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Monday, October 31, 2011

QPR Report Monday Compilation: Spurs Reports and Managerial Comments

- Zimbio Photos from Yesterday
- Throughout the day, the QPR Report Messageboard has news updates, comments and perspectives - even links to other board comments of interest re QPR matters (on and off the field) along with football (and ONLY football) topics in general....Also Follow: QPR REPORT ON TWITTER

- The Official Supporters Club A Year Ago...(Is it Still Active?)

- UPDATE: JOHN TERRY "Vs" Anton Ferdinand: Latest Stories..Who's Saying What..What's Been Revealed/Claimed

- League Cup (Carling Cup) Quarter Final Draw

- "The Four Year Plan" - Features in The Independent and the Sunday Times

- - Next Stop for "The Four Year Plan" - Amsterdam

- Three Year Flashback: Bircham acknowledges The Training Ground had in fact been closed!


- VIDEO of Spurs-QPR


Neil Warnock laid praise to his side, who went down to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham despite a battling second-half performance.

Dominant Spurs were two goals to the good at the half-time break thanks to strikes from Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart.

However, buoyed by the introductions of Jay Bothroyd and Jamie Mackie, a rejuvenated R's reduced the deficit when the former pulled QPR back into the game in the 63rd minute.

And, although Bale's second killed Rangers hopes on 72 minutes, Warnock told www.qpr.co.uk: "It would have been easy us for us to lay down our tools but we didn't.

"I thought we had to be positive in the second half and we made two substitutions at half-time.

"I felt a little bit sorry for Danny Gabbidon because he had to come on so early. He hasn't done any training in five weeks.

"Anton Ferdinand, for me, was man of the match and I don't think that Danny was far behind.

"All of the back five did well and Joey (Barton) and Ale (Faurlin) in midfield were super in the second half.

"We caused them problems everywhere, which was much better than the first half."

He added: "I thought we were a little bit off it in the first half but you've got to give them credit.

"When you look at their team sheet and their bench, they're one of the top sides. Bale's second was a magnificent goal.

"At 2-1 it looked quite close but that's the difference. With they quality that they've got, if they get chances, they're going to finish like that.

"I don't think Harry (Redknapp) was too comfortable when we pulled a goal back but that's all we could do - make a game of it.

"That's why we went like we did at half-time.

"We did ever so well in the second half. The fans will go home happy because they know we've put everything in and didn't give in - you can't expect any more than that." QPR


Gareth Bale believes Tottenham's confidence is growing after their 3-1 victory over QPR stretched their unbeaten run to seven games in the Premier League.

The midfielder scored a goal in each half at White Hart Lane and Rafael van der Vaart also found the back of the net to equal the club record of scoring in five successive Premier League games.

Jay Bothroyd pulled one back for QPR in the second half but Tottenham were in commanding form and move up to fifth in the table.

"It's just good to get goals and the three points that lifts us into the top six," Bale told Sky Sports One.

"It was a great team performance today.

Bale scored his second goal, a superb strike from the edge of the box, to steady the home fans' nerves in the 72nd minute.

"They were just starting to come on top and putting a bit of pressure on us and it was a very important goal," he said.

"The confidence is growing. We've been playing well and concentrating on our own football. Scoring goals is part of our game and we've been doing that."

Man-of-the-match Scott Parker is backing Tottenham to do well this season as they continue to string good performances together.

"I think they came out in the second half and put us under a bit of pressure but overall we fully deserved the win," Parker said.

"We played some good football.

"I'm enjoying it immensely and playing alongside players like Gareth and winning games is nice as well.

"We can go places this year if we believe in ourselves and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp hailed his "outstanding" team after the win. "It was a fantastic performance," he said. "In the first half we played some great football and moved the ball quickly. The movement and passing was incredible.

"They changed how they played, got it forward and played with more intensity in the second half but Gareth finished them off with a great goal.

