Rangers lose at Arsenal despite late rally

Arsenal 2 QPR 1

Charlie Austin scored his 12th goal of the season as QPR rallied late on at the Emirates Stadium, but they remain without an away point this season.

Alexis Sanchez missed an early penalty before putting Arsenal ahead and even though they were reduced to 10 men when Olivier Giroud was red-carded after appearing to headbutt Nedum Onuoha, the Gunners stayed in control.

Tomas Rosicky’s goal midway through the second half doubled the hosts’ lead before Austin netted a 78th-minute penalty after substitute Junior Hoilett had been fouled by Matheiu Debuchy.

The defeat means Rangers have lost all 10 of their away matches this season, with nine of those defeats coming in the league.

They had an early let-off when Sanchez’s woeful spot kick was easily kept out by keeper Rob Green after Armand Traore, playing against his former club, had brought down the Arsenal man.

But Sanchez made no mistake eight minutes before the break when he headed in after being found unmarked by Kieran Gibbs’ cross.

That lapse came after Rangers had defended well.

They reverted back to three central defenders, with Rio Ferdinand recalled to the starting line-up while Traore was given a chance to impress at left wing-back in the absence of the injured Yun Suk-Young.

Traore performed poorly though and his team were second best even after Giroud was dismissed eight minutess into the second half.

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp made a double change shortly after the hour mark, replacing Traore and Karl Henry with Hoilett and Leroy Fer.

However, two minutes later the visitors fell further behind when Rosicky found the bottom corner after being picked out by Sanchez.

Austin’s goal – the striker’s sixth in his last five games – gave QPR hope of snatching a point and they might have done so had Eduardo Vargas’ goal-bound header from Niko Kranjcar’s corner not been cleared.

And Zamora appealed in vain for an injury-time penalty following a challenge by Gibbs.

QPR: Green; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Caulker, Isla, Henry (Fer 63), Mutch (Zamora 72), Kranjcar, Traore (Hoilett 63), Vargas, Austin.
Subs: McCarthy, Hill, Phillips, Wright-Phillips.

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