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Barclays Premier League

Loftus Road Stadium (ATT 18,021) 21st April 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: M Clattenburg

QPR Queens Park Rangers vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

QPR 1

A Taarabt (24, S/O 78)

ft

Taarabt torments Tottenham

QPR boost survival hopes as Spurs struggle

By Adam Bate.   Last Updated: 21/04/12 7:53pm

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QPR took a huge step towards Premier League safety as they beat Tottenham 1-0 at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Man of the match: QPR's Jamie Mackie, who completely controlled the home side's attacking play. Moment of the match: Adel Taarabt's sumptuous free-kick which put QPR in front on 24 minutes. Attempt of the match: Rafael van der Vaart's curling effort which was just kept out by Paddy Kenny in the dying minutes. Save of the match: Paddy Kenny's 90th minute block that kept out Rafael van der Vaart's goal-bound effort. Talking point: Should Adel Taarabt have received a red card?

Adel Taarabt curled a measured free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner against his former club to give Mark Hughes' men the lead midway through the first half.

The mercurial Moroccan was later sent off after receiving a second yellow card for kicking the ball away, setting up a tense finale as the home side battled to retain their lead.

Spurs enjoyed much of the possession but rarely threatened Paddy Kenny's goal and the Hoops were able to hold on for three priceless points in the fight against the drop.

QPR are now three points above the drop zone with three games remaining, although they will be wary of the fact that Bolton lie four points back with two games in hand.

The result is a further blow to Spurs as they continue to lose ground in race for a Champions League place.

They are now three points behind Newcastle in fourth and six points adrift of rivals Arsenal in third.

Indeed, Harry Redknapp's side have won just one of their last nine Premier League games, dating back to the 5-2 defeat against the Gunners in February.

Nerves

Tottenham, racked with nerves, played like anything but a top-four side in the opening 10 minutes.

Kyle Walker and Brad Friedel were involved in a mix-up that almost gifted Rangers an easy opener.

They were also lacking going forward. After being out-muscled in midfield they had to resort to a long-ball game - something that was never going to work with the diminutive Jermain Defoe leading the line.

Samba Diakite made a mockery of the Spurs defence early on by coasting past Luka Modric to slip in to the box but he dragged his shot wide.

Spurs momentarily came back in to the game with Kenny saving brilliantly from Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart in quick succession, but their resurgence was short-lived as Rangers took the lead.

Mark Clattenburg blew for what appeared to be a handball against Sandro 25 yards out and Taarabt curled the ball over the wall and in to the bottom corner past a despondent Friedel, who perhaps should have done better.

Bale scooped a lovely ball over the QPR back four to find Defoe but Nedum Onuoha put in a crucial block as Spurs looked for an instant reply.

Van der Vaart rifled a half-volley at goal and Kenny's parry fell in to Defoe's path but he could only nod over.

Teasing

QPR ended the first half on top. Taarabt had time to subject Benoit Assou-Ekotto to a series of teasing step-overs on the touchline before the break and Joey Barton's deflected shot sailed over.

After seeing his team booed off by their own fans at half-time, Redknapp brought on Aaron Lennon for Sandro at to add a bit of width, but still Spurs struggled to get in to the game.

Diakite muscled his way past Scott Parker and William Gallas before burying a shot in to the side-netting.

Bobby Zamora wasted a good chance to seal the game in the 68th minute when Gallas allowed him room but the former Spurs striker dallied, allowing substitute Danny Rose to put in a crucial block.

Redknapp opted to switch Lennon and Bale - a move that went down terribly with the away fans, who sang: "Gareth Bale, he plays on the left."

Onuoha caught Parker's trailing leg, but Clattenburg waved play on. Barton insisted that Parker had dived to earn a free-kick and pushed the England captain.

Taarabt plunged his team's victory in to doubt with 12 minutes to go when he kicked the ball away to earn a second booking.

Modric stung Kenny's hands as Tottenham looked to use their numerical advantage and Redknapp brought on Giovani Dos Santos for Parker.

Anton Ferdinand headed Bale's cross away at the near post as Spurs piled on the pressure in the closing minutes.

Dos Santos drew a good save from Kenny in the final minute and Van der Vaart tested the stopper again in injury time.

Five minutes of added time were called but despite their best efforts Spurs could not find an equaliser and they ended the day outside the top four for the first time since November.

Queens Park RangersTeam StatisticsTottenham Hotspur
1Goals0
11st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target6
7Shots off Target7
2Blocked Shots7
4Corners13
13Fouls11
2Offsides1
3Yellow Cards0
1Red Cards0
73.2Passing Success86
18Tackles16
66.7Tackles Success68.8
31Possession69
45.5Territorial Advantage54.5
265Total Passes585
11Total Crosses36
146Lost Balls160
55Recoveries67
28.21st Half Poss.71.8
35.12nd Half Poss.64.9

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 12 32
2 Southampton 12 26
3 Manchester City 12 24
4 Manchester United 12 19
5 Newcastle United 12 19
6 West Ham United 12 18
7 Swansea City 12 18
8 Arsenal 12 17
9 Everton 12 17
10 Tottenham Hotspur 12 17
11 Stoke City 12 15
12 Liverpool 12 14
13 West Bromwich Albion 12 13
14 Sunderland 12 13
15 Crystal Palace 12 12
16 Aston Villa 12 12
17 Hull City 12 11
18 Leicester City 12 10
19 Burnley 12 10
20 Queens Park Rangers 12 8

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