QPR's hopes of top-flight survival are hanging by a thread after a damaging defeat by a Dimitar Berbatov-inspired Fulham in a riveting encounter.

Berbatov capitalised on two Christopher Samba errors before Clint Hill's own-goal handed the hosts a 3-0 lead.

Adel Taarabt gave QPR hope with a low strike before half-time and Loic Remy reduced the deficit to a single goal moments after missing a penalty.

Fulham's Steve Sidwell was sent off but QPR were unable to conjure a late goal.

Analysis

"You can't play like QPR did in the first half in the Premier League and expect to stay in the division. From Fulham's point of view they were excellent. Their fans are buzzing, they think they've sent their local rivals into the Championship. QPR will have to rely on teams around them having an absolute nightmare from now on."

In fact, when faced with 10 men, QPR's efforts smacked more of desperation than precision as they slid to a defeat which leaves them seven points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.

It is a position from which no team in Premier League history has survived the drop and one which may leave even manager Harry Redknapp privately admitting that the game is up.

Samba's signing for £12.5m from Anzhi Makhachkala on the last day of the January transfer window was supposed to provide QPR with the type of defensive solidity required to get results in the top flight. Instead, he was guilty of two elementary mistakes which left his team staring into the mire.

Ashkan Dejagah collected the ball just inside the box and nicked it past Samba, who stretched out a leg and upended his opponent.

With a languid swing of his right boot, Berbatov sent Julio Cesar the wrong way from the penalty spot for his fourth goal in successive games.

Samba inadvertently saved his side from going 2-0 behind when Brede Hangeland's flicked header deflected off his back.

But he was at fault once again midway through the first half when he attempted to dribble the ball out of defence.

QPR's Premier League run-in

  • 7 April: Wigan (h)
  • 13 April: Everton (a)
  • 20 April: Stoke (h)
  • 28 April: Reading (a)
  • 4 May: Arsenal (h)
  • 12 May: Newcastle (h)
  • 19 May: Liverpool (a)

Under pressure from Damien Duff, Samba lost control of the ball and presented it to Berbatov, inviting the Bulgarian striker to waltz his way into the box and slide a shot under Cesar with the outside of his right foot.

QPR rebounded with a dominant spell in which Bobby Zamora and Remy both wasted good opportunities, only for Fulham to snatch a third goal five minutes before the break.

A deft back-heel from Hangeland took John Arne Riise to the byline and the Norwegian's cut-back deflected off Hill's shoulder and into the net.

QPR were handed a lifeline when a wayward pass from Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis gave Taarabt the chance to run at goal.

The Moroccan held off Hangeland and fired his shot into the far corner of Mark Schwarzer's goal from the edge of the area.

QPR made an electric start to the second half, launching a series of raids on the home side's goal and winning a penalty when Karagounis clumsily tripped Taarabt.

But Schwarzer guessed the direction of Remy's spot-kick and pulled off a sharp one-handed save.

A frantic, thrilling game took another twist moments later when Remy atoned for his penalty miss. Latching on to Stephane Mbia's through-ball, he spun away from Philippe Senderos and crashed a shot home off the underside of the bar.

Townsend's travels

  • QPR winger Andros Townsend - on loan from Tottenham - was making his 100th senior appearance, spread across 10 different clubs

Suddenly the outcome of the game was in the balance with QPR sensing their chance to complete a remarkable comeback.

A rasping drive from Andros Townsend was pushed aside by Schwarzer before Samba controlled the ball brilliantly in the area but dragged his left-footed shot wide.

Remy sliced a shot after twisting past Hangeland and Zamora drew a one-handed save from Schwarzer with a fierce drive.

QPR's hopes were handed a boost with 12 minutes left on the clock when Sidwell was sent off for an ugly, late tackle on Armand Traore.

Redknapp responded by replacing his left-back with striker Jamie Mackie and throwing Samba into attack.

But, with men packed behind the ball, QPR failed to create a clear opening and Fulham hung on to take the points.

Fulham manager Martin Jol: "It was two different halves. We played much better than QPR in the first half but we gave them the present with the 3-1 and then in the second half we made mistakes like they made in the first half.

"I think we will be fine but we shouldn't have conceded a second goal and we needed our keeper again to save a penalty, but overall disappointing that after being 3-0 up we made it difficult for ourselves."

On Steve Sidwell's red card: "The red card was a bit harsh I think. I can see why the referee gave it but he was unfortunate because you could see Steve wanted to pull out of the tackle."

