QPR stay bottom of the Premier League after a 3-1 home defeat by Southampton
Last Updated: 17/11/12 6:38pm
Rickie Lambert: Heads in Southampton's opening goal
Southampton piled the pressure on QPR boss Mark Hughes by winning the battle of the Premier League's bottom two 3-1 at Loftus Road.
With managers in both dug-outs under severe pressure, first-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon gave the Saints a deserved 2-0 lead at the break, before Junior Hoilett headed QPR back into the game early in the second period.
Southampton, though, kept pushing forward and secured the points seven minutes from time, when Adam Lallana's low cross was poked into his own net by Anton Ferdinand.
Best of the game
- Man of the match: QPR struggled to contain Rickie Lambert, but Jason Puncheon was in unstoppable form.
- Goal of the match: Puncheon curled in a delightful effort from the edge of the box after rolling his defender.
- Save of the match: Julio Cesar made a stunning diving save low to his left to deny Puncheon a second goal.
- Move of the match: An early, sweeping one-touch move which ended with Lallana lashing a 20-yard volley just over.
- Best banner: After conceding the third, QPR fans made their point clear: 'HARRY, COME AND SAVE US'.
- Talking point: Can Mark Hughes keep his job? His players lacked confidence, desire and a plan.
With the victory, Nigel Adkins' side have established a four-point gap between themselves and their beaten hosts.
Both he and Hughes stuck with the same starting line-ups that played last weekend, with Southampton the quickest to settle. Captain Lallana came close in the seventh minute, firing just over after a neat one-two with Gaston Ramirez, but their defensive frailties remained.
Adel Taarabt - so often a threat for QPR - drove in-between Nathaniel Clyne and Jose Fonte, before forcing a reaction save out of Paulo Gazzaniga, who then shovelled a Hoilett shot around the post less than a minute later.
Saints returned to the attack and got the game's crucial opener in the 23rd minute, when a corner was not cleared properly by the home defence. Ramirez pulled back for Fonte, whose shot was prodded goalwards by Puncheon. That effort was cleared off the line but Lambert showed his strength to bundle home.
Southampton pushed for another, which came on the stroke of half-time, when Puncheon collected the ball from Clyne, turned Alejandro Faurlin, and fired home a left-footed strike.
QPR were booed off at half-time after their inept display and Hughes replaced Faurlin with Jamie Mackie at the start of the second period, which was only four minutes old when Taarabt's floated cross was nodded home by the unmarked Hoilett.
Saints quickly retained their momentum, though, and Puncheon forced Julio Cesar into a smart save before firing wide twice within a minute.
The game was flowing from end to end and Cesar had to be at his best to deny a Maya Yoshida scissor-kick 10 minutes from time.
Nelsen headed straight at Gazzaniga moments later and then Saints secured victory, with Puncheon playing a short corner to Schneiderlin for the Frenchman's cross to squeeze in off Ferdinand at Cesar's near post.
QPR fans bellowed 'You're only here for the money' at their players and duly booed the side off at the end of the game, while Adkins and the Saints fans celebrated their first points earned away from home.
|Queens Park Rangers||Team Statistics||Southampton|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|5||Shots on Target||10|
|6||Shots off Target||5|
|52.8||1st Half Poss.||47.2|
|39||2nd Half Poss.||61|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||5||7|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||5||4|
|20||West Bromwich Albion||4||2|
QPR v Southampton
Mark Hughes attended a two-hour meeting with QPR's chief executive on Monday and did not take charge of training.
Mark Hughes understands the Queens Park Rangers fans' frustration, but insists now is not the time to change.
QPR's plight is the product of a lack of perspective at the club, Matt Dickinson told the Sunday Supplement.