QPR 4 Preston North End 0: Adel Taarabt's wonder strike inspires Rangers romp at Loftus Road
Last updated at 7:40 PM on 17th October 2009
Looking up: Adel Taarabt
Rodney Marsh was at Loftus Road to witness an Adel Taarabt goal he would have been more than happy to call his own.
It was a virtuoso effort that had Rangers celebrating what was to be the start of a rout.
For those Rangers fans who have a long association with the west London outpost it would have brought back memories of the good old days of Marsh, Bowles, Francis and co.
Taarabt's strike set up a victory and a performance compelling
enough to perhaps soothe troubled QPR chairman Flavio Briatore whose
presence at future Rangers matches will be decided by the Football
League after being outlawed by Formula One racing.
Taarabt's 11th minute strike was exceptional and confirmation of why
Tottenham worked so hard to sign him from his French club Lens and why
Rangers were desperate to take him on loan.
The North African is not a prolific scorer but when they are as well executed as this then they are worth the wait.
There was hardly a hint of danger when he chested the ball a step or two inside the Preston half.
From then on the movement developed a pace of its own as he first swept past Richard Chaplow then cheekily nutmegged Veliche Shumulikoski.
He was still some way out but Preston failed to respond well enough to his run and meekly allowed him to continue and then power a shot from 20 yards which left Andy Lonergan unable to do anything other than watch it flash past.
Rangers had looked the more determined side in those early minutes and went on to dominate the rest of the first half.
They should and would have gone into the interval with a second goal had Wayne Routledge not missed an easy chance in the 37th minute.
He was set up in front of goal with only Lonergan to beat but drove the ball at the 'keeper who had anticipated the danger and snuffed it out.
Akos Buzasky made the most of another opportunity five minutes from the interval when his shot would have beaten Lonergan but flew just an inch or two over the bar.
This was a disappointing, tepid performance from a Preston side who consider themselves contenders for a play off place if not better.
It was Rangers though who went on to control the match and boost there own position as a team who should be there or thereabouts in the battle for the step up.
Gary Borrowdale was unlucky in the 50th minute with a shot from 24yards which this time Lonergan managed to touch over for a corner.
But twelve minutes later Buzsaky scored the all important second goal from the spot when referee Russell Booth awarded Rangers a penalty after Neil Mellor had blocked Taarabt.
Jay Simpson guided in number three with a low shot at the far post in the 74th minute and Wayne Routledge hit the fourth with another long range effort five minutes from time.
It was to end a superb afternoon for Rangers and a worrying one for Preston and manager Alan Irvine.