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Match Report: Arsenal 1-0 QPR (QPR Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 1st January 2012
Christmas may have been and gone but QPR still felt the need to gift Arsenal the only goal in their final match of 2011. In recent weeks Manchester United and Sunderland have both benefitted from some very generous defending from the Superhoops and on Saturday they gift-wrapped a goal for the most prolific striker in the Premier League at the moment.

QPR made 5 changes from the side that earned a hard-fought point at Swansea 4 days earlier. Paddy Kenny was replaced by Radek Cerny, Danny Gabbidon and Matt Connolly were recalled to the defence, Shaun Derry made way for Shaun Wright Phillips and top scorer, Heidar Helguson, was replaced by former Arsenal man, Jay Bothroyd. It was a bizarre team selection, with one eye clearly on Monday's home game with Norwich.

QPR started brightly, with both Jay Bothroyd and Shaun Wright Phillips testing Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal. However, Arsenal soon got a grip on the game and could have been 3-0 up by half time. Robin Van Persie, in pursuit of 2 goals to break Alan Shearer's record for goals in a calendar year, was the most wasteful of the Arsenal forwards. Four times he found himself with good openings and each time he couldn't convert the chances. Two hopeful Arsenal penalty appeals for handball were also turned away in the first half much to the disgust of the crowd. It was quite possibly the only time the Arsenal fans made any noise in the first half.

Early in the second half the best chance of the game fell to Theo Walcott. Ramsey picked up the ball in the Arsenal half and played a superb through ball to Walcott. He sprinted clear of the QPR defence and with only Cerny to beat managed to put the ball a good three feet wide of the post. It was a truly horrendous finish from the England 'international' and brought howls of laughter from the QPR fans.

However, QPR weren't so fortunate just a few minutes later. Shaun Wright Phillips picked up the ball in the QPR half and played a casual pass, without looking, to the right back area. No QPR player was in sight and the ball fell to the feet of Andrei Arshavin. He played it through to Van Persie who made no mistake this time. It was a terrible error from Wright-Phillips and it cost his team a point.

Arsenal replaced Walcott with Gervinho for the last 15 minutes and he had the last clear chance of the game, placing the ball wide from 5 yards when it seemed easier to score.

A late QPR penalty appeal was waved away by Martin Atkinson, when Adel Taarabt went down in the area. Having seen a replay of the incident, the referee definitely made the correct decision.

Arsenal saw out the final few minutes, wasting time in the corner, and claimed a deserved 3 points.

Only some very wasteful finishing stopped the scoreline from being more emphatic, although QPR did create some chances of their own. With the transfer window now open it is imperative QPR bring in reinforcements. However, at the moment individual mistakes are proving very costly and they must cut these out if they are to stand any chance of survival.

Our next 9 fixtures- Norwich, Newcastle, Wigan, Aston Villa, Wolves, Blackburn, Fulham, Everton and Bolton- will make or break our season.
Jawad Laouira

Total articles: 15

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