MX23RW : Monday, March 25 10:50:37

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

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report as a late Mikel Arteta goal earns Arsenal a 1-0 win over QPR at the Emirates Stadium.
Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-0 QPR - as it happened
© PA Photos

Arsenal hosted bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon on the back of defeats both in the Premier League and Champions League.

After a drab first half, Mikel Arteta bagged the winner in a frantic final 10 minutes following Stephane Mbia's red card for the visitors.

Find out how the Gunners got back to winning ways in our minute-by-minute report below.

2.03pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of today's Premier League encounter between Arsenal and QPR at the Emirates Stadium.

2.06pmThese two sides come into the match in poor form, but it's the visitors who are in bigger need of the points as they currently sit bottom of the table without a win in eight.

2.09pmThat said, the R's earned themselves a 1-1 draw against Everton last weekend and an (unlikely) win today could get them out of the drop zone.

2.09pmBREAKING NEWS: Jack Wilshere starts for Arsenal.

2.10pmI was going to go into my little bit about the Gunners and how they've lost their last two match but the Gunners' team is in and Jack Wilshere makes his long-awaited return from injury to start today's match. What a boost that is for the hosts.

2.12pmARSENAL: Mannone; Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Santos; Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla; Podolski, Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho

2.16pmQPR: Cesar; Traore, Nelsen, Mbia, Bosingwa; Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Diakite, Granero; Hoilett, Zamora
Subs: Green, Ferdinand, Cisse, Onuoha, Mackie, Ephraim, Faurlin

2.18pmFor the record, that's Jack Wilshere's first senior start for Arsenal since May 2011. Bacary Sagna is also back in the starting lineup for the first time this season following his broken leg. That's perk the Gunners faithful up!

2.21pmWilshere has steadily been gaining some match fitness in the Arsenal reserves and Arsene Wenger clearly feels that the midfielder is up to the rigours of the Premier League again.

2.25pmThose injury boosts will be music to Arsenal ears considering their performances in their last two matches.

2.28pmThey slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Norwich last Saturday before Schalke showed them how to finish in front of goal during Wednesday's Champions League loss to the Germans.

2.30pmTo make a disappointing week worse, there were some angry exchanges on Thursday at the club's AGM. Boy, would a win today brighten the mood in that corner of North London...

2.33pmIf Arsenal's woes seemed bad, spare a thought for QPR who are still looking for their first win of the season. Manager Mark Hughes spent big over the summer but the new additions to the squad have yet to make a real impact on things at Loftus Road.

2.37pmNot only have those players failed to light up the Premier League, but there have been some fairly poor performances from the R's in the opening stages of the season. I was (un)fortunate enough to watch their 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend and, to say the least, I found myself idly flicking through the Sunday supplements on more than one occasion.

2.41pmThe final whistle has gone in today's early kickoff in the Premier League and Norwich City have earned themselves a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. Michael Turner grabbed the equaliser 12 minutes from time to deny Villa boss Paul Lambert a win against his former side.

2.46pmThere was a win each for the two sides in this fixture last season as the Gunners earned a 1-0 victory at the Emirates on New Year's Eve before QPR got their revenge 2-1 at Loftus Road three months later.

2.49pmAnton Ferdinand is wearing a 'Kick It Out' t-shirt during the warm up...

2.50pmUnfortunately for the defender, he starts today's game on the bench.

2.55pmRight, prediction time: I wouldn't be surprised if QPR scored first here at the Emirates but they haven't kept a clean sheet away in the league in 20 matches. With that in mind, I'm going to go for a 3-1 Arsenal victory.

2.56pmThe QPR fans are in fine voice inside the Emirates as we await the players to emerge from the tunnel...

2.57pmAnd here they come!

3.00pmThe handshakes are done, the Fatboy Slim soundtrack has been muted and we're now ready for kickoff. It'll be Arsenal to get us underway...

2 minThe Gunners aren't letting the visitors have a touch in these opening couple of minutes.

4 minQPR get forward for the first time, but Bosingwa's cross is poorly hit and the ball flies out for a goal kick. The Portuguese full-back had plenty of time to deliver something better there.

6 minThe visitors are enjoying plenty of the ball now. It's started fairly openly, this one.

