Apr 1, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Craven Cottage
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')

Live Commentary: Fulham 3-2 Queens Park Rangers - as it happened

Live Commentary: Fulham 3-2 QPR - as it happened
© PA Photos
Read how QPR fell just short of an amazing comeback against Fulham and fell deeper into relegation trouble with a defeat at Craven Cottage, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live coverage.

Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers visited west London rivals Fulham this evening in desperate need of points in their fight for Premier League survival.

A pair of Christopher Samba errors gifted Dimitar Berbatov an early double and Clint Hill put the ball into his own net on 42 minutes to increase Fulham's advantage further.

The recalled Adel Taarabt gave QPR hope with a reply before the break and then earned Rangers a spot kick shortly after the resumption of play.

Loic Remy missed the penalty, but did pull one back for the visitors, whose chances of a result were improved when Steve Sidwell was dismissed for a lunge on Armand Traore late on.

Despite being a man down, Fulham hung on for a victory that leaves QPR seven points adrift of safety.

Below, you can read how an incident-packed match unfolded at Craven Cottage.

7.13pmSo after our FA Cup appetiser earlier today, we have a Premier League match to sink our teeth into this evening, and it is a very important one for Queens Park Rangers.

7.15pmThe Hoops, seven points away from safety, have eight games to save their Premier League status, and the first of those is a west London derby at Fulham. Here's the team news...

7.17pmFULHAM: Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise; Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Duff; Ruiz, Berbatov

7.18pmSUBS: Etheridge, Hughes, Richardson, Frimpong, Frei, Emanuelson, Rodallega

7.19pmQPR: Cesar; Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore; Townsend, Jenas, Mbia, Taarabt; Remy, Zamora

7.20pmSUBS: Green, Ben Haim, Onuoha, Park, Granero, Hoilett, Mackie

7.22pmAdel Taarabt is the headline inclusion in the Hoops XI as Redknapp hands the inconsistent playmaker his first Premier League start since February 9.

7.24pmHe will support a strike pairing of Bobby Zamora and Loic Remy as Redknapp names an ultra-attacking lineup in a bid to clinch three vital points for the visitors.

7.26pmRedknapp has been vocal about his desire to partner injury-prone Zamora with Remy, but the duo have only played together three times since the Frenchman's January arrival.

7.28pmTottenham Hotspur loanee Andros Townsend, twice a scorer since arriving from White Hart Lane on a deal until the end of the season, will provide pace and width on the QPR left flank.

7.29pmJermaine Jenas has begun to establish himself in the QPR midfield in recent weeks and is another former Spurs man in the away team.

7.31pmArmand Traore returns at left-back in a straight swap for Fabio da Silva, who along with Park Ji-Sung, makes way in one of two changes to the side that lost agonizngly at relegation rivals Aston Villa.

7.33pmJulio Cesar is maintained in goal after making his return from a fortnight's absence in the 3-2 defeat at Villa Park.

7.35pmHis understudy, Robert Green, is included on a Hoops bench that boasts Hoilett, Granero and Mackie as its attacking options.

7.38pmFulham manager Martin Jol has the luxury of naming an unchanged lineup for the fourth game in succession, and this consistent team selection has been key to their strong post-Christmas form.

7.40pmThe Cottagers have lost only twice in the Premier League since the turn of the year - to Manchester United and Manchester City - a run that has seen them climb into the top half.

7.42pmOf course, Dimitar Berbatov is still the headline attraction at the Cottage, and he again leads the Fulham line tonight, with Bryan Ruiz playing just in behind him.

7.43pmAshkan Dejagah is an emerging star in west London and will start from the right-hand side, with the much more experienced Damien Duff operating on the opposite wing.

7.44pmPhillipe Senderos is now established in the centre of defence after dislodging Brede Hangeland's long-term partner, Aaron Hughes, who is on the home bench.

7.45pmHughes also finds himself out of the Fulham side due to the form of FC Koln loanee Sasha Reither, who has been speaking about his hopes of joining the club on a permanent basis.

7.47pm"I have enjoyed this year in the Premier League and we will have talks in the next few weeks," said Riether. "I hope we have a positive result from that."

7.49pmHis fellow loanees, Emmanuel Frimpong and Urby Emanuelson are the midfield reinforcements on Martin Jol's bench, and Hugo Rodallega is also an option if the Dutchman's mercurial forward pair of Ruiz and Berbatov fail to manufacture a breakthrough.

