Apr 1, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Craven Cottage
Fulham
3-2
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Berbatov (8' pen., 22'), Hill (41' og.)
Riether (89'), Senderos (90')
Sidwell (79')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Taarabt (45'), Remy (51')
Hill (14')

Match Analysis: Fulham 3-2 Queens Park Rangers

Dimitar Berbatov scores the opening goal from the penalty spot against QPR on April 1, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses the West London derby between Fulham and QPR, where the Cottagers prevailed in a Premier League encounter packed with talking points.

Fulham emerged victorious in an incident-packed West London derby with Queens Park Rangers that leaves the Hoops seven points adrift of Premier League safety.

Dimitar Berbatov capitalised on a pair of Christopher Samba mistakes to put the Cottagers 2-0 up inside 22 minutes, and errors continued to hamper QPR as Clint Hill's own goal increased Fulham's lead further.

Adel Taarabt's individual effort before the break reduced the deficit and Loic Remy, who had missed a penalty minutes earlier, pulled another back for the visitors shortly into the second period.

The sending off of Steve Sidwell gave QPR hope that they could snatch a late draw, but Fulham marshalled out the remaining 10 minutes to secure maximum points.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action at Craven Cottage.

Match statistics

Fulham:
Shots: 9
On target: 5
Possession: 56%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 11

QPR:
Shots: 19
On target: 11
Possession: 44%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 7

Was the result fair?

The statistics show just how hard QPR came at the hosts in their second-half barrage. Rangers certainly had enough chances to cancel out Fulham's three-goal advantage, and their character, resilience and attacking play was deserving of at least a point. However, you cannot afford to make the defensive errors that they did and expect to pick up results. Not at this level, not at any level.

Fulham's performance

After taking the lead, they controlled the opening 30 minutes and prevented QPR from posing an attacking threat, even on the counter. Berbatov produced some moments of magic in the first period and, as usual, Martin Jol's midfield worked tirelessly to support the Bulgarian. When Rangers rallied, the back four lacked protection and Remy and Andros Townsend proved that they find it difficult to deal with genuine pace.

QPR's performance

It was so error-strewn, from the defensive mistakes to the missed penalty. They really did not help themselves, and manager Harry Redknapp cannot atone for the awful individual errors on display tonight. What he can look at positively, though, is the QPR response when they went behind and the fact that they created plenty of goalscoring chances. The Hoops play well in spells, but they are going to have to put together complete performances very quickly if they are to avoid relegation.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Mark Schwarzer: Berbatov, and QPR's awful defending, will likely take the headlines, but Schwarzer pulled off two great saves at two very important times. Firstly, he guessed right to deny Remy from the spot and he later pulled off a fantastic stop to keep out Bobby Zamora's low shot, which came just a few minutes before Sidwell's dismissal and would have given Rangers all the momentum heading into the latter stages had it gone in.

Biggest gaffe

Having already conceded a penalty, Samba made a real mess of things on the edge of his own box and was dispossessed by Ashkan Dejagah in the buildup to Berbatov's second. Criminal.

Referee's performance

Lee Probert had a lot to deal with this evening, but probably got both penalty calls and the sending off decision correct. It could be argued that a yellow card would have sufficed for Sidwell, but when you jump in that forcefully and that late, you are asking for trouble.

What next?

Fulham: Away trips to Newcastle United and Aston Villa as they try to catch those teams above them in the top half.

QPR: A huge, season-defining match against relegation rivals Wigan Athletic at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Dimitar Berbatov is congratulated by team mate Giorgos Karagounis after scoring his second against QPR on April 1, 2013
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