Bothroyd earns QPR crucial win
QPR carved out just their third win of the Premier League season
at Southampton to renew hope of avoiding relegation.
Loic Remy struck against the run of play after 14 minutes to
take the lead, but Saints equalised through Gaston Ramirez before
Jay Bothroyd tapped the ball home from close range to restore
the lead, and fine saves from substitute goalkeeper Rob Green, on
for the injured Julio Cesar, helped the west London side through to
a vital win.
Southampton were left to rue the fact that they did not
capitalise on all their pressure on their bottom-of-the-table
opponents, who lustily celebrated their first win in two
With so much hanging on this game, the return of Harry Redknapp
to St Mary’s for the first time since his ill-starred year as
Saints’ manager added even more spice and the QPR boss received a
predictably hostile reception from some sections of the home
The home side ignored the day’s added context to start
confidently, with Adam Lallana and Jack Cork having shooting
chances that did not worry Cesar in the QPR goal.
However, Rangers steeled themselves after a nervy opening spell
to take the lead totally against the run of play.
Junior Hoilett’s superb diagonal pass from the left allowed Remy
to get in between Daniel Fox and Maya Yoshida, the striker then
shooting high beyond Cesar from an angle inside the area. Fox did
his best, but the ball ricocheted in off the defender’s knee to
give QPR a shock lead.
The goal rocked the home side, who could find little of the
fluency that had put paid to Manchester City in their last home
They lost Lallana following a clash of heads with Clint Hill,
but replacement Jay Rodriguez made his mark to restore parity
before half time.
After Morgan Schneiderlin superbly robbed Hoilett in defence,
Saints broke and allowed Rodriguez to get in a testing shot from
distance. Cesar spilled the ball into the path of Ramirez, who
delicately chipped the ball back over the advancing keeper for a
Saints looked to have carried the goal’s momentum into the
second half, dominating possession and going close through long
range shots from Jose Fonte and Rodriguez.
Cesar required treatment for a dead leg after punching away a
cross, struggling on until eventually replaced by Green, who was to
make a crucial contribution in the closing stages.
QPR were back in the lead after soaking up more pressure,
Ji-Sung Park staying on his feet to elude a tackle from Yoshida
before pulling the ball back to Bothroyd, who had the simplest of
chances to tap home from close range.
Green made his cameo appearance a memorable one with two fine
saves in quick succession, flicking out his right hand to stop a
powerful Yoshida header, and then dropping to his right to push
Fonte’s shot around the post seconds later.
With QPR holding the hosts at bay for the remainder of the
match, Green’s contribution was as vital as the goal scorers and
Redknapp’s delight at the final whistle was clear to see and may
signal another unlikely act of escapology.