On whether 39 points will be enough to stay up: "Hopefully 39 points is enough but it is a tough competition, probably the only one in the world where the team in 10th could still possibly go down."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Fulham

  • 01 Schwarzer
  • 03 Riise
  • 04 Senderos Booked
  • 05 Hangeland
  • 27 Riether Booked
  • 07 Sidwell Dismissed
  • 14 Karagounis
  • 16 Duff
  • 09 Berbatov
  • 11 Ruiz
  • 24 Dejagah (Emanuelson - 38' )

Substitutes

  • 38 Etheridge
  • 15 Richardson
  • 18 Hughes
  • 12 Frimpong
  • 21 Frei
  • 28 Emanuelson (Frimpong - 80' )
  • 20 Rodallega

Queens Park Rangers

  • 33 Julio Cesar
  • 03 Traore (Mackie - 83' )
  • 05 Samba
  • 06 Hill Booked (Onuoha - 46' )
  • 19 Bosingwa
  • 10 Taarabt (Hoilett - 74' )
  • 16 Jenas
  • 29 Townsend
  • 40 M'bia
  • 18 Remy
  • 25 Zamora

Substitutes

  • 01 Green
  • 15 Onuoha
  • 21 Ben-Haim
  • 07 Park Ji-sung
  • 14 Granero
  • 23 Hoilett
  • 12 Mackie
Ref: Probert
Att: 25,117

Match Stats

Shots

9 19

On target

5 11

Corners

3 6

Fouls

11 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:47 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +4:19

Sascha Riether fouled by David Hoilett, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Giorgos Karagounis.

90:00 +3:46

The referee blows for offside against Bryan Ruiz. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Bosingwa.

90:00 +2:56

Effort from deep inside the area by Giorgos Karagounis misses to the right of the goal.

90:00 +1:14

Direct free kick taken by Philippe Senderos.

90:00 +1:14 Booking

Booking Booking for Philippe Senderos for time wasting.

90:00 +0:28

David Hoilett concedes a free kick for a foul on Bryan Ruiz.

89:44

The assistant referee flags for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.

88:38 Booking

Booking Sascha Riether goes into the book.

87:19

Shot by Jermaine Jenas from outside the box goes over the net.

86:55

Corner from right by-line taken by Jose Bosingwa.

86:45

Jamie Mackie crosses the ball, blocked by Emmanuel Frimpong.

85:59

Jermaine Jenas produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

85:43

A cross is delivered by David Hoilett, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.

85:21

Jose Bosingwa delivers the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.

82:55 Substitution

Substitution Jamie Mackie on for Armand Traore.

82:25

Jose Bosingwa delivers the ball, save made by Mark Schwarzer.

81:52

Brede Hangeland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andros Townsend. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.

80:58

Jermaine Jenas takes a shot. Giorgos Karagounis gets a block in.

78:48

Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.

78:48 Substitution

Substitution Emmanuel Frimpong is brought on as a substitute for Urby Emanuelson.

78:48 Dismissal

Dismissal The referee shows Steve Sidwell a red card for serious foul play.

77:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Sidwell on Armand Traore.

77:09

Jose Bosingwa takes a short corner.

76:56

Bobby Zamora has a drilled shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.

76:14

Effort on goal by Loic Remy from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

75:31

Centre by David Hoilett, John Arne Riise manages to make a clearance.

74:37

Shot from 18 yards from Bobby Zamora. Mark Schwarzer makes a comfortable save.

73:52

Jose Bosingwa takes the direct free kick.

73:52 Substitution

Substitution David Hoilett replaces Adel Taarabt.

73:52

Jose Bosingwa fouled by Dimitar Berbatov, the ref awards a free kick.

72:52

The ball is swung over by Jose Bosingwa, clearance by Brede Hangeland.

72:24

Foul by Giorgos Karagounis on Stephane Mbia, free kick awarded. Stephane Mbia restarts play with the free kick.

71:33

The ball is swung over by Jose Bosingwa.

70:58

Damien Duff is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Armand Traore takes the indirect free kick.

69:23

Armand Traore sends in a cross, Shot by Christopher Samba from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

68:46

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jose Bosingwa from the right by-line, clearance by Brede Hangeland.

67:06

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nedum Onuoha by Dimitar Berbatov. Christopher Samba takes the direct free kick.

66:38

The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Nedum Onuoha gets a block in.

66:11

Jose Bosingwa sends in a cross, save made by Mark Schwarzer.

64:53

The referee blows for offside. Christopher Samba takes the indirect free kick.

63:49

Andros Townsend crosses the ball, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.

62:48

Foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Nedum Onuoha, free kick awarded. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.

61:06

A cross is delivered by Urby Emanuelson, save by Soares Julio Cesar.

60:16

The assistant referee flags for offside against Loic Remy. Mark Schwarzer restarts play with the free kick.

58:23

Stephane Mbia fouled by Urby Emanuelson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Adel Taarabt, blocked by John Arne Riise.

54:56

Andros Townsend delivers the ball.

