Hull City recorded an opening day 1-0 win over new boys Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
James Chester’s second half header was the difference between the two teams as QPR huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a finishing touch on a frustrating afternoon for Harry Redknapp’s side.
This match was the first time both teams has met in the top-flight of English soccer.
QPR were rampant earlier in the game as Hull sat back and tried to soak up the pressure. Both teams were employing similar 3-5-2 formations with possession the key.
The home side looked more enterprising and had the best chance of the opening stages as Faurlin wriggled free in the box but dragged his effort just wide of the far post. Promising start for Rangers. In the 27th minute Joey Barton whipped a free kick up and over the wall but it clipped the side netting as the home side continued to push for the opener.
Moments later Jordan Mutch sent a deft header just wide and Rangers continued to press but just couldn’t find the opening goal before the break as Steven Caulker also had a header cleared off the line. Just before half time Robert Snodgrass was forced off through injury on his Hull City debut.
Despite all of that early pressure, QPR went behind in the 52nd minute as Rio Ferdinand let Chester bully him at the back post as the Hull defender headed home. A deep corner from the right eluded everyone but the former Manchester United trainee fended off Ferdinand and netted the opening goal of the game to put the Tigers 1-0 up.
Hull were well in the ascendancy after that opener and after Stepheen Quinn played in Tom Ince, the latter steamed in on goal but his shot was saved well by Robert Green as QPR held on. In the 80th minute QPR almost equalized as a corner from the left was headed towards his own goal by Chester and Ferdinand directed the ball towards goal but Hull hacked the ball off the line as they battened down the hatches late on.
The chance QPR had worked so hard for arrived in the 84th minute as Chester conceded a penalty after a handball in the box. Charlie Austin stepped up to take the PK on his Premier League debut but the striker saw his effort saved by Allan McGregror as the chance came and went.
Hull held on for a valuable three points, while QPR’s return to the big time was not a happy one.
-- Joe Prince-Wright, ProSoccerTalk.com
- Sports & Recreation
- Queens Park Rangers
- James Chester
- Hull City
- Charlie Austin