7.51pmJust under 10 minutes until kickoff now between the two local rivals, so local in-fact that Fulham ground shared with QPR at Loftus Road from 2002 to 2004 while the Cottage was under development.

7.53pmThere are other connections between the two clubs, with QPR striker Bobby Zamora a former Fulham favourite due to his four-year spell with the Whites, with whom he reached a Europa League final.

7.55pmDimitar Berbatov enters this match seeking a fourth goal in as many games, but QPR have their own dangermen in attack, which begs the question, what will separate the two teams this evening?

7.58pmPREDICTION: I am anticipating goals in this one. QPR have named an attacking lineup and I fancy their forwards to inspire them to victory. 1-2 Rangers.

1 minWe are underway at Craven Cottage...

3 minCesar lumps a ball forward and Hangeland out jumps former teammate Zamora. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the more sizeable Samba at set pieces, though.

5 minSHOT! Stephane Mbia registers the first shot on target of the evening, ignoring options left and right to shoot low into Schwarzer's gloves from 25 yards.

6 minCHANCE! It is Cesar's turn to make a low save from Duff's rifled effort, and when the rebound comes to Ruiz, the Costa Rican stands up a cross which Dejagah just fails to make contact with.

7 minPENALTY! Talking about Dejagah and contact, the 26-year-old winger has earned Fulham an early penalty. Samba muscles Berbatov off the ball, but Dejagah sneaks up on the QPR defender's blind side, pinches the ball from him and Samba brings him to ground.

8 minGOAL! Fulham 1-0 QPR (Dimitar Berbatov) Berbatov steps up...and of course he scores! The Bulgarian strolls up to the ball as only he does and sends Cesar the wrong way with a gentle spot kick.

10 minThat is Berbatov's fourth goal in his last four games, and incidentally, it came from the first penalty kick that QPR have conceded in the Premier League this season.

11 minRuiz plays successive one-twos with firstly Berbatov, and then Dejagah, who flicks the ball back into Ruiz's path. He strides into the area, but Samba and Hill sandwich him out and after a nervy slip, the former clears the danger.

13 minBOOKING: Clint Hill is shown a yellow card for nasty, late lunge on Karagounis, who has Berbatov running to his aid to inform Hill, quite forcefully, just how bad that challenge was.

15 minSHOT! Berbatov is given a ticking off, but avoids a caution before Ruiz resumes the action with a bending free-kick that was always curling away from Cesar's near post.

16 minBerbatov slides in Duff down the left flank with a clever through pass, and the Irishman bides his time before squaring towards Ruiz, who is beaten to the ball by Samba.

17 minDejagah underhits a corner, which Ruiz salvages with a near post flick that Berbatov tries to guide in with a tame header at the near post. The instinctive effort had neither the power or direction to trouble Cesar, though.

18 minHill shakes his head in protest after conceding another foul for a trip on Dejagah. The QPR centre-half could be in for a long evening having been booked early on.

20 minCLOSE! Duff delivers a free-kick that Hangeland challenges for with Samba. The pair wrestle each other to the ground, and the ball flies off Samba's back and somehow evades Cesar's bottom corner.

22 minGOAL! Fulham 2-0 QPR (Dimitar Berbatov)

23 minSamba makes a criminal mistake, dwelling on the ball on the edge of his own box and his hesitation allows Dejagah to dispossess him. The ball falls to Berbatov, who can't believe his luck as he is gifted a free run at Cesar to slides a shot under the Brazilian and into the bottom corner.

24 minCHANCE! Townsend floats in a cross which Remy heads back across goal for Zamora to hit on the turn. Those kind of efforts are always difficult to control, but the Rangers man would have expected to do better with his shot that flies over the crossbar.

28 minCHANCE! Remy and Zamora combine again, swapping roles as the Englishman nods down an Mbia cross into the path of his strike partner, whose deflected strike misses the goal by several yards.

30 minA misplaced Traore pass gives Fulham the opportunity to counter through Duff, whose pass inside is collected by Karagounis. The Greek charges at the Hoops back four, but loses control of the ball and ends up colliding with Hill in a clash that leaves the Fulham man dazed on the floor.

32 minQPR are certainly starting to settle into this game, two defensive mistakes and two goals too late perhaps. Taarabt is helping them keep the ball by dictating play from deeper, but he can't really influence the game from the centre circle.

34 minBERBATOV! Fulham's Bulgarian maestro has the crowd purring with appreciation following a piece of skill that simultaneously saw him control a long Riise pass and lob Traore. Berbatov's fancy footwork nearly leads to a goal too, as Bosingwa knocks his cross towards his own net, only for Cesar to jump on the loose ball.

37 minSHOTS! Townsend is trying to inject some much-needed purpose into the QPR attacks and twice lets fly from range. The first effort is blocked by Senderos, and the second flicks Schwarzer's side netting.

39 minSUBSTITUTION: The bright Dejagah picks up a knock in a collison with Traore, and cannot recover to continue the match. AC Milan loanee Urby Emanuelson is on in his place.

41 minGOAL! Fulham 3-0 QPR (Clint Hill own goal)

42 minQPR's misery, and in particular that of their centre-backs, deepens and Fulham's evening gets even better as they grab a third before the break. A flowing Fulham move on the left eventually results in Hangeland, yes Hangeland, backheeling the ball through to Riise on the left byline. The Norwegian fizzes a cross in towards Ruiz, which Hill cannot help but divert into his own net.

44 minGOAL! Fulham 3-1 QPR (Adel Taarabt)

45 minRangers have one back, and it is certainly the pick of tonight's goals. Again, it is aided by a mistake as Karagounis misplaces a pass to Zamora, who lays the ball back first time to Taarabt. He is finally in an area where he can cause serious damage, and he does just that, running at Hangeland before shifting the ball onto his right foot and shooting low across Schwarzer into the bottom corner. Lifeline.

45+1 minThat goal will certainly give QPR something to cling onto in the second period, if they can survive the two minutes of first-half stoppage time without any more defensive calamities.

8.50pmHALF-TIME: Fulham 3-1 QPR

8.54pmI'm not sure if that was entertaining, or painful to watch. No, it was entertaining for Fulham supporters, who witnessed a disastrous QPR start, with record-signing Samba the chief culprit. The big defender firstly conceded a penalty, which Dimitar Berbatov cooly converted, and then made a real mess of things on the edge of his own box, allowing the Bulgarian to tuck in an equally comfortable second.

8.57pmSomehow, things got worse for the visitors when Clint Hill turned the ball into his own net at the near post, following a flowing Fulham move down the left. However, Adel Taarabt gave Harry Redknapp's half-time team talk a more hopeful complexion with a solo reply just before the interval - his third goal against the Cottagers this season.

9.00pmIt has been a crazy opening 45 minutes in west London, and do not rule out more madness in the second half. A QPR comeback is not out of the question.

9.02pmSUBSTITUTION: News of a half-time substitution from the QPR camp, who have withdrawn the yellow-carded Clint Hill and replaced him with Nedum Onuoha

46 minWe are back underway at the Cottage, and it takes all of eight seconds for QPR to launch their first attack of the half. Remy takes advantage of a fortunate ricochet to charge at an unprotected Fulham defence and unleash a shot that is deflected behind off Senderos for a corner.

47 minTaarabt whips in the resultant set piece and it somehow evades a crowded penalty area, with a rather static Loic Remy the closest to making contact at the back post.

48 minPENALTY! QPR have a spot kick of their own, and it is Taarabt who is again the architect of the opportunity. He faces up to Karagounis near the left byline, and shows some trickery to wrong foot the Greek, who stretches to make a slide tackle that brings Taarabt to the floor. Karagounis complains, but it is difficult to tell whether he took the ball or not.

49 minMISS! Remy, and not regular taker Taarabt, takes on the spot-kick responsibility, but Schwarzer guesses the right way and saves a tame effort from the Frenchman. Redknapp is furious on the touchline!

51 minGOAL! Fulham 3-2 QPR (Loic Remy)

52 minRemy makes immediate amends! Playing through the centre, rather than on the flanks as he did in the first period, he attaches himself to Senderos and spins away from him to collect an Mbia through pass. The ball bounces off him, making the shot difficult to control, but he finishes emphatically with a strike that thunders off the bar and into the net. Oh, the drama. The comeback is definitely on!

55 minSHOT! Now QPR are seeking an equaliser. They attack with numbers as Townsend strides through the middle. He has options left and right, but instead opts to shoot from 25 yards. He forces Schwarzer into parrying the low strike, but he may have been better off looking for a pass there.

58 minQPR have a free-kick in a very promising position, about 22 yards out to the right centre of the goal, following a foul on Mbia by Emanuelson. There is no shortage of potential takers, either...

