Live Commentary: Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Stoke City - as it happened

Stoke forward Peter Crouch celebrates a goal against QPR on April 20, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Stoke City's 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League.

Queens Park Rangers' hopes of Premier League survival were all but ended on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat to Stoke City at Loftus Road.

Peter Crouch gave the visitors the lead against his former club before a Jonathan Walters penalty saw the Potters record only their second away win of the season to ease their relegation fears.

The loss means that QPR remain 10 points adrift of safety with four games to play, while Stoke are six points above the drop zone.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how the action unfolded.


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2pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of Queens Park Rangers' crucial Premier League encounter with Stoke City at Loftus Road.

2.02pmSimply put, this is a huge match for both teams today as they battle away at the wrong end of the table. QPR start the game 10 points off safety, while Stoke sit three points above the drop zone. One thing is certain: this is going to be a real nail-biter.

2.03pmTeam news is just trickling in...

2.04pmQPR: Green; Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Ben Haim; Townsend, Mbia, Derry, Hoilett, Taarabt; Remy

2.05pmQPR SUBS: Cesar, Diakite, Park, Mackie, Granero, Onuoha, Bothroyd

2.07pmHarry Redknapp has made a total of five changes to his QPR starting lineup as Rob Green, Tal Ben Haim, Stephane Mbia, Shaun Derry and Adel Taarabt all come in.

2.08pmSTOKE: Begovic; Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, N'Zonzi; Adam, Whelan, Walters, Shotton; Crouch, Jerome

2.09pmSTOKE SUBS: Sorensen, Cameron, Jones, Owen, Whitehead, Kightly, Wilkinson

2.11pmStoke have opted for three new faces in their XI, with Marc Wilson, Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome all in.

2.15pmRight, back to business. Today's match at Loftus Road sees the team with the worst home record in the league take on the team with one of the worst away records. QPR have picked up 14 points on home turf this season, but Stoke have gained only nine on the road.

2.18pmHowever, only a third win in front of their own supporters would give QPR's survival hopes a huge boost. They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Everton last weekend - taking their latest winless run to four matches.

2.21pmDefeat, though, would all but condemn the club to relegation to the Championship. Manager Harry Redknapp has refused to get downbeat about team's fortunes, but it would take a mammoth effort to stay up if things don't go right for them today.

2.23pmRedknapp told reporters on Friday: "The dream is still alive. It's not dead yet and we've got to keep going. We need four wins and a draw from the final five to have a chance.

"We all know it's a tall order but if it happens it may be enough to stay up.

"We have to beat Stoke and then we must win at Reading. Then we have to beat Newcastle and Arsenal, for sure. And then we have to get something at Liverpool."


2.26pmAs you can see from Redknapp's words, the team don't exactly have the easiest of ends to the season. It's a trip to fellow strugglers Reading next weekend before games against Arsenal, Newcastle United and Liverpool.

2.29pmStoke's run-in looks marginally better on paper with clashes against Norwich City, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, and manager Tony Pulis believes that his side needs six more points to guarantee their safety.

2.33pmThe Potters suffered their third consecutive defeat last weekend with a 2-0 loss at home to Manchester United, meaning that they start today with one point from the last 21 available. That's a run that leaves them joint-bottom in the Premier League form table.

2.36pmTony Pulis: "I'd still say 40 points [will mean survival]. We've got a pretty good goal difference, so for us to get to 40 with the goal difference [we would be safe]. It's a five-game season."

2.40pmThere was little to separate these two teams when they met in the league back in November as a Charlie Adam goal gave Stoke a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium. That result took Pulis' side up to the heady heights of 12th place in the table.

2.45pmUPDATE: Cardiff City have just been crowned winners of the Championship with a 1-1 draw at Burnley. The Bluebirds had already secured promotion up to the Premier League, but they will now come up as winners of the second tier. Congratulations to Malky Mackay and everyone at the club.

2.50pmAround 10 minutes to go until this one gets underway at Loftus Road - which way do you think it will go? Will both teams play it cautiously or will they both go all out for the points?

2.55pmAnyway, both sets of players are waiting in the tunnel. It's a gloriously bright day in London, but who will the sun be shining on today?

0 minOkay then, we've had the pre-match formalities and it will be QPR to get us going here at Loftus Road...

2 minCHANCE! The home side have started well and they have the first attempt on goal as Taarabt flashes his shot wide of Begovic's left post from 25 yards.