9 minCHANCE! Julio Cesar had to improvise there as Cazorla's cross was deflected towards goal. The Brazilian goalkeeper did just about enough to get it away from danger.

10 min OFF THE CROSSBAR! Close again for Arsenal as Ramsey's flicked header from Sagna's cross comes off the top of the bar before going out of play. Promising stuff from the hosts.

12 minPodolski is given time to shoot from all of 25 yards, but the ball drifts wide of Cesar's post.

15 minWilshere hasn't seen an awful lot of the ball in this opening quarter of an hour, though he has looked typically unflustered when he's been in possession.

17 minA sniff at goal for Giroud there. The Frenchman's cross is blocked but he manages to get a shot off at the second attempt. However, it's easy for Cesar who gathers.

18 minCHANCE! Wilshere is given time to have a crack at goal. Cesar makes a mess of the tame shot, but the ball is cleared by his attentive defence as Giroud lurked to convert the rebound.

20 minMannone is called into action for the first time now as he punches away a lofted free kick into the box.

22 minPoor again from Bosingwa. He's got acres of time to get a decent ball in the box but instead has his weak pass snuffed out. He had two men waiting in the area there.

24 minQPR are starting to string some nice passes together now and it's Shaun Wright-Phillips who drags his effort wide.

27 minArsenal have certainly had the better chances inside this opening 27 minutes, but the visitors have good reason to believe that they can nick a goal.

29 minCHANCE! Cesar fails to hold onto a shot again. This time it's Giroud who goes for goal and the goalkeeper can only bat it out back into the dangerzone. Again his defence come to the rescue to clear.

32 minCesar is having a bit of a nightmare here. He decides to take a touch on a back pass but is closed down quickly by Giroud. He pokes a weak pass out that is picked up by Podolski, who's cross is eventually cleared.

34 minArsenal have a free kick in a dangerous position as Giroud is bundled over...

35 minPodolski takes it, but it hits the wall.

37 minIt's a corner for QPR now...

38 minThe ball gets played out to Traore, who has his powerful drive blocked by the Arsenal defence. That was the first real piece of attacking play from the visitors in the last 10 minutes.

40 minThere's a vague sense of frustration around the Emirates now. Arsenal are struggling to pick holes in the QPR back line.

42 minWilshere's down momentarily following a challenge from Diakite. He's soon back on his feet though, much to the relief of the home fans.

44 minCHANCE! Wilshere, who has been part of all of Arsenal's best moves in this first half, plays in Cazorla who can only fire a weak right-footed shot at Cesar.

45 minThere will be one minute of added time...

3.47pmHALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 QPR

3.48pmNot the greatest 45 minutes of football you'll see today as the two sides go in goalless at the break. Arsenal had the better chances in that half and will be buoyed by Jack Wilshere's involvement, but QPR look dangerous on the break and clearly believe that they can do some damage here.

3.52pmWe're clearly setting a trend here at the Emirates this afternoon if they other Premier League half-time scores are anything to go by. Here they are...


Arsenal 0-0 QPR
Reading 1-0 Fulham
Stoke 0-0 Sunderland
Wigan 1-0 West Ham

3.58pmThere was also an early kickoff in the Premier League today which saw Norwich earn a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. You can read our match report of that encounter here.

4.00pmThe players are back out for the second half...

4.02pmIt looks like there's been no changes to either side at half time. It'll be QPR to get us underway.

46 minCesar's at it again. His limp goal kick goes about 25 yards but Arsenal can't capitalise.

47 minThis doesn't look good. Wilshere is down clutching his ankle and is getting some treatment.

48 minHe's back on his feet though and it looks like he'll be fine. Arsenal fans, you can exhale now.

50 minIt's a cynical one from Granero as he takes out Santos. A chance for Arsenal now to get the ball in the box.

51 minCHANCE! Arteta whips the ball in and Mertesacker flicks the ball towards goal. However, Cesar gets down low to make the save. The Brazilian had to be alert there.

53 minIt's QPR's turn to get a ball in the box now, but Wright-Phillips hits it out for a goal kick.

