QPR cling on thanks to late Cisse strike

QPR 1 Stoke 0

Djibril Cisse scored two minutes from time to drag QPR from the canvas and record a hugely important win that could well secure the club's Barclays Premier League status.

Rangers limped through the vast majority of this match and looked set to slip back into the relegation zone, but Cisse stepped off the bench to tap home at the back post after 88 minutes to set the stands at Loftus Road rocking.

Rangers recorded a remarkable 3-2 victory over Liverpool in March with a last minute winner but this result will live much longer in the memory of Rangers fans for its huge significance.

Thanks to West Brom's late comeback to draw 2-2 at Bolton, QPR are now two points above the relegation zone ahead of next weekend's season finale at Manchester City.

A draw at City will be enough to see Rangers survive, although even if they fail to achieve such a difficult task, Bolton will have to win at Stoke to survive.

Rangers fans swamped the pitch after the game in celebration at knowing their team are nearer to survival, but for most of the 90 minutes they barracked their team, who were pitiful performers.

There was no spark in midfield, little threat up front and there were also shaky moments at the back. And all this coming against a Potters team whose season is 55 matches and 10 months old.

Yet, it did not matter in the end for the fans and a jubilant Tony Fernandes thanks to Cisse, who stole in at the back post to convert Anton Ferdinand's flick-on and secure the three points.

Stoke looked the stronger side early on. Despite hitting out at manager Tony Pulis in midweek, Cameron Jerome started in a Stoke team that contained four strikers.

The former Cardiff striker spectacularly failed to reward his manager early on, however, when he latched on to Peter Crouch's knock-down to volley over from 10 yards.

Adel Taarabt proved to be QPR's most lively performer. The Moroccan dazzled the Potters defence with his trickery and also stung Thomas Sorensen's palms with a powerful 25-yard free-kick.

Crouch got on the end of Rory Delap's long throw but Rangers' defence scrambled clear.

The home crowd urged their team on after news of Martin Petrov's opener for Bolton filtered through to Loftus Road, but they failed to respond.

The scrappy play from both teams continued and Barton's weak curler was the only other effort of note inside the first 35 minutes.

Bobby Zamora dispossessed Upson, charged down the right and crossed perfectly for Barton but he nodded straight at Sorensen.

Stoke almost grabbed the lead on two occasions just after the break. Crouch miscued a free header and Ricardo Fuller curled a wicked shot that flew just wide.

The home fans demanded Cisse's introduction and it came after 55 minutes at the expense of Akos Buzsaky.

There was little urgency about Rangers despite the fact they knew they had to win and the home crowd started to get nervous.

Barton threw himself into the path of Huth's volley as Stoke continued to threaten, but QPR earned a good opportunity in the 68th minute when Upson toppled Zamora on the edge of the box.

Taye Taiwo could only drive into the wall, however - his tame shot summing up the hosts' limp performance.

At the other end Paddy Kenny punched the ball away to deny Fuller a free header from eight yards.

The away fans sang "2-0 Bolton, 2-0 Bolton" as it emerged the Trotters had added a second and QPR almost responded to the taunt by taking the lead.

Taiwo crossed brilliantly for Cisse, but Sorensen scrambled across his goal-line to deny the Frenchman.

Hughes threw on Jay Bothroyd and Shaun Wright-Phillips at the death to add some extra impetus and the move worked.

Wright-Phillips' shot deflected wide, leading to a QPR corner. Taarabt's cross was nodded on by Ferdinand and up popped Cisse to stab home from close range to send the home crowd into ecstasy.

Crouch missed a chance to grab an equaliser in the four minutes of added time as QPR held on for a valuable win which was followed by a huge pitch invasion.

News of two late goals at Bolton lifted spirits further and the players came back on to the pitch after the final whistle to salute their jubilant and relieved support.

PA

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice