QPR 1-2 Fulham: Scott Parker's men come out on top in West London derby
(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Fulham came out on top in the West London derby against Queens Park Rangers, picking up their first points since the restart and keeping themselves comfortably in the top six.

Fulham had moments of dominance in the middle of both halves, although the home side certainly had bright sparks in the game too, and if they took their chances, it could have been a completely different result.

Ultimately, strikes from Harry Arter and Cyrus Christie cancelled out Jordan Hugill's early opener to give Scott Parker's side all three points.

Story of the match

First half:

Just 50 seconds into the game, Ryan Manning crossed from the left and found Hugill, who rose above Tim Ream and headed into the bottom corner, with Marek Rodak rooted to the spot.

The first chance of the game for Fulham came just after the ten minute mark, Christie cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed shot from just outside the area, which was comfortable for Liam Kelly to gather.

Bobby Decordova-Reid then robbed Geoff Cameron of possession in a dangerous area, although the Fulham attacker slashed a shot way over the bar.

20 minutes in, Tom Cairney’s cross from the left-hand side was deflected and fell to Harrison Reid just outside the area, whose effort struck the post.

Just moments later, the home side were dispossessed in a dangerous area once again, this time Arter stole possession from Dominic Ball, before hitting a left-footed effort from just outside the area, to equalise for the visitors. Kelly got a touch and will feel he should have kept it out.

QPR started brightly and were pressing high before Fulham’s equaliser, the away side were much better after their goal though as they grew into the game. Although, the R’s regained control of the game for the final 15 minutes of the first period.

With 10 minutes of the first half to go, Luke Amos had a glorious chance to make it 2-1 to QPR. Bright Osayi-Samuel did brilliantly down the left-hand side, taking the ball past Christie with ease, before cutting it back to Amos who was free just inside the box, although the midfielder smashed the ball over the bar.

Just before the break, a cross from the left found Hugill on the edge of the box, who took the ball down on his chest, moved the ball way from the Fulham defender and fired a fierce effort on goal, which was saved well by Rodak.

Second half:

Five minutes in to the second period, Anthony Knockaert cut inside onto his left foot before his curling effort from about 25 yards out was saved well by Kelly.

Manning, whose crosses were a threat all game, delivered a ball across the penalty area and found fellow wing back Todd Kane, who volleyed over.

After a spell of dominance from the home side, they were caught out when Knockaert was put through, his effort was deflected and needed to be cleared by Kane to avoid a tap in at the back post.

Christie gave Fulham the lead with 15 minutes to go, he hit a rocket of a shot from 25 yards out, it flew across the goal and past a hopeless Kelly in between the sticks for the R’s, who will be disappointed they did not close the goal scorer down.

Manning was so close to getting an equaliser with two minutes to go, his bullet header from a corner crashed against the crossbar and was eventually cleared to safety.

Other than that, the away side saw out the game comfortably and earned themselves an important win.

Takeaways

A vital three points for Fulham in their promotion bid:

Before the return of football, Fulham were in contention for automatic promotion, although after defeats against Brentford and Leeds United, a defeat in this game could have seen them just four points ahead of seventh depending on results elsewhere the next day, so a win was vital in avoiding real worry for Parker.

With West Bromwich Albion out of form as of late, they will still be hoping to have a shot at the automatic promotion places, should they have a strong end to the campaign.

A change of formation for QPR:

Mark Warburton set his side up playing in a 3-5-2/5-3-2 system, with Manning and Kane playing full-back and Kakai part of the three central defenders.

His full-backs, Manning in particular, used the system to get themselves space down the flanks and delivered some great balls into the box, and although Fulham exploited some of the spaces in between the central defenders and wing-backs, it is safe to say both goals were easily avoidable no matter what formation was in place.

Man of the match

Ryan Manning:

Despite being on the losing side, Manning was a constant threat down the flank for the home side, he set up Hugill for his goal and could have earned himself at least one more assist from some of his inch perfect deliveries. 

He was also inches away from scoring a late equaliser, his bullet header crashed against the cross bar.

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