"Suddenly they got a lifeline at 2-1 and it changes games so that third goal was important. I said at half-time we shouldn't relax in the second half but, to be fair to them, they came out and raised their game.

"Overall we were outstanding today."

Redknapp also praised Parker and the contribution he has made since making the switch to the north London club.

"Scott is a fantastic player," he added. "He was top of my list and he's just what we need.

"He tackles, doesn't give the ball away and he's a great boy and fantastic person. He's what you build great football clubs around."

QPR manager Neil Warnock praised the character and performance of Anton Ferdinand, who last week was the subject of an alleged racial slur by John Terry in QPR's 1-0 win over their west London rivals at Loftus Road.

It was announced on Tuesday that Terry, who denies the allegations, will be the subject of a Football Association (FA) investigation into the claims, and Ferdinand has been the focus of intense media scrutiny this week as a result.

Warnock deemed the 26-year-old to be psychologically ready to play in this afternoon's derby at White Hart Lane.

Despite seeing his team lose in what was largely a one-sided affair, Warnock heaped praise on Ferdinand and insisted the FA investigation has had no impact on his team's preparation or performance today.

"I thought he (Ferdinand) was head and shoulders above everyone else - the man of the match," Warnock said.

"I don't think he made a mistake. He hasn't put a foot wrong since he came here.

"He definitely has the potential to play at the top level and England.

"It was a great performance from him today.

"Did I think that (the race row) affected Ferdinand today? Not at all. He was absolutely magnificent. It doesn't affect us at all.

"It speaks volumes about his character, absolutely."

The FA will continue their investigation into the race row this week, but Warnock does not envisage the saga affecting his team's efforts on the pitch.

"We have moved on already," the Rangers boss said

"It's not our problem. I don't see the time frame of it all really.

"I have a day off tomorrow. I am going to go in the park and have a ride on my bike, I won't be thinking of anything but the deer tomorrow."



By Alistair Magowan
BBC Sport Tottenham's Gareth Bale Gareth Bale scores his first goal at White Hart Lane since New Year's Day

Gareth Bale scored twice to extend Tottenham's unbeaten run to seven games with victory over Queens Park Rangers.

In a first half dominated by Spurs, the Welshman swept in from 18 yards after Aaron Lennon's clever run and pass.

Rafael van der Vaart then stayed onside to slot past Paddy Kenny when he collected Ledley King's mis-hit shot.

QPR were more positive after the break and substitute Jay Bothroyd headed in, but Bale struck from the edge of the box to seal the win.

The winger's two fine efforts were his first at White Hart Lane since New Year's Day, and the second one was most welcome as it came at a time when the visitors were in the ascendancy.

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'Fantastic' Tottenham thrill Redknapp

It took Harry Redknapp's team to fifth in the table, level on points with Chelsea and Newcastle, as they continue to put their poor start to the season well behind them.

Spurs could have been four goals to the good by the break, such was the fluency of their attacking and the willingness they showed to win the ball back.

Van der Vaart drew an early save from the busy Kenny and the Dutchman's free-kick was headed wide by the industrious Emmanuel Adebayor.

Some of the link play from Tottenham's front five, orchestrated by Scott Parker, was a delight to watch but their opener on 20 minutes came from a more direct route.

Spurs were irresistible and difficult to play against. They attacked from every single area. The way they play and at that kind of pace, it's almost impossible to play against. Harry Redknapp's even got Emmanuel Adebayor making tackles so he must be God.

Brad Friedel's goal-kick was nodded on by Adebayor and after Van der Vaart fed Lennon, who cut in from the right, the Englishman's pass was crashed in by Bale.

The winger almost added to that strike moments later but sent Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cut-back over the bar.

QPR's cause was not helped by an early injury to centre-back Fitz Hall, who was replaced by Danny Gabbidon, but they came up against a Spurs team in a rich vein of form.

There was a touch of fortune to their second goal, though, as King's mis-hit shot fell to the marginally onside Van der Vaart, who made no mistake from 16 yards.

