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Barclays Premier League

The Hawthorns (ATT 23,987) 6th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Jones

W Brom West Bromwich Albion vs Queens Park Rangers QPR

W Brom 3

J Morrison (5)
Z Gera (22)
Y Mulumbu (85)

ft

QPR 2

A Taarabt (35)
E Granero (90+2)

West Brom move into fourth while QPR stay bottom of the table

Last Updated: 06/10/12 10:41pm

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Zoltan Gera celebrates the goal that doubled West Brom's lead

Zoltan Gera celebrates the goal that doubled West Brom's lead

West Brom moved up to fourth in the Premier League but were grateful for a glaring miss by Jose Bosingwa with the last kick of the game to hang on to all three points.

West Brom moved up to fourth in the Premier League but were grateful for a glaring miss by Jose Bosingwa with the last kick of the game to hang on to all three points.

The home side looked to be coasting after going 2-0 up through goals from Morrison and Gera midway through the first half, but Adel Taarabt's superb goal before the break inspired QPR after a poor display early on.

Mark Hughes' side had the lion's share of possession in the second half but could not make it count, with Youssouf Mulumbu's goal five minutes from time re-establishing West Brom's two-goal lead.

Granero's sublime strike gave the visiting side hope, but they will rue Jose Bosingwa's wastefulness deep in stoppage time. The former Chelsea player lashed the ball over with a clear sight of goal inside the box with the last action of the match to leave Rangers' expensively-assembled side staring up at the teams above.

Fact box

  • Man of the match: James Morrison's smartly-taken goal set West Brom on their way and heralded another influential display by the Baggies man.
  • Goal of the match: Youssuf Mulumbu started and ended a sublime move that relieved the pressure after a spirited fightback from QPR.
  • Save of the match: Julio Cesar dropped down smartly to his left to deny Zoltan Gera just before the break with a save that kept QPR within touching distance of West Brom.
  • Talking point: West Brom took advantage of sloppy defending by QPR early on to get their noses in front, while whatever defensive combination Mark Hughes puts out, his side continue to struggle at the back.

Despite the close shave at the end, West Brom's clinical finishing helped preserve their winning record at home to push them into the uncharted waters of the top four.

Carved open

Steve Clarke's side should have wrapped up the game in the opening half hour and could have doubled their two-goal advantage against a QPR side carved open almost at will during that spell.

Hughes' men struggled to deal with the creativity of Morrison and the pace of Shane Long with Ferdinand and Clint Hill in particular looking uncertain at the back.

But Taarabt, in his first start since the opening day of the season, dragged them back into the game and he demanded close attention from the Baggies back four.

Albion's acting skipper Jonas Olsson received a standing ovation from the home fans before kick-off after signing a new four-year contract - and his side needed only four minutes to go ahead.

Baggies leading scorer Shane Long was too quick for Hill before delivering an inviting right-wing cross. Morrison timed his run perfectly to get behind Ferdinand and direct his header back across Julio Cesar into the corner of the net.

Albion looked sharp going forward and Long missed a golden chance to double their lead in a lightning counter-attack.

Peter Odemwingie picked out the run of Morrison and his cross was perfectly weighted to find Long but from six yards out he fired over the bar.

QPR had no answer to West Brom's first touch football and a shocking error by Ferdinand gifted them their second goal after 22 minutes.

Once again Morrison supplied the ball into the danger area and Ferdinand's attempted clearance fell straight to Zoltan Gera, who made no mistake from 10 yards out.

Albion right-back Gabriel Tamas was booked for bringing down Taarabt before the QPR midfielder gave his side a lifeline with a stunning finish after 35 minutes.

Esteban Granero played the ball into the path of Taarabt on the edge of the box and he brought it under control before volleying past Ben Foster.

Danger

But Albion still threatened danger everytime they ventured forward and it needed a fine save from Cesar to deny Gera a second goal.

Peter Odemwingie's defence-splitting pass found the Hungarian international free inside the box but Cesar managed to deflect his shot past the post.

QPR skipper Park Ji-sung was booked in first half injury-time for a lunge at Gera.

Both sides made a half-time switch with Tamas and Hill replaced by Gonzalo Jara Reyes and Armand Traore respectively.

The visitors showed attacking intent at the start of the second period and Foster held a low drive from the impressive Taarabt.

Morrison had a shot deflected wide but Albion were guilty of sloppy play.

It prompted Clarke to make a double change with strikers Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg replacing Long and Odemwingie.

Granero had the chance to level matters but sliced his shot wide after more good work by Taarabt.

But Morrison almost capped another top performance with a second goal as his 35-yard drive flashed inches wide.

With five minutes left Mulumbu made it 3-1 after exchanging passes with Jara Reyes - but QPR showed plenty of spirit and Granero reduced the gap again in injury-time with a cool finish.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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