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16:50 10th January 2015


RANGERS were defeated once again on the road, this time following a 2-1 reverse against relegation rivals Burnley at Turf Moor.

The home side took the lead in the 12th minute through Scott Arfield, before former Clarets hotshot Charlie Austin restored parity from the penalty spot.

But Burnley would run out the eventual victors, Danny Ings on target in the 37th minute to clinch all three points for Sean Dyche’s charges.

Rangers went into the fixture looking to avoid setting a new and unwanted Premier League record.

Defeat would mean QPR’s tenth in succession away from home since the beginning of the campaign. 

Hoops boss Harry Redknapp surprised many by naming Adel Taarabt in his starting line-up for the first time in the league this season, while recent loan arrival Mauro Zarate began from the bench.

There were seven changes for Rangers in total following our FA Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield United at Loftus Road on Sunday. Redknapp’s team set up in a 4-4-1-1 formation, Taarabt deployed just behind Austin.

Hosts Burnley, meanwhile, named an unchanged side for the seventh consecutive league outing.

Difficult, blustery conditions were present at Turf Moor and some inclement weather was sure to play its part.

High winds meant there was an element of unpredictability from the start but both sides appeared to settle relatively well.

Burnley had the first chance of note on nine minutes, George Boyd driving low – and straight at Rob Green.

But the home side would take the lead with their next attack.

It was a super solo effort from Arfield, the midfielder skipping past both Mauricio Isla and Richard Dunne before sliding the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from 10 yards.

R’s captain Joey Barton almost levelled for Rangers moments later when he blasted only inches over the target. Austin then went even closer for QPR in the 16th minute when he smashed an effort against the post.

Falling behind appeared to spark Rangers into life and it wasn’t long before Leroy Fer sent another effort just wide. Taarabt, meanwhile, seemed to be enjoying this maiden start.

Chances dried up as the half-hour mark approached, though Clint Hill did go close from a corner in the 30th minute, shooting just wide under pressure.

However, the R’s would equalise three minutes later from the penalty spot. 

After a lovely move involving Isla, Eduardo Vargas and Taarabt, Austin went down in the box under challenge from Dean Marney – and referee Andre Marriner awarded the penalty.

Austin himself stepped up to take the kick and made no mistake thereafter, drilling low past former R’s loanee Tom Heaton from 12-yards out.

Two minutes later, there was almost a second goal for Rangers – Vargas forcing Heaton into a fantastic, one-handed save after the Chilean’s dipping half-volley.

Burnley would regain their lead going into half-time. Ings capitalised when QPR failed to clear their lines and when the striker broke free of Steven Caulker and Dunne, he finished past Green from close range eight minutes before the interval.

The second period began in scrappy fashion though Ashley Barnes did force Green into a smart stop six minutes in.

At the other end, Barton’s long-range blockbuster was fumbled by Heaton, before Austin was flagged offside on the follow-up.

The game ebbed and flowed as the second half progressed. Rangers pressed forward in desperate search of another levelling goal, Burnley themselves expansive as they looked for a third strike.

Vargas powered a header at Heaton from a Taarabt free-kick in the 63rd minute, while Burnley then broke and Ings fired just wide.

Redknapp opted for a substitution in the 69th minute and it was an attacking one, Bobby Zamora on for Karl Henry.

Ings could have wrapped things up for Burnley when he was played through on goal with 15 minutes left to play. However, when attempting to round Green, he ran the ball out for a goal kick.

Moments later, Rangers made two more changes. Armand Traore and Zarate replaced Hill and Vargas respectively. 

Fer shot at Heaton in the 79th minute, as did Austin a minute on.

For Burnley, Michael Keane forced Green into a stunning stop at point-blank range, following a corner kick.

QPR almost drew level in second half stoppage time, Heaton fashioning a stunning save to thwart Caulker after an R's set-piece up the other end.

Unfortunately for Rangers, there was no further goalmouth action, spelling defeat once more on their travels.
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