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PRE-SEASON MATCH REPORT: QPR 1, ATALANTA 1

  • Rangers drew with Italians Atalanta at Loftus Road today (Sunday), in QPR's final pre-season fixture
  • Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored in the second half for the R's
  • New signing James Perch played the full 90 minutes, ahead of Championship opener against Charlton Athletic next weekend

QPR drew 1-1 with Italian Serie A side Atalanta at Loftus Road, in the final fixture of Rangers’ pre-season campaign.


Substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored soon after his arrival in the second half, to cancel out Jasmin Kurtic’s earlier blockbuster.


Chris Ramsey's Hoops start their Championship season in just six days’ time, at Charlton Athletic next Saturday. 


Rangers lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation from the beginning against Atalanta, with Rob Green in goal.


New signing James Perch, captain Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill and Cole Kpekawa made up QPR’s defence.


In midfield, Massimo Luongo and Ale Faurlin were deployed just in front of the back four. Matt Phillips, Tjaronn Chery and Ben Gladwin took up more advanced roles, with Sebastian Polter leading the line in attack.


Charlie Austin, Leroy Fer and Jamie Mackie, among others, missed out owing to minor injuries.


Rangers started well enough but it was Atalanta who enjoyed the better of the early chances.


Both Maxi Moralez and Marco D’Alessandro fired wide in the opening stages, and it was the Italian visitors who took the lead in the 14th minute following a stunning strike.


Gladwin’s clearance looped up into the path of Kurtic on 20 yards, who in turn thumped an unstoppable volley home past Green and into the top right-hand corner.


QPR responded by going close in the 23rd minute, though Polter’s low drive from fully 25 yards crept just past the foot of the post.


In the 37th minute, the R’s went closer still. First, Chery struck the left-hand post with a free-kick after Luongo was hacked down, while, seconds later, Marco Sportiello in the Atalanta goal was forced into a double save to keep out both Chery and Gladwin.


Phillips shot straight into the arms of the goalkeeper just before half-time.


Rangers made one change at the break, with trialist Grant Hall replacing Kpekawa. Karl Henry was also introduced in the 55th minute.


A minute later, Atalanta should have extended their lead when the ball broke kindly for Gaetano Monachello 10 yards from goal, but he somehow skewed wide.


More substitutions followed for Rangers, with both Samba Diakite and Emmanuel-Thomas brought on in the 61st minute.


And the latter’s impact was almost instant, as Emmanuel-Thomas drew QPR level two minutes later.


Polter showed good strength to hold off his marker before crossing for the forward, who skilfully sidestepped a defender before shooting home with the aid of a deflection.


Moments later, Emmanuel-Thomas was involved again when he broke down the left before crossing low into the box. His centre was met by Chery at the back post, who fired into the side-netting from a tight angle.


Both sides enjoyed chances in the closing stages. For Atalanta, Richmond Boakye headed just past the post from a free-kick, while Michael Doughty blazed well over for Rangers.


However, it ended honours even in W12.


Next stop – The Valley.


QPR: Green, Onuoha (Furlong 71), Hill, Phillips (Hoilett 67), Chery (Doughty 65), Gladwin (Emmanuel-Thomas 61), Polter (Blackwood 65), Faurlin (Diakite 61), Luongo (Henry 55), Perch, Kpekawa (Hall 46).


Subs not used: Lumley, Grego-Cox, Comley, Gobern.


Goals: QPR – Emmanuel-Thomas (63); Atalanta – Kurtic (14)