3 minCHANCE! Big opportunity for Stoke to take the lead through Jerome! The striker gets the ball in acres of space on the left before surging into the box but he can't get his shot away in time. He's forced to check back onto his right foot before Adam's weak cross sees them move break down.

4 minJerome is in the thick of the action moments later with a flicked header from Shotton's cross that should trouble Green, but doesn't.

6 minCHANCE! It's a lively start at Loftus Road as Taarabt's free kick from 25 yards curls narrowly wide of the goal. Both sides are showing plenty of attacking intent in these early stages.

9 minThe game has settled down a bit in the last few minutes following that frantic opening. Stoke are looking a bit more menacing when they're on the ball.

11 minTony Pulis is down on the touchline, prowling about with his trademark tracksuit and cap. He won't be too disappointed with what he's seen so far from his players but there's a long way to go in this one.

13 minQPR win their first corner of the game but Stoke break at lightning speed with plenty of bodies forward. However, Shawcross (of all people) has his cross snuffed out down the left side. A better delivery there and the visitors could well have got themselves in front.

15 minClassic Taarabt. The Moroccan shows lots of skill to work himself a shooting opportunity about 20 yards from goal, but his effort balloons into the stand. Cue a cacophony of groans.

17 minHANDBALL SHOUT! QPR want a penalty believing that Remy's header from a corner struck the arm of Shotton, but referee Chris Foy instead gives the free kick the other way for some pushing and shoving. Replays show that the ball hit Shotton on the side of his body.

19 minHANDBALL SHOUT! Remy appeals for a penalty again as his cross is blocked off by Shawcross. Nothing given though, and rightly so.

21 minYELLOW CARD: The first booking of the day goes to Charlie Adam for his trip on Junior Hoilett.

23 minThere's been little threat up front from Crouch so far, but Jerome is causing QPR a few problems. He's working the spaces out wide well and is fizzing some dangerous balls into the area. All he needs now is for his strike partner to get on the end of one.

25 minSAVE! First proper stop for Begovic to make as he gets down low to stop Remy's left-footed drive from 20 yards. Remy gets away an almost identical shot moments later, which Begovic again deals with.

27 minTownsend, who has been in decent form for QPR recently, hits a tame effort from 25 yards that goes harmlessly wide of the Stoke goal.

29 minCHANCE! Great improvisation from Remy! The striker hits a curling shot first time from the edge of the box that goes narrowly past the post. QPR are looking to shoot at every available opportunity at the moment.

30 minCHANCE! Now it's Crouch's turn to show great technique at the other end. The striker hits a dipping volley from long range that forces Green to make the save. Stoke pump the resulting corner into the box and QPR clear.

32 minSAVE! It's a chance-a-minute a Loftus Road right now. QPR have a free kick on the edge of the box and it's Bosingwa who sees his curler tipped away by Begovic. Both goalkeepers being kept busy in these last few minutes.

35 minTen minutes of normal time to play in this first half and it's not been too bad a game so far. There hasn't been a wealth of dazzling play in midfield from both sides, but there has been some excitement in attack.

37 minQPR get a free kick right on the edge of the area following a foul on Taarabt and Remy hammers it straight into the wall. That was a real waste for the home team.

41 minMbia has possibly the worst shot you'll see in the Premier League this weekend. The midfielder gets the ball about 35 yards from goal and drags his effort woefully wide. Harry Redknapp sits up instantly to tell his players to calm down and use the ball better.

42 minGOAL! QPR 0-1 STOKE (CROUCH)

43 minThe deadlock is broken and it's Peter Crouch who gives Stoke the lead against his former club. Marc Wilson does will to win the ball in midfield before setting Cameron Jerome free down the left. His cross into the box is a low one and Crouch is there to get in front of his man to tap in.

44 minThat was Crouch seventh goal of the season but his first in nine games for the Potters. What an important one it could be in the battle at the bottom.

45 minThe fourth official indicates that there will be two minutes of added time in this first half...

45+2 minHALF TIME: QPR 0-1 STOKE

3.50pmThe half-time whistle goes and it's Stoke City who have a 1-0 lead over Queens Park Rangers in this relegation scrap. Both sides were in the mood to attack during that opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who made the breakthrough late on when Peter Crouch converted Cameron Jerome's cross.

