Thursday 19 April 2018

QPR woes deepen

Jason Puncheon, centre, earned Southampton a crucial three points
Jason Puncheon, centre, earned Southampton a crucial three points

Under-fire QPR boss Mark Hughes saw his side's winless start to the Barclays Premier League season extend to a 12th match as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Southampton.

Rickie Lambert bundled home his fifth of the season after 23 minutes to put the Saints ahead before Jason Puncheon doubled the advantage from the edge of the box at the end of the first half.

Junior Hoilett clawing one back four minutes into the second half but that was to be as good as it got for QPR as Southampton wrapped up victory when Anton Ferdinand deflected home Morgan Schneiderlin's late cross.

Home captain Adam Lallana came close in the seventh minute, firing just over after a neat one-two with Gaston Ramirez and Saints were back on the attack in the 23nd minute, Lambert seeing an effort deflected behind.

When the resulting corner was not cleared properly, Ramirez pulled back for Jose Fonte, whose shot was prodded goalwards by Puncheon and Lambert showed his strength to bundle home.

Jack Cork tested Julio Cesar as Saints pushed for another and it came on the stroke of half-time when Puncheon collected the ball from Nathaniel Clyne, turning Alejandro Faurlin to fire home a left-footed strike.

The west Londoners began the second half brightly and, after Paulo Gazzaniga dealt with a Djibril Cisse volley, Rangers reduced the deficit as Adel Taarabt floated in a cross for Hoilett to nod home unchallenged in the 49th minute.

Julio Cesar denied Maya Yoshida scissor-kick 10 minutes from time but Saints would secure victory as Puncheon played a short corner to Schneiderlin, the Frenchman's cross squeezing in off Ferdinand at Cesar's near post.

Press Association

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