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November 17, 2012
• Loftus Road Stadium, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 18174
Queens Park Rangers
D. Hoilett 49'
R. Lambert 23'
J. Puncheon 45'+
A. Ferdinand 83' (own goal)
Ewan Roberts Live at Loftus Road: "A penny for Tony Fernandes' thoughts. QPR remain without a win, rooted to the bottom of the table and don't look like they're playing for manager Mark Hughes (whose team selection was hugely unbalanced today). No such woes for Nigel Adkins, whose side performed brilliantly. Jack Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin owned the midfield, and Jason Puncheon was explosive down the right wing. What now for Hughes? Could this be the final nail in his coffin? Somewhere in Sandbanks Harry Redknapp is waiting for a phone call..."
QPR's are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table at the end of a demoralising defeat at home to newly-promoted Southampton, who had previously been one place above them in 19th. Mark Hughes will have few positives to take from today's display as the Hoops were deservedly beaten by an impressive Southampton side. Although it was a surprise for the Saints to head in at half-time two goals ahead, their comparative ambition in attack was clear to see. Where Mark Hughes will be truly disappointed though was their second half display. Aside from a bright opening for the Hoops, Nigel Adkins' side were dominant and retained possession comfortably in their opponents' half. Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon energy combined impressively with target man Rickie Lambert, and QPR's midfield looked pedestrian in comparison. Mark Hughes side appeared to play on the counter, so little did they offer in attack, and a big improvement is needed for the pressure on the Welshman's position to subside.
90' + 4'
Southampton have maintained possession in the QPR half for the last few minutes to 'Ole' chants from the away supporters. The final whistle is blown to put QPR out of their misery.
90' + 1'
Rickie Lambert earns a standing ovation after being taken off for fellow striker Jay Rodriguez
We're heading for a demoralising defeat for QPR. The Saints deserved to extend their lead after continuing to attack throughout the second half, regularly retaining possession well into the home side's half.
Daniel Fox aims a free kick into the right edge of the box and Armand Traore nervously concedes another corner. Finally putting two players out towards the corner flag in an attempt to nullify the threat of a short corner, the Saints stylishly win another corner and erode the few minutes remaining on the clock.
Southampton take another short corner but QPR don't react quickly enough and the Saints create plenty of space for their winger to aim a low cross into the near post. Lallana darts to the near post hoping to connect but Anton Ferdinand does the job for him and is credited with an own goal after his attempt to clear deflects the ball into his own net.
Own Goal Anton Ferdinand
Lambert holds the ball up after a throw-in from the left flank, and passes back to Davis whose shot from the edge of the box wins a corner after a deflection.
QPR hit the ball long and Jamie Mackie advances down the right flank after a flick on, winning a corner as his cross is blocked. Nelsen wins a free header but his effort flies straight at Gazzaniga who claims the ball under a suprising lack of pressure from the Hoops attackers.
Puncheon wins a corner on the right flank and after Lambert heads the ball back across goal, Yoshida forces a save from Julio Cesar with an acrobatic volley winning another corner.
Fabio returns after a two month absence in place of Bosingwa.
17-year-old Luke Shaw is taken off after an impressive performance for the more experienced left back Daniel Fox.
Fabio Da Silva
Puncheon's strikes a powerful effort from the left edge of the box across goal which is pushed away for a corner by Julio Cesar. Puncheon is guilty of wasting the corner as he gives the ball away on receiving the ball back from Lallana after taking it short.
Puncheon takes the corner, and when QPR eventually get the ball clear they break quickly and Taarabt aims a through ball towards Cisse on the left flank. Cisse looks to outpace Schneiderlin but the midfielder does well to stay on his feet and hold the striker at bay. Cisse checks inside and blasts a shot narrowly wide of the right post.
Southampton continue to dominate possession deep inside QPR's half and after Lambert finds Lallana who holds onto the ball, Nathaniel Clyne wins a corner when his cross is blocked.
Yellow Card José Bosingwa
Southampton exchange a string of passes on the edge of the QPR box and the Hoops struggle to clear. Bosingwa receives a yellow card for a handball outside the left edge of the box and Lallana takes the free kick but Ferdinand clears.
Puncheon turns on the right edge of the box and hits a powerful shot just wide of the left post.
Southampton put together an excellent combination on the left flank before standing the ball up to Lambert at the far post. He knocks the ball down for Puncheon who blasts his effort disappointingly wide left of the goal.
Taarabt shows outstanding skill to evade two opponents on the left flank but his cross with the outside of his right foot is not anticipated by his teammates.
Nigel Adkins withdraws playmaker Gaston Ramirez for Steven Davis as he attempts to improve Southampton's defensive capabilities in midfield.
Mackie finds himself in possession on the right edge of the six yard box and fires across goal hoping a team mate can take the lead, but the Saints recover to clear the ball.
Ramirez attempts to get round Anton Ferdinand after receiving the ball on the left flank but is outmuscled and shaken off the ball.
Bosingwa aims in a low cross from the right flank but Yoshida is first to the ball ahead of Jamie Mackie.
