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16:00 24th August 2014


THREE first-half goals put pay to QPR’s hopes of leaving from Tottenham Hotspur with anything on Sunday.

A double from Nacer Chadli either side of Eric Dier’s header did the damage inside the opening 45 minutes, while Emmanuel Adebayor compounded the R’s misery with a fourth midway through the second half.

The scoreline capped a miserable return for boss Harry Redknapp back at White Hart Lane, as Rangers endured a torrid afternoon in north London.

Redknapp – returning to his old club for the first time since leaving in 2012 – made three changes from the R’s opening day defeat to Hull City, including debuts for Mauricio Isla and Leroy Fer. Isla took Danny Simpson’s spot on the right-hand side of a five-man defence, while Ale Faurlin made way for Fer in the centre of midfield.

Injury meant Charlie Austin missed out altogether, replaced by Matty Phillips in attack.

Spurs settled quickest, forcing a mistake out of Armand Traore within 60 seconds which almost proved fatal. His misplaced pass allowed Erik Lamela an early shot at goal, but was relieved to see the forward’s effort deflect wide. Adebayor threatened next on 10 minutes, but the striker couldn’t keep his header down.

Adebayor would play a telling part less than a minute later, turning provider for Spurs’ opener. His cross found Chadli at the back post, who controlled with his chest before cleverly dinking the ball over Rob Green.

Despite being second best in the opening stages, Rangers carved out a glorious opportunity to level 20 minutes in. Joey Barton’s pinpoint pass over the top released Phillips who, after jinking inside his marker, contrived to chip the ball over the crossbar with the goal gaping.

Rangers were almost made to rue the missed chance immediately as Spurs rattled the woodwork from a set-piece moments later. Christian Eriksen took aim from 25 yards, sending his free-kick crashing back off the underside of the crossbar.

Respite was brief, however, as Rangers soon found themselves 2-0 behind. Lamela’s corner was met by Dier, who thundered his header beyond Green’s clutches at the front post. 

Two became three eight minutes before the break. Lamela danced his way into a crossing position from the left, giving Chadli the simplest task of guiding his header past Green.

The three-goal swing forced Redknapp into a change at the interval, both in personnel and formation. Nedum Onuoha replaced Richard Dunne as Rangers lined-up in a 4-4-2 system for the resumption.

It was another defender who came close to pulling a goal back four minutes after the re-start. Steven Caulker climbed highest from Barton’s corner but saw his header flash wide.

At the other end, Lamela burst onto Adebayor’s through ball but Rio Ferdinand did well to usher the striker’s run out for a goalkick. Eriksen tried his luck moments later but blazed over from long range.

20 minutes into the second half and Spurs had a fourth goal, though. Chadli and Danny Rose’s link-up down the left flank left the R’s defence trailing, allowing the latter to square for Adebayor to slide home first-timed from 12 yards.

Faurlin and Bobby Zamora came off the bench at the expense of Fer and Phillips respectively, as Rangers looked for some kind of consolation late on.

And Hugo Lloris was belatedly called into action 12 minutes from time. Caulker reacted quickest to a loose ball but his snapshot was comfortable enough for the French goalkeeper, while Zamora blasted over from a tight angle late on.

Thereafter the hosts saw out the closing stages with relative ease, content with victory while Redknapp and co. will have to pick themselves up quickly ahead of a visit from Sunderland on Saturday.

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