Fulham (1) – QPR (2) – Rangers’ First Win at Craven Cottage Since 1980

Team: Smithies, Lynch (Hamalainen), Hall, Caulker, Onuoha, Chery, Henry, Wszolek (Shodipo), Luongo, Washington, Polter (Sylla)

Subs Not Used: Ingram, Kakay, Sandro, El Khayati

Attendance: 19,609 (including 3,302 R’s fans)

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted the 2-1 win over Fulham – his side’s first win at Craven Cottage since 1980 – was the perfect tonic after a tough week in which he feels he has been “fighting everybody”.

It came in a week where the Dutchman had been caught up in the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into alleged corruption in football.

QPR won it via Idrissa Sylla’s 87th minute header in a West London derby in which near neighbours Fulham paid the price for missing two penalties – including after a stoppage-time award Hasselbaink labelled “ridiculous”.

“It’s been a very difficult few days, I must say,” said Hasselbaink. “My lawyers are waiting for the transcripts to help with the investigation of the club. We want a result as quickly as possible.”

“But I must say that the support that I’ve had from the club, from family, from friends, from people around me has been immense. I have to thank them for that. Also the players, and the support of them”

“In the last couple of days we have been able to concentrate on the game and that has been a good outlet.”

“On the game itself, the former striker said: “I’ve not seen the first penalty, if it was a tangle or a pull. But then in the second-half, that penalty in the last couple of minutes is just ridiculous. It’s just ridiculous. The player (Nedum Onuoha) did not even touch (Jozabed), not even close. So at the moment, it feels like I’m fighting everybody.”

Fulham saw Tom Cairney’s fifth-minute penalty, awarded after Steven Caulker hauled down Ragnar Sigurdsson at a corner, saved by Alex Smithies. It set the tone for the hosts, who fell behind to Conor Washington’s deflected 20th-minute strike.

Fulham were wasteful and though they finally netted via Tim Ream in the 47th minute, chances continued to go begging before Sylla headed home. There was still time for Sone Aluko to miss a last-gasp spot-kick as Fulham were booed off following their seventh game without a win.

“It’s very frustrating, we couldn’t be clinical in the opposite box, we weren’t solid in our box,” said the Fulham manager, Slavisa Jokanovic. “It was a strange game. At the end of the game only the result is important. I accept my responsibility as we didn’t win any points.”

The Observer (extract)
historyI didn’t see the incident, which had led to the first penalty as I was looking towards the corner flag. Then thinking ‘here we go again’, Alex Smithies made a superb save diving to his right.

Later in the first-half there was that amazing miss with the goal gaping!!! The home side created other efforts that flashed close to the woodwork. Despite being under pressure for much of the half, the R’s support never waned.

There were wild celebrations when we scored, how much did Conor Washington need/deserve that!

Fulham equalised soon after the break and later they hit the crossbar. I think it was Steven Caulker who stopped one on the line.

There were even wilder celebrations when Sylla’s close range flying header went in at the far post.

Five added minutes went up and in the closing seconds Nedum Onuoha was penalised (for dangerous play?) at the Hammersmith End. Amazingly the spot-kick hit the post. Cue further wild celebrations!!!

So we managed to achieve our first win there since 1980 and the first person who came over to me at the final whistle was Paul from Colindale. I told him that he wasn’t even born the last time we were victorious at Craven Cottage!

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was applauded by the overwhelming number of Rangers’ fans. Tony Fernandes was also clapped as he walked in front of the away end, which he reciprocated of course.

Finally, there were the congratulatory handshakes all the way back to ‘The Rutland’.

Steve Russell