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Premier League: QPR 2 Arsenal 1

Queens Park Rangers’ unlikely bid for English Premier League survival continued with a surprise 2-1 win at home to Arsenal on Saturday.

Faced with the arguably the toughest run-in of any team in relegation trouble, the hopes promoted side QPR harboured of escaping the drop had already been written off by most observers.

But Mark Hughes’ team backed up their shock 3-2 victory at home to Liverpool on March 21 with an equally improbable triumph over Champions League-chasing Arsenal.

The hosts went in front 21 minutes into the match at Loftus Road courtesy of Adel Taarabt’s first goal this season.

Gathering a pass mid-way into Arsenal’s half, the Morocco international shrugged off the attentions of Thomas Vermaelen, before bearing down and goal and dispatching a well-taken strike beyond goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal equalised in the 37th minute, with Theo Walcott netting on the rebound from his own shot, which struck a post before bouncing kindly for the England winger.

The heavyweight visitors might have been expected to push on and take control of proceedings.

But it was QPR who forced the decisive goal, with the unfortunate Vermaelen again at fault.

The Belgian centre-back’s slip allowed Jamie Mackie to advance into the area and set up Samba Diakite, who guided the ball home to make it 2-1.

QPR remain inside the relegation zone on goal difference, but are level on points with Blackburn Rovers and just one point back from Bolton Wanderers.

With fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur not in action until Sunday, Arsenal remain third, despite failing to win for the first time from their last seven outings in all competitions.

Sat 31 March, 2012
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