May 4, 2013 at 5.30pm UK at ​Loftus Road
QPRQueens Park Rangers
0-1
Arsenal

Derry (64'), Jenas (78')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Walcott (1')
Monreal (60')

Live Commentary: Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Arsenal - as it happened

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before the match against Bayern Munich on March 13, 2013
© PA Photos
Find out how Arsenal managed to record a 1-0 win away at Queens Park Rangers with Sports Mole's text updates.

Already relegated Queens Park Rangers played host to Arsenal this evening, who needed the win to move back into the Champions League places.

One goal, scored after 21 seconds, was enough for the visitors to leave Loftus Road with all three points. Theo Walcott was the scorer as he finished off a passing move.

You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute commentary.


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4.33pmAfternoon all. On the face of it, this is not a fixture that will get the pulses raising. However, scratch the surface a little and there is plenty to play for. Arsenal are gunning for the Champions League, while some of the Queens Park Rangers players will be playing for their futures following their recent relegation.

4.36pmRight, before we get into all the pre-match facts, figures and statistics - the team news from Loftus Road is just beginning to filter through to us. Let's start with how the visitors will start this encounter...

4.38pmARSENAL XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Nacho; Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski

4.41pmSo, as many predicted, Lukas Podolski looks as though he is going to play in a central role for Arsenal today. The German international will form part of a three-pronged attack which also includes Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla. Elsewhere, Nacho Monreal has come in at left-back in place of Kieran Gibbs.

4.43pmAnd here is how hosting QPR will start the match...

4.44pmQPR XI: Green; Traore, Hill, Ben Haim, Onuoha; Mbia, Jenas, Park, Townsend; Zamora, Remy

4.48pmWell, the big news for QPR is that loanee winger Andros Townsend has recovered from a muscular complaint to start on the left wing. At the back, Tal Ben Haim has been called up to feature alongside captain Clint Hill, which has seen Stephane Mbia move into a midfield role.

4.53pmIt wouldn't be a surprise if the Arsenal players have half an eye on what is going on at White Hart Lane at the moment. A win for Tottenham Hotspur over Southampton would see them leapfrog the Gunners into fourth spot. As it stands, it's 0-0, but that match kicked off a 3.30pm because of traffic problems outside the ground.

4.57pmIf you to follow the last 20 minutes or so of that match, you can. Matt Law has that game covered here.

5.01pmWhile Spurs and Southampton are still playing, the 3pm matches in the Premier League have finished:

Fulham 2-4 Reading
Norwich 1-2 Aston Villa
Swansea 0-0 Man City
West Brom 2-3 Wigan
West Ham 0-0 Newcastle


5.05pmReading's win at Fulham means that QPR have now dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table. Although it is not massively important in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure the R's would not like to finish at the summit. They can change that today though because any sort of win would see them leapfrog the Royals into 19th.

5.09pmSticking with QPR - their manager, Harry Redknapp, has just been talking to ESPN: "They've trained well this week and it's up to the lads to fight for their places next season." There's a warning for you!

5.11pmA bit more from Redknapp and he has hinted that Robert Green could keep goal for QPR next season in the Championship, particularly with Julio Cesar having been strongly linked with a move away - possibly to AC Milan: "Jose Bosingwa and Julio Cesar are both injured. I think Green could be the keeper here next season," said the veteran boss.

5.12pmGOAL! Tottenham 1-0 Southampton (Bale)

5.15pmA massive goal for Spurs! With four minutes left it is that man Gareth Bale who comes back to haunt his former club with a stunning strike. How many times will he get Tottenham out of jail?! As it stands, Arsenal will start this match against QPR in fifth place. Now a win is even more needed.

5.19pmYou have to wonder what will be going through the minds of the Arsenal players now. Of course they will say that they are only concentrating on the match ahead, but it must have affected them - even if it is a little bit. Before Spurs scored a win today would have all but sealed Champions League football. Now, they need the victory to keep in touch.

5.22pmIt's just been announced that captain Clint Hill has been named QPR's player of the season. There won't many entries though to be fair! No offence to Hill, but the fact that he was voted the best player over the last nine months shows why the R's are heading for the Championship.

5.24pmIt's all over at White Hart Lane and Tottenham have won 1-0. Over to you Arsenal...

5.27pmThe players are now about to enter the pitch from a narrow Loftus Road tunnel. It's a bit of a subdued atmosphere, which with their team recently relegated, you can understand why. Not long now until we are off and running.

1 minGAME ON! Right, we are underway at Loftus Road. Big 90 minutes for Arsenal ahead.

1 minGOAL! QPR 0-1 Arsenal (Walcott)

3 minWhat a fantastic start for the Gunners. Former Arsenal full-back Armand Traore gives the ball away inside the QPR half and his error is punished as Theo Walcott beats the offside trap to calmly roll in his 20th goal of the season. That will have cushioned the blow of Tottenham's late win. For QPR, it's the same old story I'm afraid.

7 minWalcott's goal, which was scored after just 21 seconds, is the fastest Premier League goal this season. QPR need to regroup quickly or this could turn into a bit of an embarrassment.

9 minA stat from the chaps at Opta on Twitter: "20 - The last Premier League goal to be scored after 20 secs of a game was Kevin Doyle's for Reading v Sheff Utd in Sept 2006. Fast."

11 minAnd one from Infostrada: "Theo Walcott's goal (20 secs) is Arsenal's fastest in the #EPL era, beating Robin van Persie's strike after 29 seconds on 16 October 2011." That will make him a hero with Arsenal supporters!

