QPR 2-1 Fulham
Adel Taarabt's double ended Queens Park Rangers' record-breaking winless start to a Premier League season as they beat Fulham in an engaging London derby.
The playmaker opened the scoring with a shot from 25 yards that flicked off defender Brede Hangeland.
While the 23-year-old's first owed much to luck, his sensational second saw him nonchalantly curl the ball into the net following a mazy run from midfield.
Mladen Petric's deflected strike late on ensured a nervy climax for QPR.
The victory was their first of the campaign at the 17th time of asking, halting a run of three consecutive draws since Harry Redknapp took charge in November following the dismissal of Mark Hughes. It also moves them above Reading and off the bottom of the table for the first time since 10 November.
QPR started the brighter and could have gone ahead in the second minute after recalled striker Djibril Cisse was put through on goal following a glorious through ball from Taarabt.
The Frenchman's scuffed shot was saved easily by Mark Schwarzer, though he had room to complain to referee Martin Atkinson after his progress was impeded by a pull-back from defender Aaron Hughes.
That chance failed to wake Fulham from their stupor and their dozy start should have been punished when John Arne Riise played a blind pass back to Schwarzer, but Jamie Mackie somehow contrived to place wide from six yards when it looked easier to score.
A furious-looking Martin Jol watched on as his side's lack of concentration was to blame again when Chris Baird felled Stephane Mbia just outside the area following a loose pass from Hughes, but Cisse and Taarabt wasted the resulting free-kick.
The Dutchman's mood was not helped after the break when Fulham deservedly fell behind as Taarabt's run went unchecked. He broke from deep and hit a tame shot that, luckily for the hosts, took a hefty deflection off Hangeland and trickled into the net past the stranded Schwarzer.
Soon after, the error-strewn Baird was caught in possession just outside his own penalty box, but his mistake went unpunished as Cisse curled his shot just past Schwarzer's left post.
Taarabt was continuing to light up a match which was devoid of much inspiration elsewhere, and his stunning second goal saw him push through the gigantic figure of Hangeland before playfully flicking the top of the ball to create the space to slide in an unstoppable shot along the ground with the outside of his boot.
Fulham had not provided any attacking threat as strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega struggled to replicate the form they showed in Monday night's 2-1 victory against Newcastle United.
It was left to substitute Petric to finally find a way past Robert Green, his shot from outside the box looping off midfielder Alejandro Faurlin's boot and beyond the keeper's reach.
That moment of good fortune enticed the visitors to push on at the death, but they were unable to create an undeserved equaliser to deny QPR a vital three points.
Queens Park Rangers
- 01 Green
- 03 Traore
- 06 Hill
- 15 Onuoha
- 17 Nelsen
- 10 Taarabt Booked
- 11 Wright-Phillips (Fabio - 85' )
- 32 Faurlin
- 40 M'bia
- 09 Cisse (Ferdinand - 90' )
- 12 Mackie
- 33 Julio Cesar
- 05 Ferdinand
- 20 Fabio
- 02 Diakite
- 04 Derry
- 14 Granero
- 23 Hoilett
- 01 Schwarzer
- 03 Riise
- 05 Hangeland
- 06 Baird
- 15 Richardson (Petric - 63' )
- 18 Hughes
- 27 Riether (Kelly - 46' )
- 07 Sidwell Booked
- 16 Duff
- 09 Berbatov
- 20 Rodallega (Dejagah - 72' Booked )
- 38 Etheridge
- 02 Kelly
- 04 Senderos
- 14 Karagounis
- 31 Kacaniklic
- 10 Petric
- 24 Dejagah
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +2:36 Substitution
Substitution Anton Ferdinand on for Djibril Cisse.90:00 +2:36
Djibril Cisse has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.90:00 +1:21
Chris Baird produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.90:00 +0:37
Alejandro Faurlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mladen Petric. Damien Duff takes the free kick.89:21
Djibril Cisse takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.87:27
Assist on the goal came from Steve Sidwell.87:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Mladen Petric - QPR 2 - 1 Fulham Mladen Petric grabs a goal from just outside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. QPR 2-1 Fulham.85:51
Effort from inside the area by Jamie Mackie misses to the right of the goal.85:00 Substitution
Substitution Fabio Da Silva comes on in place of Shaun Wright-Phillips.83:28
Shaun Wright-Phillips is caught offside. Aaron Hughes takes the indirect free kick.81:34
Steve Sidwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Adel Taarabt. Alejandro Faurlin takes the free kick.79:48
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff, clearance by Stephane Mbia.79:05
Unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland by Jamie Mackie results in a free kick. Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.77:34
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alejandro Faurlin on Mladen Petric. Chris Baird takes the direct free kick.77:05
Free kick taken by Armand Traore.77:05 Booking
Booking The referee books Ashkan Dejagah for unsporting behaviour.76:57
Foul by Ashkan Dejagah on Alejandro Faurlin, free kick awarded.75:51
Clint Hill takes the direct free kick.75:51 Booking
