Queens Park Rangers managed to score the first opposition goal at the Hawthorns all season, but that was to no avail as they were downed 3-2 by West Bromwich Albion to keep them rooted to the bottom of the table. The result's not much of a surprise, of course -- West Brom have been superb and QPR have been... not -- but it will still come as a bitter disappointment to the visitors, who need to get their campaign turned around fast.
The Baggies were cruising in the early stages of the match, and it took just five minutes for James Morrison to put his side ahead. Questions will be asked about QPR's defending from Shane Long's delivery, but Morrison's finish across Julio Cesar was exquisite. Zoltan Gera soon doubled the hosts' lead, tucking in from sixteen yards following a loose ball in the box.
It was yet another shaky start for Mark Hughes' side, who suffered the indignity of being beaten 2-1 at home by West Ham United on Monday. But, just as in that match, Adel Taarabt gave them some hope here with an exquisitely-taken strike. There wasn't much on when the Moroccan received the ball from Esteban Granero in the box, but Taarabt set himself up with a perfect touch and then smashed the ball past Ben Foster on the volley to reduce the deficit ten minutes before halftime.
With Hughes' job surely at risk, he needed his side to step it up after the break. They did, but it wasn't enough. Constant QPR pressure failed to open the door, and eventually the visitors tired. That gave Yussuf Mulumbu time to pounce, the midfielder sweeping home after a well-worked West Brom move in the 85th minute, sealing the points with a very cool finish.
The win, which came despite a very neat stoppage-time goal by Granero and a late push from the visitors, puts the Baggies in fourth place. QPR, meanwhile... definitely not in fourth place. How much longer is Hughes going to last?