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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Saturday, 12 March 2011

QPR   2 - 1   Crystal Palace

Heidar Helguson

QPR 2-1 Crystal Palace

By Marc Vesty

Heidar Helguson scored twice to help over-power 10-man Crystal Palace and edge Queens Park Rangers closer to promotion to the Premier League.

Striker Helguson slid Adel Taarabt's cross in at the back post to give the dominant home side a deserved lead.

The visitors equalised against the run of play when James Vaughan slotted into the left corner from six yards.

Captain Patrick McCarthy was sent off when he pulled back Taarabt in the box and Helguson stroked in the spot-kick.

With the two London sides battling desperately for points at either end of the Championship table there was a rousing atmosphere at Loftus Road.

The pre-match signs were ominous for relegation-threatened Palace, who had failed to win in 12 games on the road, while season-long table-toppers QPR boasted the best home record in the league.

Unsurprisingly, it was Rangers who dominated possession. Captain Taarabt, so often their creative focal point this season, was involved in the best early chance when he fired a low drive wide of Julian Speroni's right post from the edge of the box.

The game came at the end of a difficult week for Rangers, who have the threat of a points deduction hanging over them after being hit with seven FA charges over irregularities in the signing of Alejandro Faurlin in 2009.

But if Neil Warnock's side were distracted by fears their Premier League dream could be ruined by off-field turmoil, it did not show.

Moroccan Taarabt fired a warning shot at the visitors when he whipped over a vicious cross, which Helguson missed by millimetres at the back post.

Minutes later the same duo combined to more devastating effect. This time Taarabt received the ball on the edge of the box and his scuffed shot found Helguson, again lingering on the back post, and the Icelander slid in his 11th goal of the season.

Oozing confidence, Taarabt, whose assist was his 19th in the Championship this season - nine more than any other player - continued to pull the strings, a 20-yard effort testing Speroni.

Helguson met another cross as Rangers completely dominated the game but the striker headed over the bar from Tommy Smith's deep cross.

Despite being in almost total control, the QPR defence were caught napping as Vaughan latched on to Darren Ambrose's through-ball just inside the area and the Everton loanee slotted in the equaliser.

But a full scale Palace renaissance failed to materialise, with the half-time break interrupting their momentum.

QPR came out recharged and won a penalty when Wayne Routledge's ball found Taarabt in the box but, before he could shoot, the midfielder was felled by a rash challenge from McCarthy, which saw the centre-back receive a red card.

Helguson nonchalantly rolled the penalty down the centre to put the home side ahead once more.

Moments later, in an incident which could merit more investigation by the Football Association, bottles were thrown towards QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, who was standing in front of the Palace fans.

Once tensions amongst the crowd calmed, so too did the game, petering out as Palace ran out of steam and QPR of imagination.

Helguson missed out on a hat-trick when he struck the post from Smith's cross.

But the result was enough to take QPR 10 points clear of third-placed Norwich with nine games to play, while Palace remain fourth from bottom, four points clear of third-bottom Scunthorpe, who have a game in hand.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Npower Championship

Home Team Score Away Team Time
QPR 2-1 Crystal Palace FT
(HT 1-1)
  • Helguson 20
  • Helguson (pen) 54
  • Vaughan 40

QPR

  • 01 Kenny
  • 02 Orr
  • 03 Hill
  • 05 Hall
  • 13 Gorkss
  • 04 Derry
  • 07 Taarabt yellow card (Buzsaky 89)
  • 11 Faurlin
  • 15 Routledge
  • 09 Helguson
  • 21 Smith (Ephraim 86)

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny,
  • 16 Connolly,
  • 39 Chimbonda,
  • 10 Buzsaky,
  • 25 Ephraim,
  • 20 Hulse,
  • 29 Miller

Crystal Palace

  • 01 Speroni
  • 02 Clyne
  • 03 Wright (Zaha 75)
  • 05 McCarthy red card
  • 29 Moxey
  • 31 Gardner
  • 07 Ambrose
  • 08 Danns yellow card
  • 34 Dikgacoi yellow card
  • 09 Iversen (Davis 55)
  • 20 Vaughan yellow card (Easter 62)

Substitutes

  • 13 Price,
  • 04 Davis,
  • 33 Agustien,
  • 14 Scannell,
  • 16 Zaha,
  • 19 Easter,
  • 32 Counago
Ref: AtkinsonAtt: 18,116
QPR
CRYSTAL PALACE

