The Gunners were served by an 84th minute Mikel Arteta goal after the R’s were reduced to ten men when Stephane Mbia was sent off for a petulant act of retaliation on Thomas Vermaelen.
Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna were given starts by Arsene Wenger following long-term injuries and the former was very impressive in his midfield role with the latter putting in a full shift at right-back to help the North Londoners to a clean sheet.
The goal came about with a hint of controversy as Arteta may have been offside when Olivier Giroud’s header was saved by Cesar before it bounced back off Aaron Ramsey for the Spaniard to flick on with his head before finishing the deflection off the crossbar from close range.
There were a number of gilt-edged chances for the Gunners, namely with Wilshere being denied by Cesar from just outside the area in the 19th minute before the Brazilian produced an uncertain save from Giroud’s angled attempt.
Per Mertesacker saw his 51st minute from Arteta’s free-kick kept out by Cesar just over 10 minutes prior to a major miss from Bobby Zamora should have scored from Shaun Wright-Phillips’ rightwing cross.
Ten minutes from time, QPR were disadvantaged when Mbia and Vermaelen clashed as the chased an errant ball towards the corner with the Cameroonian lashing out at the Belgian whilst he was sprawled on the ground.
It was a mindless act from Mbia whose side were very lucky not to conceded more goals in the final stages with Cesar again the hero, coming up with world-class saves to keep out Giroud again and then Ramsey’s long range effort.
Arsenal’s day was soured by the second-half injury to Gervinho who required a stretcher from the pitch after a challenge from Samba Diakite near the post and it could have been even worse if it wasn’t for the intervention of keeper Vito Mannone who was on hand to deny Jamie Mackie after he made a brilliant run before shooting from a tight angle.
However, it was just the result Wenger and his men needed after recent losses to Norwich City and Schalke as they moved up to fourth on the table as QPR’s winless run continued to keep them rooted to the bottom.
Emirates Stadium, London – 60,103