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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:00 23rd September 2012

AN ALE Faurlin own goal as well as another from Jermain Defoe saw Tottenham Hotspur come from behind to take all three points against QPR at White Hart Lane.

A proverbial game of two halves, Rangers were rewarded for a fine first-half display when Bobby Zamora put the visitors in front on 33 minutes.

But Spurs – who were on the back foot for much of the first half – were much better after the half-time break and were level on the hour mark when Faurlin put through his own net from a corner.

Victory was secured for the hosts just a minute later when Defoe reacted first to the loose ball when Julio Cesar tipped a Gareth Bale attempt on to the crossbar.

Injuries forced Rangers boss Mark Hughes into three changes for the short trip to North London.

Fabio da Silva, Anton Ferdinand (both hamstring) and Andy Johnson (anterior cruciate ligament) all missed out, with Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill and Junior Hoilett deputising.

Already without a number of regular first teamers, Hughes was made to change things again after only three minutes when Jose Bosingwa limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring complaint. Kieron Dyer took his place.

The enforced substitution didn’t hamper Rangers too much though, who went close when Hill’s headed attempt from an Esteban Granero corner saw Brad Friedel fling to pull off a stunning stop soon after.

Defoe flashed a shot wide for Spurs in the tenth minute but it was the R’s who were making the greater inroads towards goal – exemplified when Hoilett’s stinging half-volley forced Friedel into another fine save on 14 minutes.

Rangers were now on top and would fashion another attempt on 24 minutes when Ryan Nelsen headed over from a Shaun Wright-Phillips corner.

All that QPR needed for their positive first-half display was a goal – something which duly arrived in the 33rd minute.

More tidy build-up play from the visitors saw Faurlin prod a fantastic slide-rule pass into the path of Zamora, who produced a neat finish to put the Hoops ahead from ten yards.

Rangers could have even doubled their lead going into the break had Hoilett’s blast from range beaten Friedel, with the veteran goalkeeper diving low to produce a smart parry.

Spurs introduced Steven Caulker at the interval in place of Gylfi Sigurdsson, allowing Gareth Bale to venture further forward.

The home side started the second half brightly as a consequence and went close when Clint Dempsey’s long-range fizzer forced Cesar into a low block.

Tottenham put themselves on terms in the 60th minute – albeit with a helping hand from the visitors. 

Caulker rose highest to meet Bale’s corner, before the ball ricocheted off Faurlin and into the net.

And just a minute later, Spurs were ahead.

Andre-Villas Boas’ charges broke on the counter attack and, when Bale’s shot was tipped on to the bar by Cesar, Defoe nipped in to tap home a Tottenham second.

Spurs were much better after half-time and would soon go close to adding a third goal on two occasions. Dempsey dragged a shot just wide with an effort from distance, before Cesar saved well at point-blank range from Bale.

At the other end, only an excellent last-ditch intervention from Jan Vertonghen prevented Hoilett from pulling the trigger in the box after he was freed by Zamora.

Rangers brought on Djibril Cisse in place of Zamora on 73 minutes as they went in search of an equaliser, but it was Spurs who went close to adding another goal two minutes later after Hill blocked Defoe’s effort on the goal-line.

The R’s pressed for a leveller late on but, despite their best efforts, it just proved beyond them.
    Data provided by Press Association
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