Lallana nutmegs Diakite before feeding Lambert who shoots powerfully from well outside the box forcing a save from Julio Cesar.
Rickie Lambert receives the ball in space in the centre of the pitch and advances towards the box with Puncheon darting beyond him across the box from right to left. Lambert finds Puncheon with a through ball down the left channel and attempts to connect with his cross in the six yard box but is unable to.
Julio Cesar is forced into a smart save diving down to his left after a shot from the right flank.
Assist Adel Taarabt
Goal Junior Hoilett
Goal QPR! Hoilett! Paulo Gazzaniga rashly advances off his line when Taarabt swings an arching cross into the box, this time from the left flank. The diminutive Hoilett takes advantage of the uncertainty to get to the ball and heads past the keeper into an unguarded net.
Taarabt swings a dangerous cross into Cisse after receiving the ball on the right flank. Cisse acrobatically volleys powerfully into Gazzaniga who saves the effort.
Adam Lallana swings a free kick from the left flank, and Jose Fonte attempts to connect with the cross but heads wide.
Jamie Mackie swings a cross in from the right flank in his first minute on the pitch.
Mark Hughes brings on attacking midfielder Jamie Mackie on the right wing in place of holding midfielder Alejandro Faurlin. Adel Taarabt will move into the centre and hope receives more support in building attacks in the second half.
Ewan Roberts Live at Loftus Road: "The chants of "Sacked in the morning" from the visiting side are just audible over the chorus of boos from QPR's home support. Southampton have been ruthless, while the Rs haven't defended well and look extremely unbalanced; Adel Taarabt's roaming, despite being the Hoops' brightest spark, has left a massive gap down the right flank which is being reluctantly filled by Esteban Granero. This could be make or break time for Mark Hughes."
Mark Hughes side will be hugely demoralised as the return to the dressing room two goals down at half-time following Jason Puncheon's excellent strike. The Hoops enjoyed slightly more possession in an action-packed first half, but were noticeably less ambitious in attack and regularly saw a good delivery across the box wasted due to a lack of forwards attacking the ball. When they did threaten it tended to originate from shots outside the box, and the side's inability to take control of the game enabled Southampton to exploit their own defensive frailties to take the lead when the Hoops failed to clear their lines after a corner. The Saints have looked shaky in defence, with goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga a source of nerves for their back line. However Nigel Adkins' side have attacked with gusto, committing several men forward in attack as they have done frequently so far this season. Even before taking the lead Rickie Lambert had caused uncertainty in the Rangers defence using his large frame to knock the ball down to his team mates, and he continued to help his side build attacks after his goal. The Saints' wingers Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon were have been alert to receive the ball in dangerous areas and look like they could threaten again in the second half.
45' + 2'
Play restarts as QPR look shell-shocked for the minute or so before the whistle is blown for half-time.
45' + 1'
Assist Nathaniel Clyne
45' + 1'
Goal Jason Puncheon
Goal Southampton! Jason Puncheon! Nathaniel Clyne appeared to have lost the ball after a challenge from Armand Traore by the right corner flag, but he recovered to regain the ball while on the ground and fed Puncheon, who cut inside his marker and fired a precise left footed shot that curled into the bottom left corner.
Samba Diakite stylishly makes space for a cross using a step-over to get around Adam Lallana, and stands the ball up for Cisse on the edge of the six yard box but Fonte rises with him to clear.
Jack Cork wins a free kick on the left flank. Fonte punts the ball up the pitch and when QPR look to get forward quickly after the ball is headed clear, Saints defender Yoshida shows good awareness to hit the ball back to Gazzaniga under pressure.
Morgan Schneiderlin loses possession in the centre of the pitch and when Taarabt has insufficient options to choose from in the middle of the park, he waits for support from Esteban Granero who shoots wide of the bottom left corner from outside the box.
Hoilett picks up the ball after the Hoops make an interception and looks straight away for Djibril Cisse, however the Hoops provide no support and Southampton easily regain control of the ball.
Alejandro Faurlin finds Traore advancing down the left flank with a long pass from one end of the pitch to the other. Hoilett receives the ball and runs at Clyne inside the penalty area, but the right back wins the ball with a clean challenge.
Bosingwa advances down the right flank but his cross is blocked by Yoshida. The move followed good work from Nelsen to bring the ball out of defence onto the left flank before the Hoops switched the ball to the other flank.
Southampton have had more of the ball in the last few minutes, with young 17-year-old left back Luke Shaw showing composure in possession that belies his age.
Puncheon wins a corner off Bosingwa on the left flank, and Ramirez's free header hits Nelsen and goes out for another corner.
Taarabt blasts a free kick outside the edge of the box into the wall, but a fortunate deflection allows the attack to continue and Saints defender Maya Yoshida demonstrates their uncertainty in defence by clearing while the goalkeeper was looking to claim a high ball himself.
Ryan Nelsen makes an important intervention at the back for the Hoops as they appear to lose composure following their concession.
