Taarabt haunts Tottenham and takes QPR closer to safety

QPR 1 Tottenham 0

Adel Taarabt netted the winner against his former club – and was later sent off – as QPR took a massive step towards Premier League survival.

Taarabt’s 23rd-minute free-kick could turn out to be his most important goal since moving to Loftus Road from Spurs, although Rangers had to cling on for the final 13 minutes with 10 men after the Moroccan was dismissed by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Booked in the first half, Taarabt was given a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after a foul had been awarded against team-mate Clint Hill.

It was Rangers’ eighth red card of the season but they managed to withstand late Spurs pressure, taking them three points clear of the relegation zone and ensuring that Taarabt’s main contribution turned out to be his priceless goal.

Veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel was slow to react as Taarabt lifted the ball over the Spurs wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

It came after Paddy Kenny had produced two good saves to prevent Spurs from going ahead.

The Rangers keeper tipped over Gareth Bale’s header from a cross by Rafael van der Vaart, who then saw a long-range effort well held.

Following Taarabt’s strike, Jermain Defoe missed a chance to level when he headed over from the rebound after Kenny had pushed out another Van der Vaart effort.

Defoe fired wide and Van der Vaart over with the visitors pushing for an equaliser in the second half.

And after Taarabt’s exit, Kenny produced two more saves, denying first Luka Modric and then Van der Vaart as Rangers clinched a fourth consecutive home victory.

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