QPR win five-goal thriller
Stoke failed to capitalise on their early lead
Last Updated: 19/11/11 9:02pm
Stoke vs QPR: Luke Young celebrates his goal with his team-mates
Queens Park Rangers came from behind to defeat Stoke City 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium in a pulsating Premier League game on Saturday.
Jonathan Walters put Stoke ahead as early as the eighth minute but the Potters conceded twice during the course of the first half, first to Heidar Helguson on 22 minutes and then to Luke Young just before the interval.
Helguson made it 3-1 to the London club nine minutes into the second period but Ryan Shawcross found the target for the hosts in the 64th minute to make it an edgy affair for the remainder of the match.
However, Neil Warnock's QPR held on to bag a vital away win in their battle for survival in the English top-flight.
Stoke had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Mike Jones in the seventh minute after Jermaine Pennant went down in the box under the attentions of QPR captain Joey Barton.
Seconds later Stoke took the lead, though, as QPR lost possession and the ball came to Peter Crouch, who slid in a pass for Walters to finish.
At the other end Alejandro Faurlin hit a tame shot at Thomas Sorensen before Crouch came close to doubling Stoke's advantage, pouncing on a moment of hesitancy between Anton Ferdinand and Paddy Kenny but seeing the Rangers goalkeeper block his first attempt and then his second cleared away by Hill.
Kenny was having a torrid time, fumbling an Etherington free-kick before smothering the ball at the second attempt.
But against the run of play QPR then drew level, Helguson being allowed the space to head past Sorensen from Armand Traore's cross.
Stoke kept pressing, with Robert Huth heading a Pennant corner over the bar and Etherington striking wide after a mazy dribble into the area.
Rory Delap sent a shot off target and it looked as if QPR would do well to hang on until half-time.
But they made it 2-1 in the 44th minute, good link-up play leading to Jamie Mackie's cut-back for Young, who lashed the ball in.
Stoke came out for the second half looking to make a swift response, but within nine minutes of the restart QPR had another goal.
Barton crossed after the hosts had failed to properly clear a corner and Helguson was on hand to prod the ball in from close range.
Helguson then thought he had completed his hat-trick when Shaun Wright-Phillips hit the post and the Icelander scrambled the rebound over the line, but the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside.
Stoke rallied and pulled one back in the 64th minute when Crouch flicked a corner to Shawcross, who headed beyond Kenny.
Hoping to seize the initiative, Pulis refreshed his attack by bringing on Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller - the Jamaican's first appearance since sustaining an Achilles injury in April - for Crouch and Pennant.
Huth fired an ambitious attempt over the bar from the corner of the box with around 20 minutes to go as the Potters went in search of a leveller.
The German was then felled in the area by Barton's tackle, but once again the referee waved play on and Stoke's frustration was apparent when Delap picked up a booking for a wild lunge on Barton and one of Stoke's backroom staff appeared to be sent off.Stoke went close late on with substitute Glenn Whelan sending a drive whistling wide and Jones heading over in stoppage-time, but QPR survived to claim all three points.
|Stoke City||Team Statistics||Queens Park Rangers|
|1||1st Half Goals||2|
|5||Shots on Target||5|
|13||Shots off Target||1|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||29||31|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||29||28|