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17:03 26th December 2012
By  @OfficialQPR


QPR suffered the post-Christmas blues as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road on Boxing Day.

The R’s went behind to a first half wonder strike from Chris Brunt before Rob Green’s own goal doubled the visitors’ advantage.

Djbril Cisse’s second half goal gave the R's hope but a wonder save from Ben Foster prevented a second whilst Stephen Mbia was denied an injury time penalty as Rangers suffered their second successive Barclays Premier League defeat.

Redknapp made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 at Newcastle on Saturday. Ryan Nelsen missed the match after coming down with flu and was replaced by Armand Traore whilst Shaun Wright-Phillips was favoured over Esteban Granero.

Kick-off had been delayed by 15 minutes after Albion arrived late due to traffic problems and that allowed Rangers to start brightly after Adel Taarabt capitalised on a poor West Brom clearance Stephen Mbia flashed a right-footed effort wide of the post from the edge of the area inside the opening 60 seconds.

Ten minutes later Taarabt found Fabio down the right wing and his cross deflected off Youssouf Mulumbu forcing Ben Foster to turn the ball out for a corner to the R’s. 

That corner came to nothing but in the 23rd minute a great run by Wright-Phillips down the left flank saw the diminutive winger pick out Jamie Mackie inside the West Brom penalty area but he was unable to guide his glancing header on target.

However, with their first real chance the visitors took the lead in the 29th minute through Captain Chris Brunt. Rangers failed to close the Baggies skipper down and a full 30-yards from goal his strike beat R’s keeper Rob Green in his bottom left-hand corner.

James Morrison then went close to adding a second a minute later with a looping volley, before Mbia responded for the home side with his own long range shot that forced Foster to push it out for a corner. Taarabt’s resulting set piece only found the roof of the West Brom net.

And on the stroke of half-time a defensive mix-up at the back for Rangers allowed Zoltan Gera to get a shot away just inside the box but fortunately for QPR it went wide of Green’s left-hand post before James Morrison also beat Green from distance but also found the advertising hoardings. 

Some frantic defending after the restart from Rangers allowed Romelu Lukaku to poke an effort in on Green’s goal but the R’s stopper dealt with the threat comfortably before Brunt had to guide Taarabt’s right wing free-kick over the bar. The resulting corner saw Mbia head back out to taker Taarabt, withthe Cameroonian then heading Taarabt’s second cross over Fosters bar.

As play switched to the other end Anton Ferdinand nearly turned Billy Jones cross into his own net before Albion doubled their advantage thanks to an own goal from Rob Green. 

Brunt’s hanging corner saw Green under his own crossbar and with Gera putting the custodian under pressure he scooped it into his own net despite Rangers protests for a free-kick to referee Chris Foy.

Green prevented a third for the visitors in the 58th minute as West Brom continued to pile the pressure on Rangers. The R’s keeper closed down Lukaku to block at the Chelsea loanees feet before Mulumbu fired wide of the target moments later.

Lukaku was thwarted again by Green as he beat the offside trap only for the R’s keeper to block with his legs 10-yards out. 

That save seemed to spur QPR on and they gave themselves a chance through striker Djbril Cisse in the 66th minute. Latching onto Mbia’s defence splitting ball Cisse timed his run to perfection before lifting the ball over Foster to make it 2-1.

Jamie Mackie tested Foster from distance before Taarabt also signalled his intentions with a long ranger. 

West Brom did get the ball in the net again five minutes from time but Marc-Antoine Fortune was offside before Ben Foster made a wonder save for the Baggies a minute from time when he got down quickly to his left to somehow save Clint Hill’s header.

Rangers were left incensed in injury time when they were denied a clear cut penalty when Mbia’s header back across goal was handled by Liam Ridgewell but not given by referee Foy as Rangers were defeated.
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