Cisse brings Rangers back from the brink

QPR 1 Stoke City 0

Djibril Cisse’s dramatic late winner – and West Brom’s fightback against Bolton – took QPR from the brink of relegation to the verge of Premier League survival.

Rangers had one foot in the Championship before Adel Taarabt’s 89th-minute corner was flicked on by Anton Ferdinand towards Cisse, who fired home at the far post.

And an equaliser for Albion, who had trailed 2-0, means a point at title-chasing Manchester City on the final day of the season will ensure the R’s stay up.

Bolton must now win at Stoke next weekend to have any chance of saving themselves and sending QPR or Wigan down.

The picture looked bleak for Rangers at half-time. They were struggling to create chances, while Bolton were ahead in their game.

Joey Barton shot into the side-netting from an awkward angle after Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen had pushed away Taarabt’s long range free-kick.

And when Bobby Zamora found space on the right, his cross asked a lot of Barton, who could only head straight at Sorensen.

In fact it was the visitors who created the best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes.

Former R’s favourite Peter Crouch easily beat Clint Hill in the air and nodded down for Cameron Jerome, who blazed over.

Ricardo Fuller also went close to scoring for Stoke when he curled an effort narrowly wide a couple of minutes after the interval.

It prompted boss Hughes, who started with Zamora as a lone striker, to make a change, and striker Cisse replaced the ineffective Akos Buzsaky.

It nevertheless took until the 77th minute for Rangers to create their next real opening.

They were denied by a superb save from Sorensen, who dived to his left to keep out Cisse’s header from Taye Taiwo’s left-wing cross.

But Cisse’s goal – his fifth in seven matches since arriving from Lazio – sent Loftus Road into a state of pandemonium and could prove to be decisive in the battle to escape the drop.

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