Queens Park Rangers gave themselves a major boost in their fight to avoid relegation with a surprising home win against Arsenal. The Gunners had been on a superb run of form and QPR... well, hadn't. None of that mattered, however, when the teams met at Loftus Road.
Arsenal were sloppy from the beginning, with the midfield and defence looking especially pourous, and it was clearly only a matter of time before they conceded. Smart money was on the goal coming from Bobby Zamora, who spent much of the match bullying Laurent Koscielny into oblivion, but instead the opener arrived from a rather more unexpected source: Adel Taarabt.
The Moroccan hadn't scored a goal all season, but he picked a good time to finally get on the scoresheet with a brilliant run and finish that also involved making Thomas Vermaelen making a fool of himself. Taarabt capped off his strike with a flourish, putting on a fez and tossing it into the crowd, picking up what was quite possibly the best booking of all time in the process.
The visitors may not have been playing well but they're always a potent force going forward, and Theo Walcott made sure the match went into halftime level after a somewhat lucky goal - the England winger hit the post before picking up his own rebound and slotting home. It was their first real chance of the game and it gave them some added impetus, and from then until the end of the first half Arsenal were ascendant.
That rebirth turned out to be abortive. Twenty minutes after halftime, Jamie Mackie took advantage of a slip by Vermaelen and pulled the ball back to Samba Diakite, who slammed past Wojciech Szczesny to make it 2-1 for QPR. Arsenal threw bodies forward in a fruitless try to earn an equaliser, but the hosts actually looked more likely to score, and they nearly made it 3-1 when Joey Barton got free in the box. It didn't matter - the whistle blew, and the Hoops ended up 2-1 winners.