But the build-up to the goal was marked by the hard work of Adebayor, who pinched the ball off Gabbidon as he strode out of defence.

Having failed to see a real effort on target from his side before half-time, QPR boss Neil Warnock opted for a more attacking approach in the second period with Jamie Mackie coming on for Shaun Derry and the disappointing Adel Taarabt replaced by Jay Bothroyd.

With an extra man up front, the changes put more pressure on the Spurs backline and Heidar Helguson had already had a shot deflected wide before the visitors pulled a goal back.

The Iceland international headed a corner goalwards and Bothroyd, from close to the line, nodded in his first goal since the former Cardiff striker joined QPR in the summer.

Van der Vaart continued his personal duel with Kenny, with the QPR keeper coming out on top twice, but the dominance the hosts had shown in the first period had evaporated.

But relief swept round the stadium when Bale swapped passes with Lennon before arching a delightful strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.

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QPR character pleases Warnock

This result, with Bale hitting form and a favourable run of games to come, means Spurs will feel their pursuit of a swift return to Champions League football is definitely on course.

QPR boss Neil Warnock:

"We thought [at the break] that we would put two substitutes on. We created chances and gave the fans something to shout. They were a few itchy feet on the Spurs bench at 2-1 and that was pleasing for us.

"I am so pleased that we gave them a game, they were a little nervous at 2-1, but it is difficult at this level and they were better than us today.

"We are learning all the time - when I look back at the Fulham game, we were terrible and let ourselves go, but we have learnt from there and we had character and organisation today. We have just got to stick at it.

"We played with personality in the second half, but in the first half we were a little apprehensive and gave them too much respect." BBC
QPR Official Site

QPR went down to a 3-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, despite a brave second-half display from Neil Warnock's men.

A Gareth Bale double as well as another from Rafael van der Vaart handed victory to the hosts, with a strike from substitute Jay Bothroyd sandwiched in between Spurs' second and third goals.

Bale gave Spurs - who were dominant in the first half - the lead after 21 minutes, before van der Vaart made it two just 12 minutes later.

But the R's started the second period in much better fashion and were handed a lifeline when Bothroyd pulled a goal back on 63 minutes.

Despite Rangers' best attempts to add a second, Spurs found a crucial third goal in the 72nd minute, after Bale and Aaron Lennon combined for the former to add his second of the contest.

Warnock made one change to his side from last weekend's 1-0 win over Chelsea.

Armand Traore, who missed that clash against Andre Villas-Boas' men owing to a slight knock, came back into the side at the expense of Clint Hill.

Danny Gabbidon also returned from a knee injury to take up his place among the substitutes.

Paddy Kenny was in goal for the R's, behind a back four of Luke Young, Fitz Hall, Anton Ferdinand and Traore.

Shaun Derry and Ale Faurlin were in defensive midfield, behind the more advanced trio of Shaun Wright-Phillips, former Spurs playmaker Adel Taarabt and R's skipper Joey Barton.

Heidar Helguson - who struck the winner in our victory over Chelsea - led the QPR line in attack.

Spurs started brightly and would have been ahead but for a stunning save from Kenny in the third minute.

Superb build-up play from the hosts eventually saw the ball fall for Luka Modric on the edge of the R's box.

Thereafter, the Croatian midfield man's dragged effort was intercepted by van der Vaart no more than ten yards from goal, before his subsequent effort forced a magnificent stop from Kenny, who tipped the ball away at his left-hand post.

Soon after, Rangers were penalised for a foul on the edge of their own penalty area and, when Benoit Assou-Ekotto stepped up to take aim, his effort went just over the crossbar.

QPR were forced into a change after only ten minutes.

Hall pulled up despite not coming under a challenge, before Gabbidon was brought on in his place.

The hosts were breaking forward at will and again should have edged in front after 13 minutes.

