Green blunders leave QPR deep in trouble
LONDON, Dec 26, 2012 (AFP) - QPR slipped back to the bottom of the Premier League after a dismal display from England goalkeeper Robert Green gifted West Bromwich Albion a controversial 2-1 win at Loftus Road on Wednesday.
Green allowed Chris Brunt's long-range strike to elude his weak attempted save in the first half and the former West Ham star then scored an own goal early in the second half after being challenged by Marc-Antoine Fortune.
QPR protested in vain that Green had been fouled but although the hosts got one back through Djibril Cisse, it was too late to prevent Harry Redknapp's side slumping back to the foot of the table.
The west Londoners are now six points from safety, while West Brom climbed to fifth place, keeping their surprise challenge for a place in the Champions League firmly on track.
Kick-off was delayed by 11 minutes after West Brom's team bus was held up by the shoppers causing heavy traffic around Loftus Road, but it was Green who was handing out all the gifts.
Redknapp's men made a bright start and Shaun Wright-Phillips produced a dazzling piece of skill to beat Billy Jones, only for Jamie Mackie to head the winger's cross wide.
But Albion went ahead in the 29th minute when Brunt picked the ball up from Fortune and unleashed a drive that beat Green from long-range.
Although he was slightly unsighted by two of his defenders, replays showed Green should have done better.
Steve Clarke's team went close again when a bizarre mix-up between Armand Traore and Clint Hill allowed Brunt time on the edge of the area, but he could only shoot wide.
However, Albion doubled their lead in controversial circumstances four minutes into the second half.
Traore attempted to clear Brunt's corner but instead his header looped back towards his own goal and when Green came to collect the ball he was impeded by Fortune, who leaned in to the keeper, causing him to drop the ball in to his own net.
Referee Chris Foy ignored QPR's protests and the goal stood, but Cisse reduced the deficit in the 69th minute when he latched on to Stephane Mbia's slide-rule pass and lifted the ball over Ben Foster.
Foster saved brilliantly on the line from Hill in the last minute and Foy compounded the home side's frustration when he waved play on after Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle Mbia's header in the area.