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QPR 2-1 Fulham Premiership Matchday 17 1213 The Sun

last updated Monday 17th December 2012, 12:07 PM


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Paul Jiggins at SunSport


QPR(0) 2 Fulham (0) 1


THEY say this is time of year for miracles and so it came to pass at Loftus Road yesterday.

Harry Redknapp and his QPR stars finally notched their first league win of the season - after being led by a bright star from across the desert.

Adel Taarabt's double strike earned Rangers their first top-flight win of the season at the 17th attempt.

The magnificent Moroccan blew away Fulham in a second-half sandstorm and ensured Christmas came early to Shepherd's Bush.

It left the heartened Hoops dreaming of the greatest escape and banished his nightmare against the Cottagers last season.

The temperamental talisman was forced to make his way home from Craven Cottage by bus after storming out of the dressing during half-time of his team's 6-0 thrashing there.

There was no need for him to get public transport last night as he left Loftus Road in his own motor.

But you get the feeling QPR fans would have carried him home on their shoulders after his match-winning display.

Victory lifted Redknapp's men off the bottom of the table.

They now sit one place and one point above Reading - who play Arsenal tomorrow.

Whisper it quietly, but 'Arry is now unbeaten in four matches since taking over from axed Mark Hughes.

Somebody get that motorbike out of the garage because the Great Escape looks on.

Redknapp has got Rangers revved up again, especially Taarabt.

It was 'Arry who sold the player to the R's for £1million while he was in charge of Spurs.

That bit of transfer business paid off for the new Hoops chief as the playmaker secured this vital first win.

So often criticised for either trying to do too much or not doing enough, Taarabt got it spot on as he put Fulham to the sword from the off.

He was at the heart of virtually everything Rangers did.

But he had to wait until seven minutes into the second half before he made the breakthrough that gave his team the belief that this was their day.

Taarabt will claim the winner, but Lady Luck will be credited with the assist, as his 25-yard shot left Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer flat-footed after it took a wicked deflection off defender Brede Hangeland.

It was no more than Rangers deserved as they controlled this clash.

Jamie Mackie should have given them a sixth-minute lead when he somehow blazed wide after John Arne Riise's woeful back pass had put him clear on goal.

It was a toss-up which was poorer - the back-pass or the finish! Taarabt then peppered Schwarzer's goal with a couple of long-range efforts before the break.

His 52nd-minute opener lifted the anxiety around the stadium.

Djibril Cisse almost made it 2-0 seven minutes later when his curler from the edge of the box went inches wide of Schwarzer's left post.

Mackie then turned and blazed over the bar from six yards before Taarabt made it 2-0 in the 68th minute.

Unlike his first, there was no luck about this one as he bundled his way past Hangeland in the centre circle and advanced towards goal before stroking the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards with the outside of his right foot.

The pace and precision was reminiscent of a champion Crown Green bowler.

That looked to be that, but we should have known better.

Things are rarely straightforward at Rangers these days and so it proved as sub Mladen Petric pulled one back from Fulham with a deflected shot in the 88th minute to set up a nervy finish.

Cisse then had a header superbly clawed away by Schwarzer before Chris Baird fired wide for the visitors from six yards.

You could taste the relief among the home fans at the final whistle as they celebrated like they had just gone second from top not second from bottom.

As for Fulham, they were a pale shadow of the team that thumped Newcastle 2-1 on Monday.

Boss Martin Jol said: "I am very disappointed.

"I cannot complain about the goals or the result.

We never earned the right to use our quality.

"QPR were first to the ball all the time.

We needed players in midfield to do something special.

"Football is simple and we could not even do the simple things.

We couldn't get with the flow.

"I wanted to give 10 of the 11 who played last week the chance to do it again.

"But too many of them did not turn up."

QPR: Green, Traore, Hill, Nelsen, Onuoha, Faurlin, Mbia, Wright-Phillips (Da Silva 85), Taarabt, Cisse (Ferdinand 90), Mackie.
Subs Not Used: Julio Cesar, Diakite, Derry, Granero, Hoilett.

Booked: Taarabt.

Goals: Taarabt 52, 68.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether (Kelly 46), Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Baird, Richardson (Petric 63), Berbatov, Rodallega (Dejagah 72).
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Senderos, Karagounis, Kacaniklic.

Booked: Sidwell, Dejagah.

Goals: Petric 88.

Att: 18,233

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).



















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