QPR win promotion to the Premier League

Watford 0 QPR 2

QPR have done enough to secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League on the pitch - and now they are hoping for a result off it.

Goals from Adel Taarabt and Tommy Smith secured victory at Watford, meaning they cannot be caught by third-placed Cardiff and should have booked their place in the top flight as well as clinching the npower Championship title.

Neil Warnock and his coaching staff all embraced on the touchline, but the celebrations will be slightly muted with the club now nervously awaiting the outcome of next week's FA hearing into the transfer of Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin.

Their fans shrugged off fears of a points deduction and hailed their side as 'champions', but Watford's fans responded by warning them 'you're gonna lose in the play-offs'.

The wheels fell off Rangers' promotion push at Vicarage Road last season courtesy of a 3-1 defeat and a dressing-room bust-up which led to the departure of Jim Magilton as manager.

And their cause was not helped this time around when goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was injured in the warm-up, while Fitz Hall's hamstring lasted only 20 minutes longer.

However, Taarabt's 19th goal of the season and Smith's injury-time strike means only the FA can deny them top-flight football for the first time in 15 years.

Hornets defender Lloyd Doyley scored his first, and to date only, career goal in last year's encounter, and he immediately attempted to repeat the trick with a neat turn inside and curling shot which flew just wide.

Rangers made a lively start, though, with ex-Hornet Heidar Helguson firing wide and heading straight at Scott Loach in the opening stages.

Loach then spilled Taarabt's free-kick but his blushes were spared by Adrian Mariappa, before Faurlin blazed a shot over.

Watford should have taken the lead on the half-hour but top scorer Danny Graham somehow headed Troy Deeney's cross wide from all of three yards out.

The visitors thought they had taken the lead but after 40 minutes but Bradley Orr was offside when he tapped in Taarabt's cross, and Rangers' stand-in keeper Radek Cerny saved well from Martin Taylor's header before the interval.

Faurlin, of all people, almost came up with a stunning goal early in the second half but his first-time shot from the edge of the area was superbly tipped away by Loach.

Faurlin was having an impact at both ends and he blocked a goalbound effort from Deeney from a corner early in the second half.

But the goal Rangers had been threatening finally came in the 76th minute when Smith charged down the left and crossed for Taarabt to sidefoot past Loach at the near post.

It was a fitting strike as Taarabt's goals, tricks - and tantrums - have illuminated Rangers' promotion push this season.

Smith ran through and tucked in the second in stoppage time to spark wild scenes in the away end, and Warnock and Co will now wait and see if the celebrations are premature.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable