Queens Park Rangers fall short against rivals Fulham in west London derby
PUBLISHED: 22:05 29 September 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Queens Park Rangers 1 Fulham 2
Queens Park Rangers suffered their first home defeat of the season against neighbours Fulham as they fell 2-1 in the west London derby.
A first-half goal from the cottagers Ryan Fredericks and a second-half goal from Stefan Johansen proved too much for the Hoops despite a late consolation goal from Conor Washington as they extended their winless run to five games at Loftus Road.
Manager Ian Holloway made two changes ahead of the derby match by bringing in Idrissa Sylla and Joel Lynch for Steven Caulker and Bright Osayi-Samuel.
The R’s got off to a strong start and got themselves on the front foot by pressing hard forward in the opening two minutes with Pawel Wszolek putting in a few early crosses most being held comfortably by Fulham’s keeper David Button.
The first chance of the match ended up falling to the visitors in the fifth minute when teenage wonder kid Ryan Sessegnon played in Sheyi Ojo down the left, but his shot went just wide of the post.
A minute later QPR hit back as Luke Freeman cut in and drove a shot from 18 yards, but Button managed to force it out for a corner.
Freeman stepped up to take the corner but it was cleared at the near post.
The hosts went close again in the 13th minute when defender Joel Lynch headed a Freeman free-kick just wide of the goal.
The Rangers kept pressing forward, this time Freeman and Massimo Luongo linking up well before picking out Wszolek in the box, but the winger hit his shot wide of the right post in the 14th minute.
Three minutes later the cottagers got another chance of their own as Stefan Johansen was picked out in the box, but fired a shot into the side netting.
Shortly after Fulham’s Rui Fonte went through on goal, but sent his shot over the bar, after Ryan Fredericks made a blistering run down the right to pick the striker out in the 24th minute.
The R’s brought the play back down the other end as Freeman makes a great run and picks out Jake Bidwell in the box, but his shot was blocked and bounced out to his team-mates Luongo, who also had his blocked in the 29th minute.
Eight minutes later Freeman was tripped just outside the box and won his side a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Josh Scowen’s free-kick went comfortably into the arms of Button.
QPR started to dominate, but it was the visitors who took the lead with four minutes left in the first-half, when Ryan Fredericks shot deflected into the back of the net to make it 1-0 against the run of the play.
End-to-end start to the second half, as Luongo had his shot blocked before the visitors go close seconds later, when Johansen put in a cross just beyond the stretching Ojo at the back post.
The visitors suffered a blow as Ojo was stretchered off in the 54th minute and was replaced by Neeskens Kebano.
After the injury the R’s picked up the momentum and started pressing forward in search of an equaliser, which almost came as Freeman fired a free-kick just wide of the post in the 65th minute, after Luongo was tripped by Oliver Norwood on the edge of the box.
Freeman was fouled again two minutes later Freeman, as continued to pile on the pressure, but substitute Matt Smith couldn’t keep his header down as Freeman picked him out with the free-kick.
Fulham fought back and came back into their own as they started pushing forward, which paid off as Kebano was brought down in the box and won his side a penalty, but Fonte sent the spot kick flying over the bar in the 83rd minute.
Two minutes later Fulham did extend their lead as Johansen slotted home a shot into the bottom right corner after Fonte bursts down the right wing and picked him out with a cross.
The R’s did hit back with one their own as substitute Conor Washington got on the end of a knock down and finished from close range.
The hosts kept piling on the pressure looking to grab a second with Luongo and Matt Smith both going close.
QPR: Smithies, Baptiste, Lynch, Robinson, Wszolek (Smith 60), Luongo, Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell, Mackie (Washington 76), Sylla (Wheeler 84).
Unused subs: Lumley, Furlong, Manning, Osayi-Samuel.
Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Sessegnon, McDonald, Johansen, Norwood, Mollo (Odoi 62), Ojo (Kebano 54), Fonte (Cisse 90+4)
Unused subs: Bettinelli, Madl, Graham, Djalo.