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Premier League

  • April 21, 2012
  • • 12:30 PM
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 18021
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QPR 1-0 Tottenham: Taarabt scores winner and then sees red as Spurs miss chance to make up ground on Arsenal

One moment of brilliance from the Moroccan and some dogged defending saw Rangers record a vital win, despite being tarnished late on with the goalscorer given his marching orders

QPR took a huge step towards Premier League survival and severely dented Tottenham’s Champions League prospects with a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road.

A fairly even first half saw little goalmouth action, yet the home side produced a touch of class to take the lead, with Adel Taarabt curling a sublime 25-yard free-kick into Brad Friedel’s bottom corner.

The second-half was similarly void of quality, yet QPR displayed dogged defending to see out the 1-0 win, despite playing the last quarter of an hour with 10 men following match-winner Taarabt’s second yellow card.

The visitors enjoyed a lively start to the game keeping some good possession, but it QPR who were posing the bigger goal threat, with Samba Diakite ghosting past two Spurs men before dragging his effort wide.

Spurs responded well to the early warning shot and Gareth Bale had a guild-edged opportunity to open the scoring from Rafael Van Der Vaart’s corner, but the Welshman’s header was straight at Paddy Kenny who comfortably tipped it over.

A ding-dong derby ensued and it was the home side who produced a potential knockout blow midway through the first half.

After challenging with Zamora, Sandro was penalized by referee Mark Clattenburg for what seemed to be a soft handball. Former Spurs man Taarabt stepped up to sweep a sublime curling effort into Friedel’s bottom right-hand corner, notching his second Premier League goal of the season and sending the Loftus Road faithful into raptures.

Both teams began to cancel each other out as the half wore on, as Rangers entered the halftime break a goal to the good.

Redknapp introduced Aaron Lennon at the break in place of Sandro in an attempt to liven up the midfield, but it was QPR who started the brighter of the two, with Diakite again producing a surging run through the heart of the Spurs defense, but his effort was prodded wide of the post under good pressure from Ledley King.

The visitors continued to press but it was QPR who produced the best chance of the half.

After Zamora had turned the hapless William Gallas in the box, the former Fulham man found himself 12 yards from goal with just Friedel to beat, but Spurs had King to thank for producing a brilliant last-ditch challenge to block the shot.

With referee Clattenburg beginning to flourish yellow cards at will, the game took a dramatic twist as potential match-winner Taarabt was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.

The visitors had a little over 10 minutes to salvage something from the game, yet their pressure failed to produce any clear-cut chances as QPR saw out a terrific 1-0 win.

The defeat means Spurs are still yet to record a Premier League away victory in 2012 and they drop out of the top four at the expense of Newcastle. QPR, meanwhile, take a massive leap towards safety, moving ahead of Wigan into 16th by virtue of goal difference, three points clear of the drop-zone.

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