QPR 2 Bristol City 1
By Ben Kosky IT S probably come too late for their own play-off pretensions, but QPR may yet have some influence over the composition of the top six. For the second time in four days, Rangers dealt a severe blow to one of the genuine contenders – and thei
By Ben Kosky
IT'S probably come too late for their own play-off pretensions, but QPR may yet have some influence over the composition of the top six.
For the second time in four days, Rangers dealt a severe blow to one of the genuine contenders - and their second-half performance was as good as any they have produced since before Christmas.
You'd also have to go back to the holiday season for the last time Paulo Sousa's side netted more than once at Loftus Road - the 3-2 victory over Preston - which would provide cause for optimism but for the fact that both Saturday's scorers may well be gone by the summer.
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There were plenty of tricks in the locker of Adel Taarabt, who was booked for diving early on but still led City a merry dance at times and deservedly rammed in the Rs' winner nine minutes from the end.
It was the Moroccan international who carved out QPR's best opportunity of the first half, threading a clever pass for Samuel Di Carmine, but the striker's finish was poor and comfortably beaten away by Adriano Basso.
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And the Robins squandered a better chance when Michael McIndoe's cross travelled right across the penalty area for the onrushing Ivan Sproule, but he blazed first time over the bar.
Matteo Alberti should also have done better than fire tamely at Basso after an incisive break from Hogan Ephraim but, as so often this season at Loftus Road, the half-time scoreboard remained blank.
The experienced Dele Adebola drilled across the face of goal after a mix-up in the Rangers defence soon after the restart - and that rearguard soon needed reorganising following an injury to Matthew Connolly.
But skipper Mikele Leigertwood dropped back and filled in admirably, leaving Jordi Lopez to take centre stage in the QPR midfield and open the scoring with a gem of a free-kick in the 65th minute.
The Spaniard had already tested Basso a couple of times from distance and practice made perfect as he flighted a 25-yarder crisply into the roof of the net to open his account in English football.
Substitute Heidar Helguson might have made it 2-0, stabbing an ambitious half-volley wide from Taarabt's cross and then seeing another effort blocked by Liam Fontaine after Lopez had created the opening.
Instead, City drew level with 13 minutes remaining as Sproule broke clear of Lee Cook and Damien Delaney and whipped a cross to the far post, where McIndoe was waiting to crack an unstoppable volley past Radek Cerny.
It didn't take Rangers long to regain the lead, though, and this time Cook and Delaney combined well on the left flank, the Irishman delivering a low cross for Taarabt to steer home what may yet prove a significant goal - but probably only from a Bristolian point of view.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Connolly (Helguson 61), Gorkss, Delaney; Lopez; Alberti (Routledge 45), Ephraim, Leigertwood, TAARABT*; Di Carmine (Cook 73).