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Saturday, October 27, 2012
Arsenal FC vs QPR Report
Arsenal 1-0 QPR: Arteta spares Gunners’ blushes on Wilshere’s return
The Spaniard struck late on to seal three points for Arsene
Wenger's side, who struggled to break down their London rivals despite
Stephane Mbia's red card
Arsenal marked Jack Wilshere’s return to action with a nerve-jangling victory over 10-man QPR secured by a late strike from Mikel Arteta.
Spaniard scrambled the ball over the goalline in the 84th minute
following an afternoon of toil for Arsene Wenger’s side in which they
once again failed to find their attacking rhythm.
The result, which lifts the Gunners to fourth
position in the Premier League, came thanks to a helping hand from QPR
defender Stephane Mbia, who was sent-off in the 80th minute after
foolishly kicking out at Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.
manager Mark Hughes will now face increasing speculation over his future
as the west London club remain rock-bottom in the Premier League with
three points from nine matches.
The Welshman could do with a
player like Wilshere, who made his first Arsenal start since May 2011
following 17 months dogged by ankle problems. The England international
looked like he had never been away, skipping past challenges and
injecting some energy into the Gunners’ play in the final third.
The rest of the team, however, were visibly lacking in confidence, with their movement static and decision-making suspect.
nerves were almost eased in the 10th minute when Aaron Ramsey got on
the end of Bacary Sagna’s excellent cross. The Welshman’s header looped
towards the far post, beating QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar but bouncing
off the top of the crossbar.
Cesar then had to stay alert to deny
efforts from Wilshere and Olivier Giroud from outside the penalty area
but the visitors would have been happy to restrict the Gunners to
hopeful shots from distance.
There were few signs of improvement
immediately after the break. Cesar parried away Per Mertesacker’s header
following a free-kick from Mikel Arteta before Santi Cazorla lashed
over the bar from 12 yards when he should have at least hit the target.
match swung in the Gunners’ favour, though, 10 minutes from time when
Mbia needlessly lashed out at Arsenal skipper Vermaelen as the pair
competed for the ball by the corner flag. It was hot-headed, reckless,
and the visitors could have no excuses.
prevented an own goal from Samba Diakite with a full-stretch save but
the hosts finally beat the Brazilian six minutes from time.
Giroud’s initial header was superbly saved by Cesar but the QPR defenders failed to react, the ball finding its way to Arteta, whose headed effort hit the crossbar before he poked home the rebound on the goalline.
responded positively and could have levelled in the dying stages, with
Esteban Granero shooting wide before substitute Jamie Mackie was denied
from point-blank range by Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone in injury