Woe for new-look QPR as Cisse sees red
QPR 1 Wolves 2
Bobby Zamora scored on his QPR debut only for Djibril Cisse’s sending-off to alter the course of the game.
Zamora fired home following Shaun Wright-Phillips’ flick on, but Rangers were reduced to 10 men when Cisse lashed out at Roger Johnson after a rash challenge from the defender.
Matt Jarvis levelled less than a minute into the second half, cutting in and bending a shot beyond keeper Paddy Kenny.
And substitute Kevin Doyle netted a 71st-minute winner for Wolves after Jamie O’Hara’s cross was diverted into the striker’s path by Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
A home defeat against another struggling side is a body blow for Rangers, who are hoping their latest glut of big-money signings can haul them away from trouble.
Zamora, a deadline-day arrival from neighbours Fulham, made a dream start to his R’s career but was substituted in the second half after complaining of cramp.
And the sending-off was a disaster for Cisse, who scored against Aston Villa in midweek and was razor-sharp in the opening third of this game.
Cisse was making his home debut, as were Taye Taiwo and Nedum Onuoha, with the latter showing his versatility by switching from central defence to right-back after Luke Young hobbled off early in the second half.
Rangers’ new-look strikeforce looked full of promise right from the start and delivered the opening goal after 16 minutes.
Wright-Phillips nudged Cisse’s ball into the box off to Zamora, who blasted in from 15 yards. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy got a strong hand to the shot but was unable to keep it out of the net.
But Cisse’s afternoon ended abruptly when he was dismissed for his reaction to Johnson’s lunge.
He first pushed the centre-back and then grabbed his throat, which was enough for referee Mark Clattenburg to produce the red card.
Rangers were in control but Cisse’s exit was a massive boost for Wolves – as was the half-time introduction of Doyle.
He made an instant impact, delivering a cross from the right for Jarvis, who finished beautifully.
Stephen Fletcher then twice came close to putting Wolves ahead, first heading against the bar and then seeing his poked effort cleared off the line by Anton Ferdinand during a goalmouth scramble.
But there was no let-off for Rangers when O’Hara and Ebanks-Blake combined to set up Doyle, who shot through the legs of Taiwo and into the bottom corner.
There were at least a couple of positives for Rangers even in defeat; their dominance before the loss of Cisse, and the encouraging performance of Adel Taarabt.
Back from the Africa Cup of Nations, Taarabt started on the left and stepped up to the plate while Rangers’ attacking options were limited in the second half.
He had a well-struck free-kick pushed away by Hennessy, who also did well to tip over a blistering 25-yarder from the Moroccan.
And Taarabt was unlucky again two minutes from time when he wriggled away from his man and dinked a shot inches over the bar.
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