Leaders Man City win thriller at QPR

QPR 2 Manchester City 3
Yaya Toure’s 74th-minute header gave the Premier League leaders victory at Loftus Road, where QPR pushed them all the way.

Jay Bothroyd headed home Joey Barton’s free-kick to give Rangers the lead and Edin Dzeko’s fine solo effort levelled the score on the stroke of half-time.

A neat finish from David Silva put Manchester City ahead after the break before Heidar Helguson equalised with his third goal in four games.

But Toure’s winner denied the R’s a second upset in two weeks against one of the division’s elite.

After a humbling defeat away to Tottenham last week, QPR were glad to be back at home and hoping to emulate the 1-0 victory over Chelsea a fortnight ago.

And although the result was not reproduced, their performance was arguably better.

QPR striker Helguson netted his third goal in four matches

Helguson, whose penalty secured a the derby win over Chelsea, could have put Rangers ahead on two occassions in the opening quarter-of-an-hour, firing a volley just wide of the far post and then testing the hands of keeper Joe Hart after cutting inside from the right.

Rangers surged forward in numbers and after winning a corner, Helguson had a third chance, steering a header wide.

It was Bothroyd, though, who headed in the opener to put Rangers ahead after 28 minutes.

After he was fouled wide on the right, the striker worked free of his marker to head the resulting free-kick from Barton beyond Hart. Just as it did against Chelsea, Loftus Road erupted.

Rangers were unfazed by their opponents’ mesmerising ability to sweep down the other end and create chances, and the home fans thought a second goal was inevitable when Bothroyd rose again at the far post but headed wide a Jamie Mackie cross.

But again, as quickly as QPR had fashioned the opportunity, City were down the other end and they had an equaliser a minute before half-time.

Within seconds of James Milner advancing over the halfway-line, Dzeko cut inside from the left and beat two defenders with pace before firing inside keeper Paddy Kenny’s near post.

The Hoops resumed the second half with the impetus and more trickery from Shaun Wright-Phillips gave Barton the opportunity to force a great save from Hart, but the following 15 minutes turned into something of a shooting gallery for the league leaders.

And they took to the lead for the first time on 52 minutes.

Again, Dzeko peeled away to the left touchline and crossed low to the feet of Silva. The Spaniard needed just a deathly touch to move past Danny Gabbidon and score.

Both Dzeko and Aguero fired more shots the wrong side of the goal frame but it did nothing to deter the QPR spirit, and for this they deserved their 69th-minute equaliser through Helguson.

The City defenders were livid in their calls for offside, but as he deflected home Bothroyd’s header he was short of the last defender and the goal was legal.

But as much as Rangers deserved to draw level, the winning goal came after a serious lack of concentration at the back that allowed Toure to steal in between Gabbidon and Anton Ferdinand to head home.