Match Analysis: Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Hull City

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at QPR's opening-day defeat at the hands of Hull City at Loftus Road.

Hull City kicked off their Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

James Chester's headed goal after 51 minutes proved to be the difference, as Charlie Austin failed to convert a penalty late on.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action.

Match statistics

Shots: 13
On Target: 6
Possession: 50%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 10

Shots: 7
On target: 4
Possession: 50%
Corners: 9
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair?

On the basis of chances created, you have to say that QPR deserved at least a point from today's game. However, the hosts simply failed to convert their chances when they came, with Austin's late penalty miss the pick of the bunch. In truth, Hull upped their game in the second half and Chester's goal seemed to reinvigorate the Tigers. No longer were they sloppy in possession, but instead more composed and the likelier for large spells to add a second, though of course QPR will point to that missed opportunity from the spot which would have changed the complexion of the contest completely.

QPR's performance

Manager Harry Redknapp stuck to his word and fielded a 3-5-2 formation from the start at Loftus Road, despite the absence of Mauricio Isla, who was omitted due to the correct paperwork not being completed in time. Loic Remy looked particularly lively in the first half, and everything positive came through him from his starting position out wide. Jordon Mutch, too, will prove a strong addition to the side based on the early signs of this game with his powerful bursts, but he, like Remy, faded out of the contest. On the whole, QPR will feel hard done by, but if they can keep hold of Remy you feel that they will steer well clear of the relegation zone come the end of the campaign.

Hull City's performance

At times in the first half, Hull looked particularly sloppy and jaded, which is surprising considering the fact that they have already played 180 minutes of competitive football before today. Robert Snodgrass was perhaps the liveliest Tigers player before he was withdrawn through injury before the interval. Nikica Jelavic was his usual self in and around the penalty area, but in truth he had little to work with over the 90 minutes. The penalty awarded against Hull at the end was extremely harsh, and they will feel that justice was served when Allan McGregor saved the effort.

Sports Mole's man of the match

James Chester: Not only did his goal ultimately separate the two teams, but Chester was also a commanding presence at the back. He regularly put in strong challenges and blocks to keep his side in front, and showed the type of awareness and hunger that Rio Ferdinand at the opposite end often produced in his prime.

Biggest gaffe

Austin really should have levelled the game for the Hoops with five minutes remaining. Whether or not the penalty was deserved mattered little at that moment, but the former Burnley man squandered the chance to become a hero by failing to get the better of McGregor from 12 yards.

Referee performance

Not a great showing from Craig Pawson, it must be said. Hull felt that they should have had a penalty when Jelavic was nudged over by Armand Traore inside the box, but the referee perhaps wrongly allowed play to continue. At the other end, Pawson did point to the spot in the 85th minute when Chester blocked Junior Hoilett's cross with his midriff, yet the referee felt that the centre-back had used his hands.

What next?

Queens Park Rangers: Harry Redknapp returns to his former club next weekend when QPR make the short journey north to face Tottenham Hotpsur. There's plenty for the Hoops manager to take away from this game, and the Loftus Road outfit will give Spurs plenty to think about next Sunday.

Hull City: Steve Bruce's charges turn their attention back to European football this coming week with a Europa League qualifier against Belgian side Lokeren. The injuries to Snodgrass and Alex Bruce will be a cause for concern in what is sure to be a testing few months should Hull progress in the competition.

James Chester #5 of Hull City is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Hull City at Loftus Road on August 16, 2014
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Result: Chester goal gives Hull victory
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