In a game that concerned both ends of the table, Tottenham Hotspurs’ chances of automatic European Champions League qualification were dealt another serious blow when they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to league strugglers QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday the 21st April 2012.
The pressure was on both teams after Newcastle United leapfrogged Spurs into the fourth Champions League spot after a victory for them earlier today, and fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers grabbed an important 2-0 win against Norwich City, making it even tighter down at the bottom of the league.
Expectation before the game suggested that this would not be a pretty affair with both teams really needing to slug out a result and dig deep. Under Mark Hughes, QPR have seen their poor home form improve with a string of impressive victories, most notably and recently against Liverpool and Swansea City. A 1-0 away defeat against West Bromwich Albion last week put them back into the relegation zone, so Hughes and his Rangers side were keen to get back to winning ways today as Harry Redknapp’s Spurs side paid them a visit from across London.
These past few weeks for Harry Redknapp have seen Tottenham Hotspur endure a terrible run of form and things continue to go from bad to worse for the North London side. Since their famous 5-2 defeat against Arsenal and the linking of Redknapp to the England manager job, Spurs have been on a downward slump with them losing ground and momentum in their pursuit of Champions League football next year. Sitting pretty and ten points clear of rival Arsenal a few weeks back, Spurs have dropped down the league and lost grip on the third league position. A devastating defeat last week in the F.A Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea didn’t make things better and morale within the team was given a significant bashing as the Blues put five past Spurs in a 5-1 win. Now out of the F.A Cup, Spurs looked to pick up on their league form and concentrate on the imperative cause of Champions League qualification with this visit to Loftus Road.
In a sluggish and tight affair, QPR came out victorious with a 1-0 victory. Former Spurs player Adel Taarabt scored the only goal against his former club with a terrific free kick from 25 yards. Despite scoring this vital goal, it went from pleasure to pain for the Moroccan midfielder who was dismissed after a second yellow card in the 77th minute. Going down to ten men, Rangers managed to hold on to this vital win with keeper Paddy Kenny once again showing heroics with a string of important saves to deny Jermaine Defoe and Giovani Dos Santos. With the final whistle blown at 1-0, Rangers had once again pulled off another dramatic victory that helped them climb out of the relegation zone into 16th position. Spurs fans were once again treated to the bitter taste of defeat. With another loss for their team, fans will surely be thinking where the next victory is coming from? This defeat also kept Spurs locked into the fifth position that they had been demoted to earlier on by Newcastle United after the Magpies win over Stoke 3-0. With Chelsea getting a point earlier on as well, it could be possible that Spurs may miss out on a Europa League spot with Chelsea now only a point behind them.
Down at Loftus Road for the QPR v Spurs game were WinkBall video reporters Archie and Saima, who were speaking to both sets of fans before and after the game.