QPR 1 Stoke City 0
A match of high drama came to the most dramatic conclusion as QPR’s Djibril Cisse fired home from close range in the 89th minute to spark scenes of mass delirium at Loftus Road.
At the same time West Brom’s James Morrison volleyed in to snatch an unlikely draw for his team at Bolton, pushing them closer to the relegation trap door and easing QPR’s own relegation fears. Bolton now must win next weekend at Stoke City to stand any chance of surviving.
Loftus Road was bursting at the seams as the Rangers faithful knew that this match was vital to their Premiership survival. Mark Hughes set up his team in a cautious formation, resisting the claims of Cisse for a starting berth, mindful of the need to try and dominate the midfield. The 4-5-1 set up, with Zamora as the lone striker had worked perfectly in the most recent home victories over Liverpool, Swansea, Arsenal and Tottenham, but there was a growing feeling amongst the supporters that the team needed to be more positive as a win was paramount.
The first half was a predictable stalemate, Stoke relying on long balls to their plethora of giant strikers, whilst Rangers’ neat football lacked a cutting edge.
A change needed to be made and Cisse entered the fray on 50 minutes. Rangers upped the ante, more possession, more territory but they just couldn’t find the final touch. The tension grew, the crowd got louder and more nervous in equal measure, the chances increased, the pressure was building, Sorenson made a dramatic one handed save to deny Cisse’s glancing header. Could they do it and on 89 minutes, Taarabt’s corner was flicked on by Ferdinand and there was Cisse….the net bulges and Loftus Road erupted. QPR live to fight another day.
6 May 2012