59 minJenas, Townsend and Remy all staked their claim, but it was Taarabt who struck it, low and straight into the wall. His trio of teammates may feel they have a greater claim to the next opportunity.

62 minEmanuelson finally has a chance to run in his favoured direction, and he dribbles past Bosingwa before smartly keeping the ball in play and cutting it back. Hangeland is the unlikely recipient, and is charged down before he can get a shot away.

64 minTownsend has been a real livewire and here, despite being under pressure from Duff and Riise, he squeezes a cross into the box looking for Remy, only to see Senderos clear for a throw-in.

66 minAgain, Townsend is involved, carrying the ball for 40 yards before playing it to Remy's feet. Townsend's inside run creates space for Bosingwa on the right, and he collects a pass from the Frenchman and drills in a cross that is just too close to Schwarzer.

69 minCHANCE! Samba, who had stayed up following a QPR set piece, brilliantly controls a Traore cross and attempts a half volley with his weaker left foot that he drags wide of the post.

72 minIt has been mainly QPR in the last fifteen minutes, but Emanuelson gives Fulham a pacey outlet on the counter attack. He runs into space before attempting to thread in Berbatov with an acute pass which Samba cuts out.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: Redknapp uses his first attacking option off the bench, throwing on Junior Hoilett. Surprisingly, though, Taarabt is the man who makes way.

76 minCHANCE! Remy is put through by Townsend's pass, but is forced wide by the Fulham centre-back pair. He is all on his own in the home area, but turns cleverly away from Hangeland to create space for a shot, which he slices high and wide with his weaker left foot.

77 minSAVE! Zamora is not closed down 30 yards out and he shifts the ball out of his feet and fires a low effort. It is bound for the bottom corner prior to a superb stop by Schwarzer, who stretches out a hand to make an important parry round the post.

80 minRED CARD! Sidwell is off! He twice loses control of the ball as he dribbles and on the second of these occasions, he lunges into a challenge with Traore. The Fulham man spends a couple of minutes on the ground, even calling on the physio to delay his demise, which is confirmed when Lee Probert gives him his marching orders. It was forceful, and late, but the Cottagers will argue that a yellow may have sufficed.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Jol reacts to the hosts going a man down by introducing Emmanuel Frimpong as a direct replacement for Sidwell. Emanuelson, himself a first-half sub, is sacrificed for the cause.

83 minSUBSTITUTION: Redknapp uses his bench for the final time, throwing on Jamie Mackie in place of Armand Traore, and shifting Andros Townsend to left-back in the process.

85 minSHOT! Jenas has rarely been involved in an attacking sense, but he nearly nets a third goal in as many games with a bending effort from the left edge of the box. Schwarzer was initially worried, but was happy to let it go past his post in the end.

87 minSince Sidwell's dismissal, Samba is being thrown forward at every opportunity and is now starting to win some headers. As of yet, his knockdowns have not found a QPR shirt.

89 minRedknapp now has Hoilett and Remy playing through the centre, with Samba also occupying a forward position, hoping that the pacey duo can latch onto one of his flick ons.

90 minBOOKINGS: Riether and Senderos are both cautioned for time wasting as we enter the first of FIVE additional minutes. There is still hope for QPR!

90+2 minCHANCE! With time at a premium, Onuoha is reluctant to go back to Cesar as Berbatov pressurises him towards his own goal The Bulgarian pokes the ball away from the QPR man, and Karagounis is in. He miscues a shot wide while wrestling with Onuoha and claims for a penalty. Nothing given, but Fulham have definitely calmed the storm.

90+4 minA long punt forward is headed away by Hangeland, and Fulham are now keeping the ball in the QPR half, winding the clock down with a succession of time-saving throw-ins.

9.54pmFULL-TIME: Fulham 3-2 QPR

9.58pmSo close, and yet so far for QPR, but what an eventful evening of football at Craven Cottage. Five goals, two penalties, one of which was missed, a sending off and several defensive mistakes, this was certainly an incident-packed contest which had all of the drama that the Premier League has become famous for. It's one game down for QPR though, who are now seven points adrift with seven games to go. Fulham, meanwhile, consolidate their position in the top half.

10.00pmThat is all from me this evening! To read more about the incidents listed above, read our match-report on the Craven Cottage action, courtesy of my colleague Barney Corkhill. Thanks for joining Sports Mole tonight. A Happy Easter to you all!

DJ Campbell
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