Premier League: QPR on the brink of relegation after home defeat by Stoke
By Pete Hall @Pistolpeteh86. Last Updated: 22/04/13 3:00pm
QPR players show their disappointment in 2-0 home defeat to Stoke
QPR are on the verge of relegation from the Premier League after slipping to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Stoke at Loftus Road.
Peter Crouch's strike late in the first half gave the Potters an unfamiliar half-time lead, after the home side had wasted several opportunities.
The R's came out of the blocks much faster in the second period, but lacked a cutting edge, as they have throughout much of their ill-fated campaign.
And they were made to pay as Jonathan Walters' penalty sealed a vital victory for the Potters, who are now up to 15th, and all but condemned QPR to Championship football next season.
Best of the Match
- Man of the Match: Cameron Jerome. Pace caused QPR problems all afternoon.
- Goal of the Match: Peter Crouch. Swift counter attack clinically finished off by the former England striker.
- Moment of the Match: Townsend substitution. His energy was a big loss to the home side.
- Talking points. Is relegation a formality now for the Rs? Massive win for Stoke. Are they now safe?
The visitors, who previously had netted only once in the first half of their previous 13 games in the Premier League, started the match in the ascendancy, with Cameron Jerome looking a threat down the channels.
Eventually, the R's did get themselves into the game, with Loic Remy having a few efforts on target, both easily saved by Asmir Begovic.
Harry Redknapp's men, who also won several free-kicks in promising positions, were made to pay for their wastefulness by a swift counter-attacking opener from the Potters.
Marc Wilson won a tackle and sent a clever ball down the channel which Jerome latched onto, took his time, and drilled a low cross which Crouch side-footed in to give Stoke the half-time advantage.
The hosts finally created a clear-cut opportunity just after the interval, and it was that man Remy, who jinked past two Stoke defenders but saw his powerful effort well smothered by Begovic.
That miss, and several other wayward efforts from good positions cost the R's, when referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot after Crouch was pulled down by Clint Hill reacting to Robert Huth's header, which came back off the post.
Walters stepped up, and, despite being forced to retake, fired low past Rob Green into the bottom corner.
The goal killed off any resistance that the home side were offering, and they must now start to plan for life in the second tier of English football next season, whilst the Potters' second win of the year gives them a little breathing space in the basement battle.
Harry Redknapp knows his side need something special to stay up.
Redknapp: It will take a miracle now
"It will take a miracle now. It is almost impossible," he told Sky Sports.
"We had a go, but maybe we are short of that bit of quality needed in this league."
Pulis upbeat after win
"It was a great result for us today," Pulis told Sky Sports.
"But even if we would have lost, we still had four games to get the points we needed to stay up.
"It was important the players understood it wasn't do or die."
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|
QPR v Stoke
Asmir Begovic has insisted that all he is concerned about at the moment is Stoke City's survival in the Premier League.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis was pleased with his sides 2-0 victory over doomed QPR and hailed his players' level of professionalism.
Harry Redknapp admits it is almost impossible for QPR to remain in the Premier League following their 2-0 defeat against Stoke but insists he has no regrets.