Crystal Palace vs QPR match report: Matt Philips' wonder goal comes too late after Wilfried Zaha, James McArthur and Joel Ward strikes

Crystal Palace 3 Queens Park Rangers 1

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The Independent Football

Matt Phillips scored what might well be the goal of the season,  but it counted for nothing. Apart from his perfect rocket of a shot from 40 yards out, Crystal Palace and QPR were separated by an aching chasm in quality and commitment.

Three first-half goals killed the match off completely, but Queens Park Rangers had been playing like the waking dead from the very first minute.

Down Palace’s flanks Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha were unstoppable, not that anyone appeared to try to stop them.

“On any given day, they can create havoc,” said QPR’s manager, Chris Ramsey. “But really, we only didn’t cope with it twice. They are the moments that decide games.”

“I am hoping nine games is enough,” he continued. “That’s all I’ve got. We will go for it. The players believe. They are downstairs disappointed, not bickering and moaning. They are unified.”

It was Zaha who opened the scoring, sprinting to meet a tantalising low pass to the back post from Bolasie. He made it, but at some cost. Having clipped the ball high in to the net with an outstretched leg, he, Jason Puncheon and QPR’s Yun Suk-Young careened into the post at full speed. It looked like a motorway pile-up.

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Wilfried Zaha arrives at the back post to scored the opening goal

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Joel Ward made it three just two minutes later

A cut-back to James McArthur made it 2-0 just after the half-hour, and minutes later more dazzling and incisive running from Zaha allowed Joel Ward (pictured left) to score his first for the club.

Bolasie and Zaha are as fine a pair of wingers as any in the League but, lacking a quality striker, so much of their industry goes to waste. This was the strongest evidence this season of what this team are capable when those two men’s efforts are put to good effect.

There is still plenty of football to be played, and the margins are narrow. QPR rallied a little, rejuvenated by Phillips’s breathtaking goal, but even so on this evidence, lazy in defence, dull in midfield, and invisible up front, Rangers are a team that deserves to go down.

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Matt Phillips scored a stunner but it was too little, too late

Crystal Palace: (4-3-2-1) Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Kelly; Ledley, McArthur, Puncheon (Gayle, 56); Bolasie, Zaha (Mariappa, 57); Murray (Sanogo, 80).

QPR: (4-4-1-1) Green; Onouha, Caulker, Suk-Young, Furlong (Hill, h-t); Wright-Philips (Grego-Cox, 85), Henry, Sandro (Kranjcar, 84), Phillips; Taarabt; Austin.

Referee: Lee Mason.

Man of the match: Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Match rating: 7/10

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