Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Harry celebrates Hoops birthday win

Loic Remy, pictured, and Jay Bothroyd claimed the points for QPR

QPR manager Harry Redknapp got the perfect birthday present as the Premier League's bottom-placed side took three points from his former club Southampton in a 2-1 victory.

Victory was the ideal tonic for Redknapp after waking up on his 66th birthday to damning reports of ill-discipline on a recent Dubai training camp. Rather than throw the strugglers off track, though, QPR performed admirably on the south coast and opened the scoring after just 14 minutes through Loic Remy.

Saints looked shell-shocked having started the brighter and were somewhat fortunate to go in at the break level, with Gaston Ramirez following up a Julio Cesar fumble. Before Park Ji-sung sent a low cross from the right and Jay Bothroyd slotted home the winner.

It took just 13 seconds for Adam Lallana, making his first home start in almost three months, to send over a cross which Christopher Samba was forced to put out for a corner. Jack Cork and Lallana put audacious long efforts wide as Saints continued to press for an opener, which almost came after 12 minutes.

Rickie Lambert headed back across goal but neither Lallana nor former QPR winger Jason Puncheon were able to get a telling touch. Junior Hoilett then sent a fine through ball over to Remy, who burst through to strike past Artur Boruc.

Nathaniel Clyne did well to deny Remy going through again, before the returning striker tested Boruc with a low strike. While QPR were still threatening, Saints had a new spark and, after seeing a shot deflect behind, Ramirez drew parity.

Jay Rodriguez, on for Lallana, struck an audacious effort that bounced off Cesar into the path of Ramirez who dinked home nonchalantly. And whatever Pochettino said at the break seemed to work as the home side flew out of the blocks in the second half.

Fox, Fonte and Lambert all had attempts, before Rodriguez's curling effort from the edge of the box went inches over. Cesar was hurt in a collision with Rodriguez as he punched away a threatening Cork cross.

Robert Green soon replaced the injured Brazilian, but not until after Hoilett threatened at the other end. Saints were still on top but they were again caught napping as Park sent over a low cross for Bothroyd to rifle home with 13 minutes remaining.

Green did fantastically to deny a goalbound Maya Yoshida header as the hosts upped the ante but they could not find a way past the Hoops' resilient backline.

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