Djibril Cisse gets on the end of an ambitious ball into the box but is unable to convert his effort.
Goal Rickie Lambert
Goal Southampton! Lambert! After a chaotic scramble following the corner from the left flank, the ball finds its way to Jose Fonte on the edge of the box. He hits a powerful shot which is blocked and falls into the path of Jason Puncheon, whose effort is blocked on the line by Bosingwa only to fly across goal into the path of Rickie Lambert who heads the ball into the goal for a Southampton lead.
Adam Lallana drifts out to the left edge of the box to receive a chipped pass from Jason Puncheon before rolling the ball along the six yard box. None of his teammates attempt to get on the end of it but QPR concede a corner. Rickie Lambert rises at the far post to head at goal above a static defence, but the ball goes out for another corner.
Alejandro Faurlin combines with Taarabt to spread play from the left flank to Bosingwa advancing from right back. The former Portugal international overhits a hopeful ball into the box to give possession back to the visitors.
It's been an exciting, if scrappy, opening to the game, with both sides showing ambition in attack after poor starts to the season.
Gaston Ramirez gives away a free kick in the QPR half after attempting to win the ball back after showing too much of the ball to his opponent.
Hoilett picks up the ball on the left flank, cuts inside and forces a save from Gazzaniga with a powerful shot towards the bottom right corner. The keeper seems rattled and rashly comes to claim the corner with no chance of getting to the delivery. His defence clear the danger doing him a favour.
Adel Taarabt picks up the ball in the area to the left of the centre circle, advances to the edge of the box and shows outstanding close control to wriggle in between Nathaniel Clyne and Jose Fonte before blasting the ball from an angle at Gazzaniga.
Left back Traore plays a neat combination with Junior Hoilett on the left flank and whips in a cross which is cleared at the near post.
QPR are beginning to settle and calmly stroke the ball across their back line before Ryan Nelsen finds left back Armand Traore forward on the left flank. The move breaks down and Southampton's Luke Shaw floats a dangerous ball from the left flank before the Hoops win back posession.
Anton Ferdinand heads the corner from the right flank into the ground but none of his teammates were in the six yard box to capitalise.
Jason Puncheon curls in a cross aimed at Lallana and it strikes the QPR post as keeper Julio Cesar scrambles across his goal!
A glorious exchange between Ramirez and Adam Lallana results in the Lallana volleying just over from the edge of the area!
QPR have hardly had the ball out of their own half in these early stages. It's been a tentative start from them.
Gaston Ramirez and right midfielder Jason Puncheon attempt an ambition combination on the right flank but QPR are quick to close down and the Saints lose possession when Ramirez overhits a pass and the ball rolls through to Julio Cesar.
Rickie Lambert gets an early opening but fails to make the most of it by shifting the ball wide instead of shooting.
And the referee gets the game underway at Loftus Road!
Ewan Roberts Live at Loftus Road: "QPR and Southampton will battle it out in a bona fide bottom-of-the-table six-pointer. QPR sit in 20th position and have just 4 points after 11 games. After the same number of games in the 2007-08 season, Derby County, who set a Premier League record low points tally that year, had 6 points. The Saints haven’t fared much better, having picked up just a point more; but, unlike Mark Hughes’ side, Nigel Adkins’ team have won this season."
Ewan Roberts Live from Loftus Road: "Mark Hughes has gone for a three-man midfield of Alejandro Faurlin, Esteban Granero and Samba Diakite. Adel Taarabt and Hoilett support lone striker Djibril Cisse. Nigel Adkins sticks with the same side that drew against Swansea last week, with Paulo Gazzaniga between the sticks and Jason Puncheon, Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez interchanging behind Rickie Lambert."
Nigel Adkins also names an unchanged line-up, with Paulo Gazzaniga, Luke Shaw and Jack Cork retaining their places at goalkeeper, left back, and centre midfield respectively. The Saints are the only side yet to collect a point away from home, and have yet to keep a clean sheet, which puts pressure on the team going into this high pressure match.
Mark Hughes names an unchanged line-up from last week's defeat away at Stoke, with Bobby Zamora and Park Ji-Sung yet to recover from injury and Stephane M'Bia suspended. A three man central midfield of Samba Diakite, Alejandro Faurlin and Esteban Granero will hope to control the game to help attackers Junior Hoilett and Adel Taarabt support lone striker Djibril Cisse. Full back Fabio returns to the bench after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Southampton: Gazzaniga; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork; Puncheon, Ramirez, Lallana; Lambert. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.
QPR: Julio Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Traore; Diakite, Faurlin, Granero; Hoilett, Taarabt; Cisse. Subs: Green, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Dyer, Da Silva, Ehmer.
It's a battle between the two bottom placed clubs in the Premier League. QPR are yet to win a match while Southampton have lost eight of their eleven games and conceded 29 goals, nine more than any other side going into the twelfth round of matches.
Hi and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage as QPR take on Southampton at Loftus Road. I'm @arthurvirgo here to talk through the events. You can make your voice heard on Twitter @GoalUK
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