Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, right, and Jonathan Walters each found the net in Stoke City’s 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers yesterday. Glyn Kirk / AFP
Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, right, and Jonathan Walters each found the net in Stoke City’s 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers yesterday. Glyn Kirk / AFP

Stoke City ease relegation fear after win over Queens Park Rangers

Peter Crouch put Stoke City ahead and then a Jonathan Walters penalty kick sealed a 2-0 victory while QPR took another unfortunate step toward relegation, writes Johnathan Wilson.

Queens Park Rangers 0 Stoke City 2
Stoke City Crouch 42’, Walters (pen) 77’

LONDON // For Queens Park Rangers, relegation is all but assured but for Stoke City there is, at last, a gleam of hope in the darkness.

When Jonathan Walters rolled in a 77th-minute penalty effectively to settle the game, their fans celebrated wildly, spinning shirts above heads and dancing topless in the English spring sunshine.

Chants hailing Stoke as by far the greatest team the world has ever seen might have been wildly optimistic but after a run in which they had won just one of their previous 14 games, a little exaggeration could perhaps be forgiven.

They are not the greatest team the world has ever seen, but they were the better side in an anxiety-ridden game that made the pitch look even bobblier than it actually was and the win will no doubt give the entire club a lift as they seek to preserve their Premier League status.

QPR have taken just a single point from their past five games, and just 20 from 21 under Redknapp. Relegation will be confirmed should Aston Villa win at Manchester United on Monday.

Harry Redknapp described QPR's situation as "almost impossible now", although he insisted bad luck – with injuries in particular – had undone them.

"It's a big disappointment. Even today I thought first half we were bang in the game. Without [Bobby] Zamora we lack a forward ball – we have no real target up there," said Redknapp.

"Other than Liverpool, who came here and battered us, I think we've been in every game. I can't look back and say I've not worked hard or tried hard."

Redknapp has two years left on his contract but whether he remains next season is up for debatable.

"I'm not in a position to say where I'll manage," he said.

"I'm lucky to have a job."

He then spoke of the job in the past tense, implying he thought he was off, before speaking of the difficulty of the Championship and how he would "have to bring a couple [of players] in" to get the right character in the side while achieving "the hardest job in the world" – offloading players on lucrative contracts – suggesting he thought he would stay.

Both teams looked desperately short of confidence leading to lethargic movement and a slew of poor decisions. Again and again QPR attempted outrageous efforts from range, forced into speculative strikes because of a paucity of invention and incisiveness. At one point in the second half, a Christopher Samba shot was blocked by his teammate Loic Remy; there were times when this felt like a masterclass in haplessness.

Stoke were not especially good, but they were nowhere near as bad as their hosts. Direct and predictable they may have been but at they appeared to play with greater desire.

Tony Pulis' s side took the lead at Loftus Road three minutes before half time. Marc Wilson dispossessed Andros Townsend, played the first penetrative ball of the afternoon through to striker Cameron Jerome, who squared for Peter Crouch to convert just his second goal in 26 games.

Stoke were guilty of wasting a couple of decent second-half opportunities, while they had a good claim for a penalty ruled out when QPR captain Clint Hill tripped Crouch as a Ryan Shawcross header came back off the post.

It was not pretty, it was not slick but, from Stoke's point of view, it was just good enough.

Man of the match Peter Crouch (Stoke City)


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National