QPR beats Fulham 2-1 in Premier League

Queens Park Rangers won in the Premier League for the first time
this season, beating Fulham 2-1 at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Two second-half goals from Adel Taarabt secured the victory,
despite a late Mladen Petric strike that brought the London derby
to life.

”We deserved it, we were the better team,” said Redknapp, who
had seen his new side draw each of his first three games in charge.
”It would have been a travesty if we’d conceded in the last couple
of minutes.

”If we hadn’t have won today, it would have been absolutely
desperate.”

Taarabt opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a shot from
outside the area that deflected off Fulham defender Brede
Hangeland. He doubled the advantage in the 69th when he received
the ball just beyond the halfway line, wafted past the Fulham
defenders, before poking the ball past Mark Schwarzer in the
visitors’ goal with the outside of his foot.

Petric’s deflected effort from outside the box in the 88th
minute beat QPR keeper Robert Green, but Fulham couldn’t find the
equalizer.

”I’m very disappointed,” said Fulham manager Martin Jol. ”I
can’t complain about the goals. In the first half, we never got the
ball to our quality players.

”We couldn’t do the simple things; we couldn’t play in a
flow.”

QPR dominated the first 45 minutes. The first clear chance of
the game fell to Jamie Mackie after eight minutes. The Scottish
midfielder anticipated John Arne Riise’s header back to Schwarzer,
but lacked the composure to finish, putting the ball wide from six
yards.

Taarabt hinted at his goal-scoring potential throughout the
first half, threatening the Fulham defence with skillful dribbling.
He eventually forced the breakthrough in the 52nd minute when he
ran at the Fulham defence with few options and shot from outside
the area.

Schwarzer was likely to have saved his effort, but a deflection
from captain Hangeland took the ball away from the Australian
goalkeeper.

It was the second deflected goal in a week that had beaten
Schwarzer after Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa’s shot took an even
bigger deflection on the way into his net on Monday.

In the 69th minute, Taarabt capped an excellent individual
display with a fine individual goal. Receiving the ball at the
halfway line, he ran past Fulham’s defenders before picking out the
bottom corner of Schwarzer’s goal, giving the keeper little
chance.

”Fantastic ability, amazing talent,” said Redknapp of man of
the match Taarabt.

Fulham’s consolation goal came when second-half substitute
Petric found the bottom left-hand corner of Green’s goal, his shot
deflecting off Alejandro Faurlin’s boot.

Both teams threatened to score again with Djibril Cisse coming
closest when his header was clawed away from goal by Schwarzer but
the scoreline stood.

The win lifts QPR off the bottom of the table to 19th with 10
points. Fulham remains 13th with 20.