14 minIn truth, very little has happened since Arsenal broke the deadlock so early on in this match. Arsenal are looking very comfortable in possession, but they are yet to call Green into any more action. Where QPR are concerned, they are just struggling to get a touch of the ball.

18 minRedknapp is very animated down on the touchline at the moment. He's constantly barking out orders to his defenders. He looks like a man that cannot wait for the end of the season now so he can't start clearing out some of this squad and begin recruiting some fresh faces.

21 minQPR have just had their first shot, but it was nothing to write home about. It's Loic Remy who tries his luck from 25 yards out, but the ball flies high, wide and not very handsome. A big groan rings out around Loftus Road - they've been watching efforts like that all season.

21 minQPR have just had their first shot, but it was nothing to write home about. It's Loic Remy who tries his luck from 25 yards out, but the ball flies high, wide and not very handsome. A big groan rings out around Loftus Road - they've been watching efforts like that all season.

25 minOFF THE POST! This is far too easy for Arsenal - it's like a training match! Some neat play from Tomas Rosicky, who picks out Walcott inside the area. The England international works himself some space, before drilling in a low shot which cannons to safety off the post. Big let off for the R's.

30 minTo be fair to QPR, they've started to pose somewhat of a threat over the last few minutes. Park Ji-Sung, so often a scorer against Arsenal for Manchester United, had a half a chance moments ago, but he could scoop the ball over the crossbar. It's better from the home team though.

34 minFor all their effort, QPR really do not look like scoring a goal. Having said that, Arsenal haven't created too much either. It's all making for a bit of disappointing match. Both sides look like they want the season to end!

38 minCHANCE! It's another shot from distance by the home side and once again the ball ends up in the stand behind the goal. This time it is Mbia who chances his foot from 25 yards out, but it flies harmlessly off target.

45 minWe are going to have one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: QPR 0-1 Arsenal

6.19pmWhatever way you try and dress it up - that was not a pretty half of football. If anything, the early goal killed the game. Since then Arsenal have controlled the possession, while QPR have offered very little as an attacking threat.

6.23pmFrom a QPR point of view, they need to introduce some creativity into proceedings. As frustrating as he can be, Adel Taarabt could make the difference. He's capable of scoring from distance or producing the pass that will allow the likes of Remy or Bobby Zamora to score.

6.25pmAs for Arsenal, they don't need to make any changes - perhaps just step up the intensity. It's been too easy for them for large parts and that has shown in their performance. They look a little laid back and a bit complacent. If they do step things up, there's only one outcome here.

6.30pmStaying with Arsenal, I dread to think what the team of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and co would have done to this QPR outfit. They would have been out of sight by now, that's for sure. That's where Arsenal are lacking these days, they sometimes struggle to win convincingly against the weaker teams.

45 minAs the second half gets back underway, QPR have made a change, but it's not an attacking one. Holding midfielder Mbia has been replaced by Shaun Derry, who is not exactly well known for his goalscoring ability!

48 minBright start to the second half by QPR, who win a free kick in a dangerous area. It's swung over by Jermaine Jenas for Derry, who heads the ball across goal. Unfortunately for him and the home side no attacker can get on the end of it and the danger is cleared by Rosicky.

53 minThe match has now swung back Arsenal's way and has that training match feel once again. The Gunners are stroking the ball around the pitch and are making their opposition work extremely hard. If this carries on, it will only be a matter of time before they net a second goal.

56 minSAVES! Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has all of a sudden been awoken form his slumber. The Pole does brilliantly well to palm away a powerful drive from Townsend, while moments later he gets down well to hold Remy's low drive from the edge of the area.

60 minBOOKING! Townsend, on loan from Spurs, is beginning to cause problems for Arsenal. He's pulled back by Monreal on this occasion and the Spaniard is quite rightly cautioned by referee Mark Halsey.

65 minBOOKING! Now that is what Derry is known for - getting stuck in and picking up yellow cards! He's just been cautioned for a late sliding challenge on Sagna. He tries to plead his innocence but the referee, quite rightly, is having none of it.

69 minSAVE! That's better from Arsenal as some neat passing play opens up a chance for Cazorla. The Spanish playmaker opts to shoot from the edge of the area and unleashes a swerving drive. Green is equal to it though and manages to get both hands behind the ball.

75 minSAVE! Another piece of action for Green as Walcott sends a shot goalwards from 20 yards out. The QPR keeper actually makes a mess of it initially, but he makes up for his error by diving on the loose ball.

77 minA stat from Opta on Twitter: "0 - QPR are the only team in the Premier League this season yet to win a point with a goal in the final 10 minutes. Concern."

80 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A switch for both sides as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Podolski, while the home side bring on Taarabt in place of the disappointing Park.

84 minSAVE! What a great stop from Szczesny, who has kept Arsenal in front. Remy looks as though he has curled QPR level, but the visiting keeper somehow gets down in time to turn the ball around the post. That's brilliant from a keeper whose manager had said had lost his confidence earlier this year.

88 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Another two swaps for the visiting Gunners. Cazorla is coming off and on in his place is Jack Wilshere. That's not a bad replacement, is it?! Also on is Thomas Vermaelen for Rosicky.

90 minQPR have three minutes of stoppage time to salvage something from this game.

90+3 minFULL TIME: QPR 0-1 Arsenal

7.23pmSo, it was by no means easy on the eye, but where Arsenal are concerned it was always all about the three points. They got them and have moved back up to fourth in the race for a Champions League place.

7.26pmThat's all we have time for from Loftus Road. Thanks for joining us this evening and be sure to look out for our analysis of the match, which will be on the site shortly. Until next time, goodbye.

Theo Walcott with the match ball at the end of the match after scoring a hat trick against Newcastle on December 29, 2012
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