's: "Harry Redknapp's first venture out into his technical area is met by booing and whistling from the Southampton fans."
Jack Cork has the first effort on goal for Southampton with a shot from just outside the penalty area but the ball drags just wide of the post.
Poor start to the game from Chris Samba in the QPR defence. The Southampton attack have been all over him since kick-off and show no signs of slowing down.
The home side go on the offensive straight from the start, winning themselves an early corner and putting immediate pressure on the QPR defence.
And we're off!
Harry Redknapp emerges from the tunnel to a chorus of boos from the home fans who haven't forgiven him for the relegation from the Premier League they suffered in 2005 under his guidance.
With both teams battling in and around the relegation zone, today's match is a must win for all involved. Southampton have arguably the stronger side, as well as home advantage, but QPR will be painfully aware that defeat today could mark the end of their Premier League survival hopes. We're sure to have a fierce encounter on our hands!
QPR: Cesar, Traore, Samba, Hill, Bosingwa, Park, Granero, M'Bia, Remy, Hoilett, Bothroyd
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox, Schneiderlin, Ramirez, Cork, Lallana, Puncheon, Lambert
First, let's take a look at how the two teams line up for today's encounter...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary of Southampton vs. QPR. My name is Ben Cullimore and I'll be keeping you up to date with all of the action as it happens from St. Mary's.
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