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- Saints earn first away points of the season
- Rickie Lambert gave Saints a first-half lead
- Jason Puncheon doubled the advantage right on half-time
- Junior Hoilett pulled one back for the hosts after the break
- Anton Ferdinand's late own-goal sealed the result
- Match dubbed 'El Sackico' due to the pressure on both managers
Saints get a vital first away win of the season against a shambolic QPR. Reading's win against Everton means that Nigel Adkins' men remain 19th in the table, but there will be a much improved atmosphere around St Mary's this week.
FULL-TIME: QPR 1 Saints 3.
GOAL: QPR 1 Saints 3 (Ferdinand OG 84): That should do it. QPR fall asleep from a short corner, and Morgan Schneiderlin's low ball is turned in at the near post by Anton Ferdinand's outstretched leg.
CHANCE: Cesar makes a superb stop in the 80th minute, diving to his left to keep out Maya Yoshida's acrobatic effort, after Lambert had picked out the defender with a knockdown from Puncheon's corner.
SAINTS SUB: Luke Shaw goes off after a fine performance, to be replaced by Danny Fox (74 minutes)
CHANCE: Taarabt releases Cisse down the left channel in the 72nd minute. He cuts inside the backtracking Schneiderlin, but skews his shot well wide of the far post. Moments later, Puncheon flashes a low shot across goal from a tight angle, with Cesar just able to tip it wide.
CHANCE: Rickie Lambert nods a cross back into the path of Jason Puncheon, who is unmarked 12 yards out. But the midfielder wastes a glorious chance by snatching at his shot and dragging it wide in the 65th minute. Puncheon then hits a ferocious 20-yard drive just wide a minute later.
SAINTS SUB: Gaston Ramirez is withdrawn, with Steven Davis coming on in his place (62 minutes).
GOAL: QPR 1 Saints 2 (Hoilett 49): Just the start to the second half that Saints needed to avoid. Taarabt's cross picks out the unmarked Junior Hoilett, who heads past the floundering Paulo Gazzaniga. Game on.
HALF-TIME: QPR 0 Saints 2
GOAL: QPR 0 Saints 2 (Jason Puncheon 45+1): A huge goal, as Saints double their lead right on half-time, as Jason Puncheon spins his man on the edge of the area to open up space, before planting a low left-foot shot into the far corner.
CHANCE: Space opens up for Jack Cork 25 yards out in the 38th minute, but he curls a right-footed shot straight at Julio Cesar in the QPR goal.
GOAL: QPR 0 Saints 1 (Lambert 23): Jose Fonte's shot from Gaston Ramirez's layback is diverted goalwards at close range by Jason Puncheon. QPR clear it on the line, but it loops up and Rickie Lambert bravely puts his head in to nod home, taking a painful knock on the head in the process.
CHANCE: Adel Taarabt dances through the Saints defence, but is denied at a tight angle by Paulo Gazzaniga in the 15th minute. The Saints keeper is less convincing as he fumbles Junior Hoilett's shot from the edge of the area just wide a minute later.
CHANCE: Jason Puncheon’s in-swinging cross skids off the ground, just out of the reach of Adam Lallana, before hitting the outside of the far post and going behind in the ninth minute.
CHANCE: Neat interplay between Gaston Ramirez and Adam Lallana leads to Lallana firing a dipping left-foot volley over the bar from the edge of the area in the sixth minute.
The teams have emerged from the tunnel onto the pitch. The atmosphere is building and kick-off is now just moments away. We'll have updates here for you throughout the match.
Coooooooooooome on youuuuuu saints!!!— @Rchap04 17 November 2012
The teams are just finishing their warm-ups ahead of this afternoon's match. Loftus Road beginning to fill up, with more than 3,000 Saints fans having made the journey to west London.
Both Saints and QPR are unchanged for this afternoon's fixture.
QPR: Cesar, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Traore, Hoilett, Faurlin, Diakite, Granero, Taarabt, Cisse.
Subs: Green, Derry, Fabio, Wright-Phillips, Dyer, Ehmer, Mackie.
Saints: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert.
Subs: K Davis, Hooiveld, Fox, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Rodriguez.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
QPR (last six, league only): L L D L D L
Saints (last six, league only): L D L L L D
QPR top scorer (league only): Bobby Zamora 3
Saints top scorer (league only): Rickie Lambert 4
My future doesn't hinge on this match. People shouldn't under-estimate the changes that have gone on at the club and I have been a big part of that. I have had great support from everyone. That doesn't just get swept aside because we are in a difficult situation. It is because of that work we have done before that sustains you and allows you time to get through this period. The club has moved forward in a massive way since I came in the door through the work I and my staff have done. Everyone is pulling together to take this club forward.QPR manager Mark Hughes
I don't think it will have any relevance whatsoever for either manager. I'll be perfectly honest because that is what you're going to build it up as, because we've got two managers, two football clubs at the wrong end of the table. I am pretty sure, I am pretty confident that both managers will be in situ come on Monday. I am looking forward to another game. It has been a good week's training. I feel fit, I feel fresh and I've got an energy about myself.Saints manager Nigel Adkins
The focus has been firmly on both managers in the build-up to this game, so here’s what they each had to say this week...
QPR SQUAD NEWS: Defender Fabio has overcome his long-term hamstring injury and is available. Park Ji-sung (knee) is out and Bobby Zamora (hip) is a doubt, but Ryan Nelsen and Jamie Mackie are both fit despite missing their respective games with New Zealand and Scotland this week. Stephane Mbia is suspended, while Kieron Dyer and Hogan Ephraim are available after overcoming their respective calf and hamstring problems. Andrew Johnson (knee) is out.
SAINTS SQUAD NEWS: Nigel Adkins would have breathed a sigh of relief this week, as all of his players returned from international duty unscathed. The manager is only without the services of injured duo Richard Chaplow and Frazer Richardson today.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Daily Echo’s blog covering this afternoon’s bottom-of-the-table clash between QPR and Saints, at Loftus Road. It’s only November, but already this has been billed as a relegation six-pointer, with many dubbing it ‘El Sackico’ in reference to the pressure both managers are under. QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has even been getting a bit melodramatic about it. “Must win next win,” he declared, slightly incoherently, on Twitter after last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Stoke. The message was clear, though, and Mark Hughes certainly understood it, admitting a win “needs to happen” for his team against Saints. Winless QPR are bottom of the table after 11 games, with Saints just one place and one point ahead of them. There has been plenty of speculation that the losing manager will be sacked, although both bosses have stated they do not think that will be the case. Hughes has the comfort of some strong public backing from his chairman in recent weeks, while Nigel Adkins survived a meeting with his boss, Nicola Cortese, after the recent 2-0 defeat at West Brom. Boardroom patience will only extend so far at either club, however, and both managers could badly use a win to ease the pressure on them. With QPR winless at home this season, and Saints without a point on their travels, something will have to give today.