Booking Steve Sidwell goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Steve Sidwell.74:13
Damien Duff is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Rob Green.73:43
Clint Hill concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Baird. Direct free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.72:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Clint Hill on Mladen Petric. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.71:50 Substitution
Substitution Ashkan Dejagah is brought on as a substitute for Hugo Rodallega.69:20
Damien Duff takes the outswinging corner, Brede Hangeland produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.67:50
Assist by Jamie Mackie.67:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Adel Taarabt - QPR 2 - 0 Fulham Adel Taarabt grabs a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. QPR 2-0 Fulham.66:21
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephane Mbia on Steve Sidwell. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Mladen Petric, save made by Rob Green.65:53
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shaun Wright-Phillips on Stephen Kelly. Aaron Hughes takes the direct free kick.64:49
Steve Sidwell concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Wright-Phillips. Direct free kick taken by Alejandro Faurlin.63:43
Jamie Mackie produces a right-footed shot from close range that goes over the bar.62:54
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mladen Petric on Stephane Mbia. Free kick taken by Clint Hill.62:06 Substitution
Substitution Kieran Richardson goes off and Mladen Petric comes on.60:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Steve Sidwell. Free kick taken by Adel Taarabt.59:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on Ryan Nelsen. Rob Green takes the direct free kick.58:56
Effort from deep inside the area by Djibril Cisse misses to the right of the target.58:01
Corner from the right by-line taken by Adel Taarabt, clearance by Brede Hangeland.53:56
Shaun Wright-Phillips fouled by Stephen Kelly, the ref awards a free kick. Adel Taarabt restarts play with the free kick.51:37 Booking
Booking Adel Taarabt goes into the book for dissent.51:30
Alejandro Faurlin provided the assist for the goal.51:30 Goal scored
Goal! - Adel Taarabt - QPR 1 - 0 Fulham A goal is scored by Adel Taarabt from outside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. QPR 1-0 Fulham.49:26
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.46:05
Hugo Rodallega gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Clint Hill. Free kick taken by Clint Hill.45:19
Hugo Rodallega challenges Clint Hill unfairly and gives away a free kick. Rob Green takes the free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Kelly joins the action as a substitute, replacing Sascha Riether.45:00 +1:06 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.43:20
Stephane Mbia takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.41:21
Damien Duff takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Armand Traore manages to make a clearance.39:42
Kieran Richardson concedes a free kick for a foul on Nedum Onuoha. Free kick taken by Rob Green.38:14
Djibril Cisse is caught offside. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.35:00
Alejandro Faurlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steve Sidwell. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.33:23
The assistant referee flags for offside against Hugo Rodallega. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan Nelsen.32:29
The ball is swung over by Sascha Riether, Rob Green makes a save.31:41
Djibril Cisse takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.30:05
Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Baird on Stephane Mbia. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Adel Taarabt, Chris Baird gets a block in.24:50
Adel Taarabt produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.23:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hugo Rodallega by Clint Hill. Chris Baird takes the direct free kick.16:33
Foul by Chris Baird on Stephane Mbia, free kick awarded. Shot comes in from Djibril Cisse from the free kick, Brede Hangeland gets a block in. Djibril Cisse takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland. Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Dimitar Berbatov. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt from the left by-line, save made by Mark Schwarzer.13:25
Adel Taarabt takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Damien Duff.9:29
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieran Richardson by Stephane Mbia. Steve Sidwell takes the free kick.8:34
Steve Sidwell is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Stephane Mbia.7:09
Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.5:49
Jamie Mackie has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.4:29
Djibril Cisse produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.2:27
Foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Shaun Wright-Phillips, free kick awarded. Clint Hill takes the free kick.2:01
Adel Taarabt has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.1:26
Djibril Cisse takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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