Joy for QPR as Samba’s goal beats Arsenal

QPR 2 Arsenal 1

Samba Diakite’s first goal for QPR gave them a shock victory which massively boosted their survival chances.

The Mali international smashed in the winner midway though the second half after being teed up by Jamie Mackie.

It stunned in-form Arsenal, who had levelled through Theo Walcott after Adel Taarabt’s first Premier League goal put Rangers in front.

Taarabt delightfully turned away from Thomas Vermaelen before steering the ball beyond keeper Wojciech Szczesny and into the bottom corner.

Arsenal hit back eight minutes before half-time when Walcott netted from the rebound after his first effort had come back off the post.

But Rangers kept battling and were rewarded with Diakite’s potentially crucial goal in the battle to avoid relegation.

They took the game to Arsene Wenger’s side and looked dangerous early on, with Bobby Zamora heading over from Taarabt’s free-kick and having a shot saved by Szczesny.

After Taarabt’s opener was cancelled out by Walcott, Arsenal looked likely to control the second half.

They were denied the lead by a fine stop from keeper Paddy Kenny, who dived to his left to save from Robin van Persie after the Dutchman had been put through by Alex Song’s pass.

But Rangers went ahead again when Mackie capitalised on Vermaelen’s slip near the right-hand edge of the penalty area and pulled the ball back for Diakite, who smashed home from 15 yards.

Joey Barton, restored to the team after being left out last weekend, would have added a third for the R’s had his rasping shot not been tipped over by Szczesny.

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