PREMIER LEAGUE: Pressure heaps on QPR as Southampton wins El Sackico

Southampton have left QPR manager Mark Hughes’ job hanging by a thread as they won 3-1 at Loftus Road today.

Southampton have left QPR manager Mark Hughes’ job hanging by a thread as they won 3-1 at Loftus Road today.

The match they dubbed ‘El Sackico’ due to the position of both sides on the Premier League table gave Nigel Adkins and his Saints something to smile about after a tough beginning to life in the top flight.

Hughes has remained confident in his own ability throughout the start of the season despite the R’s recording just four draws from 12 outings and today’s result now sees them sitting four points in arrears of second-bottom Southampton.

The win was made possible by first-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon as Junior Hoilett gave the home side some hope early in the second half before an Anton Ferdinand own-goal resigned QPR to their eighth defeat of the campaign.

Lambert made it 1-0 in the 23rd minute when he bundled home from close range after the R’s defence were unable to clear a goalmouth scramble.

The Saints went two ahead in stoppage time of the first half when Puncheon, who was involved in the opener, played a one-two with Nathaniel Clyne before cutting onto his left foot from the right side to rifle past Julio Cesar.

Four minutes into the second term and Hughes’ men were back in touch courtesy of Hoilett’s unmarked header from Adel Taarabt’s floated cross but Ferdinand was guilty of letting Southampton off the hook when he allowed Morgan Schneiderlin’s low cross to take a deflection and find its way into the back of his own net with seven minutes remaining.

The defeat must have the hierarchy at Loftus Road asking questions about Hughes’ tenure whilst Adkins can breathe a sigh of relief as his Saints produced a much-needed lot of three points.

Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Junior Hoilett 49’)
Southampton: 3 (Rickie Lambert 23’, Jason Puncheon 45+1’, Anton Ferdinand (og) 83’)

Loftus Road, London – 18,174

Yellow cards: QPR - Jose Bosingwa 69’
SOU - nil

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