Bale was felled out wide on the left and, when van der Vaart swung across a telling centre from the free-kick, Emmanuel Adebayor out-jumped his marker before somehow nodding a header wide from close range.

Moments later, Bale broke for Spurs once again before crossing for Adebayor from the left, who muscled his way in front of Gabbidon but couldn't quite reach the incoming cross.

Tottenham were firmly on top approaching the midway stage in the first-half, with Scott Parker pulling the strings for the home side in the middle of the park.

The R's then had their first chance of note. Taarabt's speculative effort from 25-yards out appeared to be sailing well wide of the target before Helguson intervened on the edge of the box, sending his effort on the half-volley just over the bar.

Spurs were ahead after 21 minutes. Brad Friedel's long kick was nodded down by Adebayor for Lennon and, when the diminutive wide-man fed an unmarked Bale on the left-hand side of the box, he drilled a crisp effort into the opposite corner of the net.

Three minutes later Kenny was forced into a comfortable save down to his right, following van der Vaart's low effort from the edge of the box.

Rangers, by now, were hanging on and Tottenham should have extended their lead in the 28th minute.

Adebayor broke past his marker down the right before his cross found its way to the opposite flank for Assou-Ekotto.

The Cameroon international then turned the ball back across goal for Bale, who blasted his shot over the bar when it appeared easier to find the net.

But Spurs were soon two goals to the good in the 33rd minute.

Ledley King's shot from range was picked up by van der Vaart just inside the box, who coolly tucked his effort into the bottom right-hand corner past Kenny.

Modric then fired a shot just wide on the half-volley on 37 minutes, following van der Vaart's corner from the left.

And it was the gifted Croatian midfielder who then spurned another chance to put Tottenham three up, dragging an effort just wide from 12 yards in the 40th minute.

Two goals behind going into half-time, Warnock opted for a double substitution at the interval, bringing on Jamie Mackie and Bothroyd to replace Derry and Taarabt respectively.

That change also saw the R's switch to a 4-4-2 formation from their usual 4-2-3-1 and, with that, Rangers made a much better start to the second period.

But despite that positive start, QPR still had to be wary of Spurs on the counter attack.

That point was exemplified when Kenny was forced into another outstanding save from van der Vaart soon after the break, whose blast from 20 yards saw the R's keeper pull off a fine one-handed save at his right-hand post.

Play then switched to the other end on 52 minutes, where Bothroyd fired a shot over the target from just outside the box.

This was fast becoming an end-to-end encounter. Adebayor broke for Spurs just three minutes later and, when he reached the edge of Rangers' box, Gabbidon slid across to block the Manchester City loanee's effort.

The R's were soon on the attack once more.

Barton's ball over the top of the Spurs defence was eventually picked up by Wright-Phillips on the left-hand byline, before he managed to wriggle clear of Kyle Walker.

The Rangers winger then cut the ball back for the waiting Helguson on ten yards, who saw his shot deflected just over the bar.

QPR - buoyed by highly vocal travelling R's faithful - had shown great heart after half-time.

That intent was rewarded when Warnock's charges reduced the two-goal deficit on 62 minutes.

Barton drifted over a corner from the right and, when Helguson nodded the ball back across goal, Bothroyd was on hand to power a header home from close range.

For their performance after the break, it was no more that the R's deserved.

Just two minutes later, Kenny pulled off another splendid stop to keep QPR in the match.

It was the Hoops keeper who had initially spilled a van der Vaart free-kick but he still managed to get to his feet quickly enough to thwart Bale from close range.

Rangers nearly levelled in the 65th minute. A free-flowing R's move ended with Faurlin picking up possession 20 yards from goal, before the Argentinian saw his low shot wonderfully parried wide by Friedel.

Kenny was then at it again in the 68th minute, tipping an Assou-Ekotto effort wide of the post.

However, for all the R's intent, Spurs would eventually find a killer third goal - an effort that can only be described as world class.

It came on 72 minutes. Bale and Lennon exchanged passes and, when the former found space just inside the box, he drilled the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net past Kenny.

