Fulham v QPR: six memorable past encounters

Saturday’s Championship match at Craven Cottage will be the 35th league meeting between Fulham and QPR. The two clubs have each won 14 past meetings with six others ending in a draw. Here are six memorable fixtures between the two west London neighbours.

QPR 0 Fulham 2, January 31, 2001, Division One
If ever a match exemplified the future direction of both clubs it was this midweek clash at a chilly Loftus Road.

Jean Tigana’s outstanding side, backed by the cash of Mohamed Al-Fayed and destined for the Premier League, brushed aside a poor QPR outfit who were firmly on course towards Division Two and entering administration.

Gerry Francis had led Rangers to a 10th-place finish in the previous season – one place and a point behind Fulham – who’d sacked Paul Bracewell after little over six months in charge when their expensively-assembled side failed to challenge for the play-offs.

But the following season, under the guidance of former France midfielder Tigana, the Whites took the division by storm, tasting defeat just five times and chalking up 101 points on their way to lifting the title.

QPR on the other hand had won just four games all season leading into this match and were to replace Francis with Ian Holloway six weeks later after a humiliating 5-0 loss at Wimbledon.

Goals from Denmark striker Peter Moller – the only time he found the net for Fulham – and German World Cup winner Karl-Heinz Riedle sealed the win after Rangers had lost their two best players Clarke Carlisle and Richard Langley before half-time to season-ending cruciate ligament injuries.

Fulham won the return game in March at Craven Cottage and went on to enjoy a 13-year stint in the top flight, while QPR spent the next three seasons in the third tier.

QPR: Ludek Miklosko, Mark Perry, Chris Plummer, Clarke Carlisle (Paul Bruce 11), Ian Baraclough, Richard Langley (George Kulscar 37), Matthew Rose, Gavin Peacock, Karl Connolly (Michel Ngonge 79), Chris Kiwomya, Peter Crouch.
Fulham: Maik Taylor, Steve Finnan, Andy Melville, Kit Symons, Rufus Brevett, Bjarne Goldbaek, Sean Davis, Lee Clark, Fabrice Fernandes, Louis Saha, Peter Moller (Karl Heinz Riedle 70).

Fulham 6 QPR 0, October 2, 2011, Premier League
QPR arrived at Craven Cottage high on confidence after a steady start to life back in the Premier League in what was the first ever top-flight meeting between the two clubs, only to leave SW6 with their tails firmly between their legs on what was a chastening day for Neil Warnock’s side.

On a gorgeous autumn afternoon by the Thames, Fulham ran the visitors ragged with future Rangers striker Andy Johnson scoring twice before half-time either side of a Danny Murphy penalty to effectively end the match as a contest after 38 minutes.

Warnock withdrew Adel Taarabt, who stormed out of the ground and towards the nearest bus stop, and Shaun Derry at half-time, but it made little difference after the restart as the Whites continued where they left off in ruthless fashion.

Johnson completed his hat-trick shortly before the hour mark with American midfielder Clint Dempsey adding a fifth before Bobby Zamora, who would join Rangers later that season, compounding the visitors’ misery by making it 6-0 20 minutes from time.

Fulham won the return fixture at Loftus Road 1-0 and went on to finish a respectable ninth under Martin Jol that season.

QPR survived relegation by the narrowest of margins under former Fulham boss Mark Hughes despite losing 3-2 to champions Manchester City on the most dramatic final day in Premier League history.

Fulham: Mark Schwarzer, John Arne Riise, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Zdenek Grygera, Steve Sidwell, Danny Murphy (Dickson Etuhu 83), Clint Dempsey, Andy Johnson (Bryan Ruiz 75), Bobby Zamora, Moussa Dembele.
QPR: Paddy Kenny, Anton Ferdinand, Fitz Hall, Luke Young, Bradley Orr, Ale Faurlin, Shaun Derry (Tommy Smith 45), Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adel Taarabt (DJ Campbell 45), Joey Barton, Jay Bothroyd (Jamie Mackie 72).

Fulham 4 QPR 0 September 25, 2015, Championship

Both teams were readjusting to life in the Championship following relegations from the Premier League but it was Fulham, under the short-lived managerial reign of Kit Symons, that once again dominated from the opening whistle against a well-resourced Rangers side who came into the game siting inside the top six.

