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Match Report: QPR 2-1 Arsenal (QPR Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 1st April 2012
Pride, passion and commitment- three key ingredients for any successful football team. Three ingredients that have been lacking from QPR performances this season.

However, yesterday, the QPR players rose to the occasion and demonstrated just what they are capable of when they put their mind to it.

Previous home victories against Liverpool and Chelsea came with a degree of good fortune. However, this was an accomplished and committed performance from QPR against the form team in the Premier League and resulted in a deserved three points.

Vulnerable

Mark Hughes made two changes from the side that was well-beaten at Sunderland last week. Djibril Cisse started his four match ban and Luke Young was dropped to the bench. In came Clint Hill and captain, Joey Barton, to replace them.

Cisse's suspension forced Hughes' hand into matching Arsenal's 4-3-3 and this actually benefitted QPR. Arsenal started the game with Aaron Ramsey in an unfamiliar wide left position which he never really got to grips with.

For the first time in a while, QPR started the game brightly and were content to let Arsenal have the bulk of possession. As the game went on, QPR's confidence grew as the Arsenal defence look vulnerable. The first real chance fell to Bobby Zamora, but he could only direct his header over the bar when well-placed.

QPR didn't have to wait long to take the lead. Hill's misplaced pass fell to the feet of Adel Taarabt. He turned Thomas Vermaelen with ease and placed his shot beautifully into the corner. It was Taarabt's first goal of the season.

After his incredible performances last season, many people expected more from him. However, he's adapted his game and his work rate has increased massively. He's playing in a different position and realises he has greater responsibility now. Having hit the woodwork a number of times this season, it was fantastic to see him open his account for the season.

QPR only held the lead for 15 minutes though, with Theo Walcott equalising for the visitors after seeing his initial shot rebound off the post. The sides went in level, with QPR probably the happier of the two teams.

The second half started in a similar fashion, with QPR happy to let Arsenal have the ball in their own half. The Gunners almost took the lead when Van Persie broke free from Hill (for the only time during the game) and found himself one on one with Paddy Kenny. However, Kenny produced a stunning save to tip the Dutchman's shot wide of the post.

Eruption

QPR regained the lead on 66 minutes. Joey Barton's hopeful pass was chased down by Jamie Mackie. Vermaelen lost his footing andMackie broke into the box. He kept his composure and picked out Diakite in the box who slammed the ball into the back of the net to claim his first goal for QPR. It wasn't an easy chance for the Mali international as the ball was bobbling just as it arrived at his feet.

QPR almost scored a third soon after, but Barton saw his shot saved well by Szczesny. Arsenal introduced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh to try and force an equaliser but the QPR defence stayed strong, with Hill particularly impressive.

The full time whistle blew and Loftus Road erupted again, with the players celebrating together on the pitch.

It really was a fantastic victory. Arsenal had won seven games in a row and after last week's shambolic defeat at Sunderland, QPR were under a lot of pressure.

However, the players responded magnificently and fully deserved the three points. The performance was driven by four of the promotion winning side from last season- Hill, Taarabt, Shaun Derry and Mackie.

All four were superb and contributed greatly to the team's performance. Zamora also deserves a mention- he led the line very well and his workrate was first class.

A few more performances like this and we might just be looking at the Great Escape.

Authority
Jawad Laouira

Total articles: 15

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