Premier League: West Brom edge out Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road
Last Updated: 27/12/12 7:35am
West Brom kept pace with the top four on Boxing Day thanks a 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers, who slumped back to the foot of the table.
Chris Brunt's fine first-half strike put the Baggies in front before a contentious second, which saw Robert Green fumble the ball into his own net, doubled their lead.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Youssouf Mulumbu. Got stuck in from the first minute and never allowed QPR to settle on the ball.
- Goal of the match: Djibril Cisse's effort for QPR saw him dink the ball delicately over Ben Foster, after being picked out by a brilliant slide-rule pass from Stephane Mbia.
- Save of the match: More of a block than a save, with Youssouf Mulumbu in the right place, at the right time to hack a late Clint Hill header off the line.
- Moment of the match: Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle inside the box late on, but Chris Foy waved away QPR's appeals and they ended up empty-handed.
- Talking point: Can QPR pick themselves up again for a difficult run of fixtures? Can West Brom build on their first half to the season and push for Europe?
Djibril Cisse pulled one back for the hosts, who threw everything forward in the closing stages, but there was to be no festive cheer for the locals who made it to Loftus Road for a fixture which started late due to travel disruption in the capital.
QPR looked the more likely of the two sides to score early on, but it was the Baggies fans who were celebrating just before the half hour when Brunt put the visitors ahead.
The midfielder picked the ball up from Marc-Antoine Fortune and, after allowing it to drift across his body, unleashed a 25-yard drive that sailed into the bottom right-hand corner of Green's goal.
James Morrison almost made it 2-0 seconds later with a clever volley, but the home side regained their composure and went close through Stephane Mbia and Adel Taarabt.
After the break the story remained the same. Romelu Lukaku found space in the box, but could only prod weakly at Green and Anton Ferdinand almost turned Billy Jones' cross in to his own net.
Mbia summed up the lack of quality in front of goal for QPR when he wriggled free from his marker to meet Taarabt's corner, but his header flew straight back at the Moroccan, rather than at goal.
The home fans were then outraged as West Brom doubled their lead in controversial circumstances on 49 minutes.
Traore attempted to clear Brunt's corner but instead his header looped back towards his own goal. Green attempted to collect the ball but he was impeded by Fortune, who leaned in to the stopper, causing him to drop the ball into his own net.
The away fans ironically chanted Green's name as the Rangers players demanded Fortune be penalised for the foul, but referee Chris Foy shook his head and the goal stood.
Albion took their foot off the accelerator after that and paid the price in the 69th minute when Cisse latched on to Mbia's slide-rule pass and lifted the ball over the advancing Ben Foster.
QPR threw everything at the away goal looking for an equaliser, but they struggled to test Foster.
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|6||West Ham United||12||18|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||12||13|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||12||8|
QPR v West Brom
QPR striker Djibril Cisse says the team are frustrated that West Brom's second goal was allowed to stand on Boxing Day.
Chris Brunt admitted his goal in West Brom's 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers was long overdue.
Steve Clarke was reluctant to be drawn into a debate on contentious decisions after seeing West Brom beat QPR 2-1.