Rangers still hustled and harried and Young saw two separate efforts cleared off the line late on.

But make no mistake, the R's performance in the second period was one to be proud of.

That point was echoed when Warnock's men were given a standing ovation from the field by the visiting Rangers faithful.

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Bale, Kaboul, Lennon, Parker (Sandro 86), Adebayor, Van Der Vaart, Modric, King, Walker, Assou-Ekotto.

Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Gallas, Defoe, Bassong, Livermore.

Scorers: Bale (21 & 72), van der Vaart (33)

QPR: Kenny, Derry (Mackie 46), Hall (Gabbidon 10), Taarabt (Bothroyd 46), Faurlin, Traore, Barton, Young, Helguson, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand.

Subs: Murphy, Hill, Buzsaky, Smith.

Scorers: Bothroyd (63)

Referee: Mr H Webb

Attendance: 36,147 http://www.qpr.co.uk/page/MatchReport/0,,10373~58165,00.html


In many ways it was typical Neil Warnock. The Queens Park Rangers manager had just watched Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart light up White Hart Lane, with Scott Parker having provided the platform, yet for him there was only one contender for the afternoon's star turn. "I thought that Anton Ferdinand was head and shoulders the man of the match," Warnock said.

The view was gloriously one-eyed but, at the same time, supportive, endearing and encouraging to a fault. Warnock had, of course, factored in the extraneous circumstances that had accompanied Ferdinand from west to north London and it is difficult to remember the player enduring a more difficult buildup to a fixture.

Ferdinand continues to smart from the derby against Chelsea at Loftus Road the previous Sunday, when he believes that he was racially abused by John Terry. The defender was shocked to see the footage on YouTube after the game of the Chelsea and England captain apparently mouthing a racial insult at him and his emotions would take in bewilderment when he heard that Terry had effectively blamed him for the content of the row.

Terry has said he was merely responding to a question from Ferdinand, claiming the Rangers defender had asked whether he had racially abused him. Terry's defence runs that he had repeated the deeply offensive phrase to deny having said anything of the sort. Ferdinand, though, says that he was unaware of Terry's language at the time.

Ferdinand was interviewed by the Football Association on Friday and is due to give his version of events in writing to the governing body, as is Terry. Ferdinand's submission is expected on Monday but it is known that he will dispute Terry's argument, which will surely force the FA into action of one sort. Ferdinand is also considering whether to make a public statement.

The issue provided the sideshow to this entertaining derby, when Tottenham Hotspur's football in the first half pressed their credentials as top-four contenders, and it will rumble on, with Warnock saying that he was unaware of any time-frames. "I've got a day off tomorrow," he said, "and I will go to the park and have a little ride on my bike. I won't be thinking about it tomorrow."

Warnock's attempts to brush the story to one side and to suggest that it was more of a media creation – "You've got the problem, you lads … you keep bringing it up" – felt slightly unfortunate, although it ought to be noted that he is under orders from the FA to say nothing.

Yet he warmed to his theme of Ferdinand's excellence, saluting the strength of his character, which was a quality that the visiting team had shown collectively when they refused to buckle after the first‑half onslaught.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, had commented on hearing "all sorts going on in their dressing-room at half‑time … it was all kicking off", and it was not difficult to imagine Warnock venting fury at his defenders, including Ferdinand. Most observers did not file Ferdinand's performance as anything in the realms of the outstanding.

"Anton hasn't put a foot wrong since he came here," Warnock said. "He can be better and he definitely has the potential to play at the top level for England. He started off thinking he was a bit of a Franz Beckenbauer but he's defending now. That's what you want from your centre-halves.

"He's a good defender, a good lad and I thought that was a good performance today. It speaks volumes for his character, absolutely. He's led us at times this season. I didn't think the situation affected him. It doesn't affect us at all. I thought he was absolutely magnificent."