Symons, who was sacked four weeks later, was one of four men to manage the Whites in a hugely difficult season that saw them finish two spots outside the relegation zone just two years after dropping out of the top flight.

Despite their struggles, Fulham saved two of their best performances of the season for their local rivals, starting with a dominant performance in the first meeting of the campaign.

Just like the clash between the sides in 2011, early goals put the game to bed, with outstanding young French striker Moussa Dembele rising unchallenged to open the scoring after just two minutes.

Ben Pringle added a well-taken second from the edge of the box after intercepting a poor Ale Faurlin pass before Tom Cairney teed up Ross McCormack to make it 3-0 before half-time.

McCormack added his second midway through the second period when he prodded home from close range after Gabriele Angella had turned Ryan Fredericks’ low cross onto his own crossbar.

McCormack and Dembele were on target again later that season at Loftus Road when Fulham ran out 3-1 winners to hand new manager Slavisa Jokanovic his first win in six attempts, but the team largely struggled for the rest of the season.

Rangers finished 12th – with Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink in the managerial hotseat after Chris Ramsey was sacked in November.
Fulham: Andy Lonergan, Ryan Fredericks, (Kay Voser 77), Richard Stearman, Tim Ream, James Husband, Tom Cairney, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jamie O’Hara (Lasse Vigen Christensen 65), Ben Pringle, Ross McCormack, Mousa Dembele (Cauley Woodrow).
QPR: Rob Green, James Perch, Gabriele Angella, Nedum Onuoha, Paul Konchesky, Karl Henry, Ale Faurlin, Matt Phillips, Massimo Luongo, Tjaronn Chery (Jamie Mackie 35, Leroy Fer 45), Charlie Austin (Daniel Tozser 58)

QPR 3 Fulham 1, May 2 1983, Division Two
Rangers, under the management of Terry Venables, and Fulham led by Malcolm Macdonald, were in the promotion hunt for most of the season with both sides boasting exciting and talented young players.

However, when the teams met at Loftus Road in early May their fortunes were taking vastly different routes, with Rangers needing a victory to seal the title and Fulham desperately clinging onto the final promotion spot behind Wolves.

Rangers took the lead thanks to early goals from John Gregory and Tony Sealy to put Venables’ side firmly in control.

Simon Stainrod added a third midway through the second half before prolific Fulham hitman Gordon Davies added a late consolation for the visitors, who had Ray Lewington sent off late in the game for a scything tackle on Stainrod.

The result saw Fulham drop out of the top three for the first time since November, with Leicester, who found form in the second half of the season, leapfrogging them with three matches of the season remaining.

Leicester, who needed to beat relegation-haunted Burnley on the last day of the season to secure promotion, were held to a 0-0 draw meaning Fulham required three points at struggling Derby to seal back-to-back promotions.

However, they slipped to a highly-controversial 1-0 defeat in a match marred by several pitch invasions, with the match abandoned after 88 minutes but despite an appeal from the Fulham board the FA deemed the result should stand.

Rangers were the top London club upon their return to the top flight and qualified for the Uefa Cup, with Venables poached by Barcelona in May 1984.

Fulham failed to recover from that bitter disappointment and finished mid-table the following season before dropping in to the third tier in 1986. The club remained there until 1999.

QPR: Peter Hucker, Warren Neill, Bob Hazell, Steve Wicks, Ian Dawes, Terry Fenwick, Gary Waddock, Tony Sealy, John Gregory, Mike Flanagan, Simon Stainrod.
Fulham: Gerry Peyton, Jeff Hopkins, Kevin Lock, Sean O’Driscoll, Roger Brown, Tony Gale, Gordon Davies, Robert Wilson, Dean Coney, Ray Houghton, Ray Lewington.

Fulham 1 QPR 2, October 1, 2016, Championship

QPR claimed their first win at Craven Cottage in 36 years in dramatic fashion following an action-packed encounter that saw Fulham miss two penalties, the second deep into stoppage time.

The backdrop to the match was dominated by a Daily Telegraph investigation into football corruption that named Rangers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, whose side arrived at the ground in search of a first win in six games and pressure mounting on the under-fire former Chelsea striker.

