Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: QPR 0 Fulham 1

Fulham heaped more misery on struggling near neighbours Queens Park Rangers when they followed up a 6-0 autumn drubbing by inflicting a rather narrower but still highly painful defeat.

It was a particularly bleak afternoon for QPR manager Mark Hughes and striker Bobby Zamora, facing their former club for the first time, and debutant Samba Diakite, who was sent off in the first half following a second bookable offence.

Fulham were left to celebrate only their second away league win of the season, supplied by an early strike from new Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak.

The visitors found huge gaps in the QPR rearguard right from the start. Andrew Johnson glanced home a header in the third minute that was denied, rightly, by the referee’s assistant’s offside flag but there was no denying Pogrebnyak’s seventh-minute strike.

The powerful Pogrebnyak, who scored on his Fulham debut a fortnight ago, showed the killer instinct again, gathering Moussa Dembele’s perfect through pass, rounding goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and rolling the ball coolly home.

Clint Dempsey stroked wide and Pogrebnyak shot at Kenny as Fulham continued to pull the home defence apart. The mobile Andrew Johnson, Bryan Ruiz and Clint Dempsey, operating behind Pogrebnyak, posed constant problems for the unhappy looking home defenders.

QPR’s problems multiplied after 34 minutes when holding midfielder Diakite’s debut came to a premature and unhappy end when shown a second yellow card by referee Phil Dowd, for a late tackle on Ruiz.

The Mali international, recently returned from African Cup of Nations duty with Mali, became the third QPR player in the last four home league matches to receive a first-half red card, following Joey Barton and Djibril Cisse.

QPR are in enough difficulty as it is without such self-inflicted damage.Hardly able to contain Fulham with a full complement of players, their flimsy rearguard was always vulnerable to the clever angled runs of Johnson and Ruiz, feeding on the astute through balls from Dembele and Danny Murphy.

Not that QPR lacked spirit. In fact, they enjoyed substantial possession and exerted some pressure after the interval as Fulham appeared happy to sit deep and protect their advantage.

Their brave enterprise almost drew reward in the 69th minute when Jamie Mackie surged into the Fulham penalty area before dragging a shot across the face of Mark Schwarzer’s goal. There was a major let-off for Fulham seven minutes from the end when Shaun Wright-Phillips’s close-range shot clipped Schwarzer and spun a foot wide.

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