53:40

The referee blows for offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.

53:21

Shot by Andros Townsend. Save by Mark Schwarzer.

53:08

The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Jose Bosingwa manages to make a clearance.

51:56

The referee blows for offside. Soares Julio Cesar takes the indirect free kick.

50:43

The assist for the goal came from Stephane Mbia.

50:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Loic Remy - Fulham 3 - 2 QPR A goal is scored by Loic Remy from close range to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 3-2 QPR.

48:36 Penalty

Penalty taken by Loic Remy is saved by Mark Schwarzer. Fulham 3-1 QPR.

48:00

Adel Taarabt fouled by Giorgos Karagounis, the ref awards a Penalty.

47:48

Loic Remy takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.

47:18

Bryan Ruiz has an effort at goal. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.

46:34

Unfair challenge on Bryan Ruiz by Stephane Mbia results in a free kick. Giorgos Karagounis takes the free kick.

45:28

Corner from left by-line taken by Jose Bosingwa.

45:08

Loic Remy has a drilled shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Nedum Onuoha replaces Clint Hill.

45:00 +3:07 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

44:05

Assist on the goal came from Bobby Zamora.

44:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Adel Taarabt - Fulham 3 - 1 QPR Adel Taarabt scores a goal from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 3-1 QPR.

42:14

Unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Brede Hangeland results in a free kick. Jose Bosingwa takes the free kick.

40:08

The ball is sent over by John Arne Riise.

40:07

Assist by John Arne Riise.

40:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Clint Hill - Fulham 3 - 0 QPR Clint Hill puts the ball into his own net. Fulham 3-0 QPR.

37:55 Substitution

Substitution Ashkan Dejagah goes off and Urby Emanuelson comes on.

37:32

Andros Townsend has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.

37:01

Inswinging corner taken by Jose Bosingwa from the left by-line, Giorgos Karagounis makes a clearance.

36:47

Shot by Andros Townsend from 25 yards. Sascha Riether gets a block in.

36:24

The ball is crossed by Armand Traore, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.

36:09

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Philippe Senderos.

34:42

Dimitar Berbatov crosses the ball.

33:20

Foul by Armand Traore on Ashkan Dejagah, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Bryan Ruiz from right wing, Armand Traore manages to make a clearance.

32:03

Armand Traore crosses the ball, Steve Sidwell makes a clearance.

29:14

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jose Bosingwa from the right by-line.

28:38

Centre by Stephane Mbia. Loic Remy has a volleyed shot. Blocked by Philippe Senderos.

28:24

The ball is delivered by John Arne Riise, save made by Soares Julio Cesar.

27:03

The ball is sent over by Jose Bosingwa, blocked by Damien Duff.

25:51

The ball is delivered by Andros Townsend, Philippe Senderos makes a clearance.

23:28

The ball is crossed by Armand Traore. Bobby Zamora produces a left-footed shot from close in that clears the bar.

21:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham 2 - 0 QPR Dimitar Berbatov grabs a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham 2-0 QPR.

19:47

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Giorgos Karagounis from the left by-line, Steve Sidwell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Soares Julio Cesar. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.

18:28

Ashkan Dejagah fouled by Clint Hill, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is crossed by Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.

17:38

Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis, Headed effort from close range by Dimitar Berbatov goes wide left of the target.

17:20

John Arne Riise takes a shot. Blocked by Jose Bosingwa.

16:40

Damien Duff crosses the ball, clearance made by Clint Hill.

13:18

Strike comes in from Bryan Ruiz from the free kick.

13:18 Booking

Booking Clint Hill receives a caution.

12:58

Unfair challenge on Giorgos Karagounis by Clint Hill results in a free kick.

11:11

Corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line.

10:25

The offside flag is raised against Dimitar Berbatov. Soares Julio Cesar takes the indirect free kick.

10:02

Bobby Zamora is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Philippe Senderos takes the free kick.

9:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Giorgos Karagounis. Jose Bosingwa takes the free kick.

9:19

The ball is sent over by Damien Duff, clearance by Clint Hill.

7:40

Assist by Ashkan Dejagah.

7:40 Goal scored

Goal! - Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham 1 - 0 QPR Penalty taken right-footed by Dimitar Berbatov and scored. Fulham 1-0 QPR.

6:57

Christopher Samba gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Ashkan Dejagah.

6:39

The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, clearance made by Christopher Samba.

6:22

Damien Duff takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.

4:38

Shot by Stephane Mbia. Mark Schwarzer makes a comfortable save.

3:58

The assistant referee flags for offside against Damien Duff. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.

3:32

The official flags Bobby Zamora offside. Brede Hangeland takes the indirect free kick.

2:53

Drilled left-footed shot by John Arne Riise. Blocked by Christopher Samba.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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