Following a heavy spell of early Fulham pressure, referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after Steven Caulker hauled Chris Martin to the ground at a corner, but Tom Cairney’s penalty was well saved by Alex Smithies.

Fulham, who were seeking a first win in seven, were made to pay for Sone Aluko and Martin missing gilt-edged opportunities when Conor Washington put the visitors in front with just before half-time with their first genuine attack.

Tim Ream levelled the match shortly after the restart but the match swung in Rangers’ favour when Jokanovic surprisingly substituted the impressive Cairney and Scott Parker 20 minutes from time.

This allowed Rangers to start dominating the midfield area and with Tjaron Chery becoming increasingly influential and it was the Dutchman who set up the winner when his delightful cross was met by the diving Idrissa Sylla at the back post.

Fulham pushed hard for an equaliser and saw Jozebed hit the bar from a free-kick before Nedum Onuoha was adjudged to have caught the lively Spaniard with a high foot in the box and Martin pointed to the spot once more.

Aluko sent Smithies the wrong way but his 94th-minute effort clipped the base of the right post and was cleared to safety by the desperate Rangers defence.

The corresponding fixture at Loftus Road later in the season saw the sides play out a 1-1 draw with Fulham missing yet another penalty through Martin before Ryan Manning opened the scoring for Rangers. Martin atoned for that miss from the spot with a 75th-minute equaliser.

A revived Fulham had a storming second half of the season, finishing in the play-off places where they lost to Reading in the semi-finals. Rangers, in contrast lost seven of their last eight matches to only just avoid relegation under Ian Holloway, who replaced Hasselbaink.

Fulham: David Button, Denis Odoi, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Tim Ream, Scott Malone, Scott Parker (Jozabed 78), Ryan Tunnicliffe, Tom Cairney, (Neeskens Kebano 71), Sone Aluko, Lucas Piazon, Chris Martin (Matt Smith 56)
QPR: Alex Smithies; Nedum Onuoha, Steve Caulker, Grant Hall, Joel Lynch (Nico Hamalainen 81), Karl Henry, Massimo Luongo, Pavel Wzsolek (Olamido Shodipo 63), Tjarron Chery, Conor Washington, Sebastian Polter 6 (Idrissa Sylla 60).

QPR 2 Fulham 1 December 2012, Premier League
Rangers entered the match rooted to the foot of the table and without a win in 16 games – the worst start to a season in Premier League history.

However, a brace from the mercurial Adel Taarabt sealed a first three points for recently-appointed manager Harry Redknapp.

Unlike previous matches against QPR, Fulham looked listless and were second-best for much of a first half which saw Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie miss the target when put through on goal.

Taarabt opened the scoring just before the hour-mark with a speculative effort that took a huge deflection off Brede Hangeland’s shin and flew into the bottom-right corner.

There was again a touch of fortune in the build-up to Taarabt’s second goal when Hangeland diverted the ball into his path, but the finish was sublime as the Moroccan waltzed unchallenged through the Fulham defence and rolled the ball into the bottom corner with the outside of his right foot.

Mladen Petric’s late strike set up a nervy finish but Rangers held on in stoppage time to secure a crucial win.

Such a dismal start to the season left Rangers with a mountain to climb to avoid relegation, and despite a January transfer window splurge that saw Loic Remy, Christopher Samba, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas join the club, it wasn’t enough to prevent the club dropping back to the Championship.

Fulham finished comfortably in 12th spot, but seven defeats in their final eight games were a sign of things to come in the following season as the Whites’ 13-year stay in the Premier League ended in relegation, with QPR taking their place after a dramatic play-off final win over Derby.
QPR: Rob Green, Armand Traore, Ryan Nelsen, Clint Hill, Nedum Onuoha, Shaun Wright-Phillips (Fabio Da Silva), Ale Faurlin, Stephane Mbia, Adel Taarabt, Jamie Mackie, Djbril Cisse (Anton Ferdinand).
Mark Schwarzer, Sascha Riether (Stephen Kelly), Aaron Hughes, Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Damien Duff, Chris Baird, Steve Sidwell, Kieran Richardson (Mladen Petric), Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega (Ashkan Dejagah).