Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City  1 - 0

Article

Premier League: QPR 1 Stoke 0

6 May 2012 17:34

A late goal from Djibril Cisse earned all three points for Queens Park Rangers as they beat Stoke City 1-0 in the Premier League.

A corner provided the in-form striker with a tap-in, after a poor showing from both sides in which neither created anything outstanding.

QPR were looking for a crucial win in their fight against relegation, with only goal difference keeping them out of the drop zone. They were hoping their good home form, wining their last four at Loftus Road, while taking advantage of Stoke's poor away form this season, would help them secure a crucial three points.

The hosts began the game well, with Jamie Mackie attacking down the right, pulling his cross back and providing a good chance for Adel Taarabt, but the Moroccan could not get on the end of it.

Moments later Cameron Jerome spurned a glorious opportunity to put Stoke in the lead. Peter Crouch flicked the ball into the striker's path, but he snatched at his shot from eight yards out and sliced it wide.

Taarabt continued to look lively within the first quarter of an hour, winning a free kick for his side after a nice piece of skill to evade Marc Wilson. The former Tottenham player then took the set piece, which was heading for the bottom left hand corner if not for a very good save from Thomas Sorenson, who parried it out.

Joey Barton almost latched on to the rebound, but instead of giving it to the unmarked Bobby Zamora in the box, he could only hit the side netting.

Both teams were looking to attack within the first half-hour, but neither could retain possession for long enough to create anything substantial. The home side then had to defend against several Rory Delap throw-ins and Stoke set-pieces but none provided any clear-cut chances for the visitors.

Later in the half, Zamora won the ball from Matthew Upson after the defender was caught hesitating. The former Fulham man drove at the Stoke box and provided a delightful cross for Barton, who should have scored with a free header but his effort was straight at the goalkeeper.

Just before the first half ended, a swift counter attack from the home side almost broke the deadlock, with some nice interplay ending in Zamora rolling the ball into the path of Mackie, but Sorensen rushed out bravely to gather.

Stoke began the second half well, with Crouch having a free header in the box. Minutes later, Ricardo Fuller had a superb curling effort, but his shot sailed just wide of the far post.

Substitute Cisse had the best chance of the half, producing a fantastic save from Sorensen. The Frenchman got ahead of his marker to head towards goal, but the outstretched arm of the Danish keeper denied the striker from putting QPR in the lead going into the final 10 minutes.

With only a minute left of normal time, the January signing may have made his biggest contribution so far, scoring a crucial goal for QPR as he finished an easy tap in from four yards out.

Nedum Onuhua rose high to head on the incoming ball to the back post from the corner, and Cisse had an easy chance to finish and seal a crucial victory for Mark Hughes' side.

Article

Hughes: Home record key to Stoke success

6 May 2012 05:51

Mark Hughes is hoping QPR can continue their recent fine form at Loftus Road against Stoke City on Sunday.

QPR sit outside the relegation zone, but only on goal difference with two games left.

However, their recent home record is good as they have beaten Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool amongst others at Loftus Road since Hughes took over although the Welshman is expecting another tough game.

"It is not going to be easy," Hughes told reporters.

"Stoke are a very accomplished Premier League side and Tony Pulis has done a great job there. It is going to be difficult because they put you under pressure and they've got good weapons.

"We'll have to be able to combat that but, in fairness, if we play as well as we have in our home games against the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Swansea then we'll be fine.

"That said, we certainly can't replicate what we did against Chelsea (last weekend when they suffered a 6-1 defeat)."

Rangers welcome back Adel Taarabt from suspension for the game against Stoke. The Moroccan could prove vital after his goals fired QPR to their wins over Arsenal and Spurs.

"Adel comes back into the picture," Hughes said.

"His form, certainly at home, has been very good. He has been scoring goals again, which is important.

"We have the option of Adel again and apart from Samba (Diakite), most of the guys are available."

Article

Premier League preview: QPR v Stoke

3 May 2012 23:40

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes will bank on his side's strong home form against Stoke in the Premier League on Sunday.

QPR were thrashed 6-1 away to Chelsea last week and return to their home ground fighting for survival in the English top flight.

Hughes' side have won their past four games at home, including victories over Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool, and have not been beaten on their own pitch since February.

QPR need a win to make sure they remain outside the relegation zone heading into the final weekend of the league.

The London club, who only moved up to the Premier League this season, are in 17th, a spot outside the relegation places and equal on 34 points with Bolton, who are in the relegation zone.

Hughes' team face league-leaders Manchester City on the final day of the season, meaning that Sunday's clash with Stoke is QPR's last realistic chance of a win.

In a positive for Hughes and his players, Stoke are on a four-game winless streak and have not tasted success away from home in eight league matches.

Hughes will have defensive midfielder Samba Diakite available again after illness.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis' main concern will be where the goals come from.

Pulis' side have scored the least amount of goals in the league this season and have only managed 11 goals in 18 away games.

Stoke have won just once in the past nine league games including a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle in their most recent away match on April 21.

Pulis' team is currently 13th on the league table with 44 points and while they cannot be relegated, Stoke will want to finish off their season in a more positive fashion.

After their game against QPR, Stoke take on Bolton on the final day of the season, so they will play a major role in the relegation battle despite not being in danger themselves.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25