Dyer suffers injury scare as Rangers are routed by Bolton
QPR 0 Bolton 4
QPR’s dream return to the Premier League after 15 years descended into a nightmare as Bolton Wanderers ran riot in the second half at Loftus Road.
In front of prospective new owner Tony Fernandes, QPR bossed the first half, but were hit with a sucker-punch Gary Cahill goal on the stroke of half-time, before goals from Ivan Klasnic, Fabrice Muamba and an own goal from Danny Gabbidon sealed Rangers’ fate.
QPR could have been ahead inside two minutes, only for DJ Campbell’s close-range strike ruled out for offside.
Kieron Dyer was forced off with a broken metatarsal bone in his foot moments later, with Bradley Orr coming on in his place, but Rangers were in the ascendancy, and Jay Bothroyd came close when his shot from inside the area was deflected over the bar by a Bolton defender.
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Tommy Smith twice went close, first with a low shot wide of Jussi Jaaskelainen’s right-hand post, and then with a strike straight at the keeper after Taarabt and DJ Campbell combined to set him up.
Wanderers had offered little, and yet in first-half stoppage time they were ahead. Eagles, otherwise quiet in the first 45 minutes, found Cahill on the edge of the area, and Cahill sent a stunning curler past Paddy Kenny and into the top corner.
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Bothroyd came close to levelling straight away, but sent his near-post header from Taarabt’s corner wide, and the Rs went in trailing at half-time.
The second half quickly became a frustrating affair for Rangers. Taarabt sent a shot curling wide from 25 yards, but Bolton made it 2-0 when Gabbidon deflected in Eagles’ free-kick.
And 2-0 became 3-0 moments later, again via a cruel deflection off a Rangers player. Klasnic let fly from just inside the penalty area, and the ball took a touch off Orr to wrong-foot Kenny.
And it just got worse and worse for the hosts, who conceded again when Fabrice Muamba charged into the area to slip the ball past Kenny, before Clint Hill was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
The boos rang around Loftus Road, aimed at QPR’s owners rather than Neil Warnock, and on this evidence the Hoops could be set for a long, hard season.
Follow Ian Cooper on Twitter @QPRTimes