Possession

  • QPR 55%
  • Crystal Palace 45%

Attempts on target

  • QPR 7
  • Crystal Palace 2

Attempts off target

  • QPR 7
  • Crystal Palace 3

Corners

  • QPR 5
  • Crystal Palace 2

Fouls

  • QPR 6
  • Crystal Palace 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:41 The referee ends the match.
  • 90:00+2:40 Handball decision goes against Neil Danns. Clint Hill takes the free kick.
  • 90:00+1:46 Corner taken short by Akos Buzsaky.
  • 88:37 Substitution Akos Buzsaky comes on in place of Adel Taarabt.
  • 88:03 Darren Ambrose takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Kaspars Gorkss.
  • 85:13 Substitution Hogan Ephraim replaces Tommy Smith.
  • 84:28 Darren Ambrose takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Shaun Derry manages to make a clearance.
  • 82:44 The referee blows for offside. Claude Davis takes the indirect free kick.
  • 82:44 Booking The referee books Adel Taarabt for dissent.
  • 81:28 Kagisho Dikgacoi challenges Heidar Helguson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Patrick Kenny takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:28 Booking Kagisho Dikgacoi receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 80:16 Unfair challenge on Jermaine Easter by Kaspars Gorkss results in a free kick. Darren Ambrose takes the free kick.
  • 79:28 Header from close range by Kaspars Gorkss misses to the right of the target.
  • 78:58 Claude Davis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Heidar Helguson. Free kick taken by Adel Taarabt.
  • 78:26 Foul by Kaspars Gorkss on Jermaine Easter, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Kagisho Dikgacoi.
  • 77:39 Foul by Jermaine Easter on Fitz Hall, free kick awarded. Patrick Kenny takes the free kick.
  • 77:02 Alejandro Faurlin takes a shot. Save by Julian Speroni.
  • 76:10 Corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt, Shot by Shaun Derry. Blocked by Claude Davis.
  • 74:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tommy Smith by Neil Danns. Direct free kick taken by Clint Hill.
  • 74:09 Substitution David Wright leaves the field to be replaced by Wilfried Zaha.
  • 71:33 Corner taken short by Adel Taarabt.
  • 63:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Neil Danns on Heidar Helguson. Direct free kick taken by Adel Taarabt.
  • 62:45 Darren Ambrose takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 61:51 Substitution Jermaine Easter on for James Vaughan.
  • 61:39 Adel Taarabt has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.
  • 59:32 Fitz Hall challenges James Vaughan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Ambrose has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • 58:21 Wayne Routledge is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Anthony Gardner.
  • 54:22 Substitution Claude Davis is brought on as a substitute for Steffen Iversen.
  • 53:55 Penalty awarded for a foul by Patrick McCarthy on Adel Taarabt.
  • 53:55 GOAL - Heidar HelgusonQPR 2 - 1 Crystal Palace Heidar Helguson scores a penalty. QPR 2-1 Crystal Palace.
  • 52:49 Sent off Patrick McCarthy sent off.
  • 52:33 The assist for the goal came from Adel Taarabt.
  • 49:31 Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Patrick McCarthy.
  • 49:13 Heidar Helguson takes a shot. Julian Speroni makes a save.
  • 48:09 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt from the right by-line to the near post, Patrick McCarthy manages to make a clearance.
  • 47:30 Corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt to the near post, David Wright makes a clearance.
  • 46:39 Shot by Darren Ambrose. Patrick Kenny makes a save.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:50 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 45:00+1:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nathaniel Clyne on Tommy Smith. Direct free kick taken by Fitz Hall.
  • 44:34 Shot on goal by Wayne Routledge from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 42:04 Effort on goal by David Wright from long distance goes over the crossbar.
  • 41:24 Alejandro Faurlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Wright. Patrick McCarthy takes the direct free kick.
  • 39:40 Darren Ambrose provided the assist for the goal.
  • 39:40 GOAL - James VaughanQPR 1 - 1 Crystal Palace James Vaughan finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. QPR 1-1 Crystal Palace.
  • 38:44 Steffen Iversen handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.
  • 38:19 The offside flag is raised against Heidar Helguson. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.
  • 37:38 Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Dean Moxey.
  • 36:35 Unfair challenge on Clint Hill by Neil Danns results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.
  • 36:35 Booking Neil Danns goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 35:42 Header from close range by Heidar Helguson clears the bar.
  • 34:21 James Vaughan challenges Fitz Hall unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.
  • 29:39 Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Save made by Julian Speroni.
  • 23:56 Adel Taarabt produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
  • 19:07 Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Assist by Adel Taarabt.
  • 19:07 GOAL - Heidar HelgusonQPR 1 - 0 Crystal Palace Heidar Helguson fires in a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. QPR 1-0 Crystal Palace.
  • 18:00 Heidar Helguson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Julian Speroni takes the free kick.
  • 16:39 Kaspars Gorkss concedes a free kick for a foul on Steffen Iversen. Darren Ambrose delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.
  • 14:19 Steffen Iversen fouled by Shaun Derry, the ref awards a free kick. Patrick McCarthy takes the free kick.
  • 7:41 Adel Taarabt has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
  • 6:40 James Vaughan concedes a free kick for a foul on Kaspars Gorkss. Patrick Kenny takes the free kick.
  • 6:40 Booking James Vaughan goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 0:51 The referee blows for offside against Tommy Smith. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Npower Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 12 Mar 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 QPR 37 36 73
2 Swansea 37 16 63
3 Norwich 36 13 63
4 Cardiff 36 14 61
5 Leeds 37 11 61
6 Nott'm Forest 37 14 60
7 Burnley 35 9 56
8 Hull 37 4 55
9 Leicester 37 1 55
10 Reading 36 17 54
11 Watford 36 12 53
12 Millwall 37 11 53
13 Portsmouth 37 1 51
14 Bristol City 36 -4 47
15 Ipswich 36 0 46
16 Barnsley 36 -10 46
17 Doncaster 37 -17 44
18 Derby 37 -5 43
19 Coventry 36 -8 41
20 Middlesbrough 36 -9 41
21 Crystal Palace 37 -22 38
22 Scunthorpe 36 -30 34
23 Sheff Utd 37 -27 32
24 Preston 35 -27 25