3.53pmA few boos rang out around Loftus Road from the home fans as the players were walking off the pitch there. It wasn't the most dispiriting first half from QPR, though survival is edging further away from them as it stands.

3.53pmA few boos rang out around Loftus Road from the home fans as the players were walking off the pitch there. It wasn't the most dispiriting first half from QPR, though survival is edging further away from them as it stands.

3.56pmThe good news for QPR is that Wigan are currently losing 1-0 at West Ham. Here come the other half-time scores in the Premier League...

3.59pmPREMIER LEAGUE HALF-TIME SCORES:
Swansea 0-0 Southampton;
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal;
Norwich 0-0 Reading;
Sunderland 1-0 Everton;
West Brom 0-1 Newcastle;
West Ham 1-0 Wigan

45 minThe players are back out at Loftus Road and it will be Stoke to get us going...

46 min QPR have made a change at half time with Jamie Mackie coming on for Andros Townsend.

49 minOh dear. Shawcross has bags of space in the QPR penalty and tries to float a cross to the back post, but instead floats the ball into the back of the stand. Safe to say that was the touch of a robust centre-half.

51 minQPR have offered very little in the opening stages of this half. Stoke are doing all the pressing at the moment and look the more likely to score the next goal.

55 minSAVE! Remy twists and turns inside the penalty area before forcing Begovic to make the low save. QPR get a corner out of it before the offside flag goes up. There's certainly a bit more life about the hosts now.

57 minSUBSTITUTION: Adel Taarabt's involvement for the day comes to an end as he is replaced by Jay Bothroyd.

60 minA few tasty challenges are starting to fly in from both sides. Meanwhile, Wilson looks like he's in a bit of trouble with a hamstring problem.

61 minSUBSTITUTION: That is in fact the last we'll see of Wilson as he comes off for Andy Wilkinson.

64 minMISS! Adam has a great chance to wrap up the win for Stoke but he puts his volley over the crossbar having arrived at the back post to meet Crouch's flick-on. The game is becoming far more open now as QPR push for an equaliser. Can Stoke capitalise?

67 minBothroyd is the latest player to have a crack at goal. And blaze the ball way over the crossbar. For all of the willingness from both sides to shoot this afternoon, the execution has been very poor a lot of the time.

69 minYet more groans reverberate around Loftus Road as Hoilett smashes the ball over from 20 yards.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for Stoke with Dean Whitehead replacing Charlie Adam.

72 minSAVE: Good, strong play from Samba in the area as he meets Remy's free kick to get a header on target, but Begovic makes a comfortable save.

72 minSAVE: Good, strong play from Samba in the area as he meets Remy's free kick to get a header on target, but Begovic makes a comfortable save.

74 minPENALTY TO STOKE!

76 minGOAL! QPR 0-2 STOKE (WALTERS)

78 minStoke lead 2-0 through a Jonathan Walters penalty after Peter Crouch was tugged down in the area by Clint Hill. Crouch was trying to convert the rebound after Robert Huth's header had come back off the post, but he was impeded by the QPR defender. Walters slams his first effort down the middle but is forced to take it again. However, he scores from the second attempt with a cool effort into the corner. Is that game over?

80 minTen minutes of normal time left in this one and it's looking very unlikely that QPR will get themselves back into it. They won't be officially down today but it's another nail in the coffin.

85 minA few of the QPR fans are starting to file out of Loftus Road now. Their team looks completely out of ideas right now as they try to salvage something.

88 minBoth managers are still on the touchline barking out orders, but Tony Pulis looks far more content than Harry Redknapp. If Stoke see out these final few minutes then they will have only their second away win of the season.

90 minSUBSTITUTION: Stoke make their final change as Peter Crouch leaves the field for Geoff Cameron. Meanwhile, there will be four minutes of added time.

90+4 minFULL TIME: QPR 0-2 STOKE

4.55pmThe full-time whistle goes and it's a huge win for Stoke City as they come away from Queens Park Rangers with a 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters.

4.56pmThat win has all but kept Stoke in the Premier League for another season, while QPR now look destined to go back down the Championship.

4.57pmAnyway, that's all from me for now. We hope that you've enjoyed our coverage here on Sports Mole and remember that you can keep up to date with the rest of the Premier League action on here across the weekend. Thanks again for joining us and have a good weekend!

Kenwyne Jones, Nathan Dyer
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