The saga is becoming heavy on character references. "I've known Anton since he was 11 or 12, when he used to come with his brother, Rio, to West Ham," Redknapp said. "They are a good family, the Ferdinands, they've been well brought up, they are nice people. It's been a difficult week for the kid; he has been under scrutiny. He came through all right."

Terry also got a good reference from John Barnes, the Liverpool legend, who suffered racial abuse as a player. "I do not believe that John Terry is a racist at all," said Barnes, who cited "the heat of the moment" defence.

The FA is under pressure to act quickly. GUARDIAN

INDEPENDENT/Sam Wallace - Warnock: QPR Have MOved On From Racism Row

Anton Ferdinand has spent the last eight days at the centre of one of English football's most all-consuming controversies but Neil Warnock said yesterday that it had not affected the performances of the defender, whose Queens Park Rangers team went down 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

The QPR manager said he had no hesitation putting Ferdinand in his team a week after he was on the winning side against Chelsea, when John Terry was alleged to have racially abused him. The issue is now the subject of a Football Association investigation with the potential to bring an end to Terry's captaincy of the England team if he is found guilty of abusing Ferdinand.

Ferdinand's team lost to two goals from Gareth Bale and another from Rafael van der Vaart but averted the kind of 6-0 drubbing they suffered at Craven Cottage two weeks ago, scoring in the second half through substitute Jay Bothroyd. Warnock said: "I thought he [Ferdinand] was head and shoulders the man of the match.

"I just wish he'd picked up [Emmanuel] Adebayor for one of the goals, which I told him to. He hasn't put a foot wrong since he came here. He can get better. He definitely has the potential to play at the top level for England. He's made a few mistakes. Started thinking he was a bit of a Franz Beckenbauer at times. But he's defending now.

"That's what you want from your centre-halves. He's a good defender, a good lad, and I thought that was a good performance. It speaks volumes for his character, absolutely. He's led us at times this season."

Warnock said that the FA investigation, for which there is no definitive date on which the governing body will report back, was not an issue for his players. "We've moved on," he said. "You've got the problem, you lads. You keep bringing it up."

Asked whether he thought it had affected Ferdinand, who may release a statement on the affair today, Warnock said: "I didn't. I thought he was absolutely magnificent. It doesn't affect us at all. I don't see the timeframe of it at all. Day off tomorrow. I will go in the park and have a little ride on my bike. I won't be thinking about it."

Warnock's eagerness to praise Ferdinand suggested he had been less enamoured of the defender's performance at half-time. Certainly, Redknapp painted a disharmonious picture of the QPR dressing room at the break. "They were arguing and all sorts going on in their dressing room at half-time, it was all kicking off," he said. "I thought they're going to have a go in the second half for sure. And they lifted it second half to be fair.

"He's a good lad, Anton. I've known him since he was 11 or 12 when he used to come with his brother to West Ham. But it's been a difficult week for the kid, you know? Must have been. He's been under scrutiny. They're a good family, the Ferdinands. They've been well brought up, they're nice people."

With Spurs back up to fifth, and with third place in their sights, even Redknapp was prepared to admit the top of the table was shaping up nicely: "You never know, do you? It's wide open. I said a few weeks ago, 'Don't write Arsenal off'. Arsenal are still dangerous, and they proved that.

"If you watched Liverpool last night, good performance. No disrespect to Newcastle, if they get in the top six, it'll be a fantastic achievement. But there's six good teams up there and, OK, Man City would probably be favourites now with Man United, but it's wide open. The top four is wide open."

Warnock's team continue their difficult run of games with a visit from Manchester City next weekend. "We've come a long way since Fulham," Warnock said. "We've got more belief. It's no embarrassment. A few teams will lose by that score here. They might have wondered how many they would get first half. But we could have made it interesting at 2-1. Another five minutes and there would've been a few anxious people on their bench.

"You have to take your hat off to them. They were great finishes. He's a great player, Gareth. Pity he's Welsh." Independent


Bale double secures fine win

30 October 2011

Gareth Bale struck twice as we beat QPR 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday.