54 minDISALLOWED GOAL! That would have been lovely if Hoilett was onside, but he wasn't. Granero scoops a cheeky ball into the area which the winger deftly lifts over Mannone. The flag was up though.

55 minIt's end to end stuff now. Arsenal have a free kick in a central position about 25 yards out after Wilshere is felled.

56 minCazorla hits it low, but the ball rolls harmlessly to Cesar. Not quite sure what the Spaniard was trying there.

58 minArsenal have another free kick now, pretty much in the same position as the previous one. Granero is the culprit for his challenge on Arteta and the Argentine is walking a very fine line after picking up a booking for the last one.

59 minOh dear. It's almost the same outcome as the previous one. There's no sting in the ball and it goes straight through to Cesar's waiting arms.

62 minIt's a half chance for Ramsey. Santos loops a cross to the back post which the midfielder nods over the bar.

63 minTraore went off for some treatment there but is back on.

65 minCLOSE FOR QPR! Taarabt pings a beauty of a ball out to Wright-Phillips on the right wing, who curls an equally-decisive ball into the box. Zamora attacks it, but Vermaelen gets there first to head the ball away. Great stuff from the visitors.

66 minSUBSTITUTION: Jack Wilshere comes off to big cheers from the home fans and is replaced by Theo Walcott.

68 minArsenal putting pressure on QPR in and around the box but the move breaks down when Arteta lashes the ball into row z.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for Arsenal now as Gervinho replaces Lukas Podolski. Let's just say that there's muted applause for the Ivory Coast international as he enters the fray.

71 minGervinho's in the thick of the action straight away as he fires wide from the angle.

73 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double change for QPR here with Nedum Onuoha and Djibril Cisse on for Armand Traore and Bobby Zamora.

75 minTime running out for Arsenal to make the breakthrough. We've got 15 minutes left...

77 minCHANCE! Walcott's cross is cleared only as far as Cazorla, who is on the penalty spot. The Spaniard has a crack first time with his weaker right foot but blazes the ball high over the bar. Best chance of the day.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: QPR make their final change of the day as Jamie Mackie comes on for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

79 minRED CARD! Stephane Mbia (QPR)

80 minStephane Mbia - you silly, silly boy. He's already won the free kick after Vermaelen bundles him over, but the defender decides to kick out at the Arsenal skipper and is duly sent off. Absolutely needless.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: While all that was going on, Gervinho is off injured for Andriy Arshavin.

82 minIt's all happening now. Cesar pulls off an amazing reflex save to steer the ball away after Onuoha had deflected the ball goalwards.

83 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 QPR (Arteta)

83 minIt's scrappy but Arsenal don't care. Cesar pulls off another couple of saves as the ball bounces here, there and everywhere. It eventually comes off the crossbar to Arteta, who pokes in.

85 minYou have to wonder what Stephane Mbia is thinking. Indiscipline cost QPR so much last season and it's damaged them again today. Can they grab an equaliser or will Arsenal get another?

86 minBOOKING: Taarabt goes into the book now for dissent.

86 minCHANCE! Cesar is called into action again as he is forced down low to tip away Ramsey's volley.

89 minCHANCE! Cesar is certainly earning his corn today. The Brazilian pulls off a brilliant save to deny Cazorla's curled effort.

90 minQPR NEARLY SNATCH AN EQUALISER! Granero shows great control in the box from Taarabt's long ball but can only drag wide. Was that the chance to get level?

90 minThis one isn't over yet though as there will be FIVE MINUTES of added time...

90+2 minHUGE CHANCE AGAIN FOR QPR! Mackie somehow gets through the Arsenal defence but is denied at point-blank range by Mannone. A breathless finish here at the Emirates!

90+5 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 QPR

4.55pmAnd there's the final whistle! Arsenal get back to winning ways thanks to Mikel Arteta's late goal, while QPR remain rooted bottom of the table. The match came alive after QPR's Stephane Mbia was sent off in the 79th minute and it was quite a final 10 minutes at the Emirates. The visitors had plenty of chances to equalise but that was only after Julio Cesar performed some heroics at the other end.

4.56pmAnyway, that's all from me today. I hope you enjoyed Sports Mole's coverage of the match and we hope to see you again soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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