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17:00 7th March 2015


QPR missed the chance to move out of the Premier League bottom three after a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Suffering defeat by the same scoreline for the second time in four days, two goals from Harry Kane proved enough for the visitors at Loftus Road.

Sandro’s first for Rangers – opening his account against his former employers – threatened a late comeback but to no avail.

Both sides struck the woodwork in a hotly-contested London derby, with the crossbar denying both Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin, while Rangers had strong penalty appeals turned down in either half during a frustrating afternoon for Chris Ramsey’s side in W12.

Ramsey made two changes from the midweek defeat to Arsenal.

Darnell Furlong – who made his home professional debut on Wednesday night – missed out through injury, while Junior Hoilett dropped to the bench. In their places came Rio Ferdinand and Mauricio Isla, who lined-up on the right-hand side of midfield in front of Nedum Onuoha.

There were also inclusions for Under-21s duo Brandon Comley and Reece Grego-Cox on the bench.

Meanwhile, Joey Barton sat out the second of his three-game suspension.

Rangers, knowing victory would take them above the drop zone, came flying out of the traps. After Austin’s shot was blocked inside the six-yard box, Bobby Zamora’s looping header flicked off the angle of the crossbar with the game less than 45 seconds old.

Spurs soon responded and, but for an instinctive save from Rob Green, could have been ahead on six minutes. Kyle Walker’s cross was met by Kane, whose stooping header was somehow turned over from point-blank range by Green.

Green and co. were relieved to see Jan Vertonghen waste the visitors’ next opening, failing to control Kane’s cross from the opposite flank.

Despite controlling the opening 20 minutes, Spurs had Hugo Lloris to thank for twice denying Austin a certain opener. The striker looked to profit from Walker’s underhit back header but the Frenchman was a split second quicker to the ball to scramble the ball clear.

Seconds later and Matt Phillips was next to threaten. The winger latched onto Austin’s lay-off only to drive his volley wide of Lloris’ left-hand upright.

The pair combined again just before the half-hour mark – with only the woodwork denying the R’s this time. After manoeuvring onto Phillips’ pass, Austin thundered a left-footed shot which cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar.

To compile the R’s frustration, it was Spurs who edged ahead against the run of play five minutes later. Andros Townsend’s inswinging free-kick was flicked on by Kane, beating Green to the ball to head the visitors in front.

Controversy ensued soon after when Rangers were aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty. Isla fell to the floor after seemingly being caught by Lloris’ trailing leg, but referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.

Meanwhile, Green ensured the deficit was just one going into half-time. The R’s goalkeeper was at full stretch to smother Walker’s shot, scampering across to gather at the second attempt.

The woodwork came to the R’s rescue seconds after the re-start. Christian Eriksen took aim from 25 yards, seeing his speculative shot come back off the far post.

Green and co. were relieved again when Townsend sliced over from 18 yards, while Eriksen wasted a similar opportunity soon after.

At the other end, Zamora forced Lloris into action with a blistering volley from the by-line.

It was almost 2-0 on the hour-mark, though. Following Walker’s foray into the box, Eriksen was set to tuck home the rebound before a miraculous goal-line clearance from Austin rescued the situation.

Tempers frayed shortly after as Karl Henry and Ryan Mason clashed, with Henry eventually cautioned for a foul on his midfield counterpart.

Mason would play his part in the Spurs’ second goal from their next attack. Kane beat the offside trap to latch onto Mason’s through ball, coolly rounding Green to slide into an empty net.

Ramsey made his first change of the afternoon in response, replacing Isla with Hoilett.

And just like three days earlier, Rangers revived hopes of a comeback by halving the deficit – this time with 15 minutes to go. Sandro provided the goal, cleverly curling the ball into the bottom corner from Zamora’s lay-off.

Rangers threw bodies forward in search of a second, and were furious when the referee waved away appeals for another penalty after Nabil Bentaleb appeared to block with his hands.

The R’s faithful were on their feet again when Hoilett came close to providing the equaliser. The winger outmuscled Walker inside the box but couldn’t prevent his shot curling over.

With two minutes of normal time remaining, Henry was withdrawn as Grego-Cox came on for his senior debut.

Four minutes of stoppage time followed, within which Shaun Wright-Phillips replaced goalscorer Sandro, but Rangers couldn’t find the equaliser their performance arguably deserved.

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