Rafa van der Vaart joined Bale on the scoresheet as we overcame a mini-revival from the visitors in the second half to run out deserved winners at White Hart Lane.

We threatened to run riot in the first half and created chance after chance but needed Bale's second goal to make it 3-1 as Rangers did their best to get back into the game.

The destiny of the points was never really in doubt, however, and this made it six wins and a draw in our last seven matches in the Premier League.

Harry Redknapp made just one change to last Sunday's win at Blackburn and a notable one as Ledley King returned from injury to captain the side. Seb Bassong was back on the bench where he was joined by William Gallas, back in the squad for the first time this season.

We were straight on the front foot as Paddy Kenny was forced to parry away efforts from van der Vaart - a fine save, one-on-one - and Bale inside five minutes.

Emmanuel Adebayor might have done better with a close-range header and was inches away from Bale's cross to the near post on 16 minutes.

Ironically enough, the opener came seconds after QPR's only real sight at goal in the first half as Heidar Helguson diverted ex-Spur Adel Taarabt's shot over from 20 yards.

Brad Friedel knocked the goal-kick downfield, Adebayor rose to flick on for van der Vaart and he cleverly turned the ball into Aaron Lennon's path, darting in from the right. Lennon drew Anton Ferdinand before slipping to Bale and he made no mistake, drilling across Kenny into the far corner.

From there, it was one-way traffic.

Van der Vaart tested Kenny to his right, Bale fired over from Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross and the lead lead was soon doubled thanks to a somewhat fortunate assist from King.

The skipper found himself on the ball 30 yards from goal, went for the shot and sliced it badly but into the path of van der Vaart, who beat the offside trap and was clear, 16 yards out. It was no surprise to see him control and despatch the ball into the bottom corner, effortless.

Luka Modric went close twice in as many minutes as we shifted into another gear. The first was a wonderful volley just wide after van der Vaart chipped a corner to him on the edge of the box, he then poked a yard wide after a slick one-touch move.

Kyle Walker, typically adventurous from right-back, then released Adebayor and the striker went for the top corner, the ball drifting a yard wide.

It's safe to assume QPR were grateful for the half-time whistle, and they came out a different side after the break.

Neil Warnock made a couple of changes, Jay Bothroyd and Jamie Mackie for Taarabt and Shaun Derry and after Van der Vaart drew another fine save from Kenny, Rangers hit back.

First, Helguson's shot deflected just over via Modric, then, in the 63rd minute, they were back in the game. Joey Barton floated in a high corner, Helguson headed into the danger zone and Bothroyd provided the finish from close range.

The keepers then came to fore again. Kenny somehow kept Bale out from close range after initially spilling van der Vaart's free-kick, Friedel got down well to his left to deny Alejandro Faurlin and then Kenny reached high to turn away Assou-Ekotto's 20-yarder, destined for the top corner.

A third goal was needed just to settle us and it arrived after 71 minutes.

Scott Parker started it by cutting in from the right, van der Vaart worked a yard of space and played into Bale and he exchanged passes with Lennon before firing into the top corner from 20 yards.

Adebayor lashed just wide from 10 yards - it wasn't his day - and a number of breaks came to nothing before QPR were denied in added time, first Bale and then Younes Kaboul clearing off the line.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Parker (Sandro, 86), Bale; Van der Vaart; Adebayor. Unused subs: Cudicini, Bassong, Gallas, Livermore, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko.

QPR: Kenny; Young, Hall (Gabbidon, 9), Ferdinand, Traore; Barton, Derry (Mackie, 46), Faurlin, Wright-Phillps; Taarabt (Bothroyd, 46); Helguson. Unused subs: Murphy, Hill, Buszaky, Smith.

Goals: Spurs - Bale (20, 72), van der Vaart (33). QPR - Bothroyd (62).

Attendance: 36,147.


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