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15:02 26th December 2010

A Boxing Day to forget in west London

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The Swans' 90-year wait for a first win at Loftus Road continues following this heavy defeat against the league leaders.

It was a Boxing Day to forget for the visitors and it didn't improve from when Alan Tate was dismissed early on following confrontation with the Hoops' opening goalscorer, Jamie Mackie.

Clint Hill was also sent off for his part but the Swans did threaten on occasions and were unlucky not to go in at the break level.

However, the floodgates opened in the second period with Adel Taarabt (2) and Heidar Helguson (pen) also scoring to inflict Swansea City's heaviest loss since March.

Two changes were made by Brendan Rodgers to the side that lined-up at QPR.

Out went Mark Gower and Andrea Orlandi from midfield to be replaced by Kemy Agustien and Darren Pratley respectively.

It was Agustien's second start for the club since joining in September while Pratley was named in the starting eleven for the first time since November 10.

Paddy Kenny; Kyle Walker, Clint Hill, Kaspars Gorkks, Tommy Smith (Bradley Orr, 21'), Alejandro Faurlin, Matthew Connolly, Shaun Derry, Adel Taarabt (Martin Rowlands, 84'), Jamie Mackie, Heidar Helguson (Rob Hulse, 86').

Not Used: Radek Cerny (GK), Leon Clarke, Patrick Agyemang, Hogan Ephraim.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Garry Monk(C), Ashley Williams, Alan Tate; Kemy Agustien (Stephen Dobbie, 71'), Joe Allen, Darren Pratley; Nathan Dyer (Neil Taylor, 21'), Scott Sinclair, Craig Beattie (Jermaine Easter, 71').

Not Used:Yves Makabu-Makalambay (GK), Albert Serran, Mark Gower, Andrea Orlandi.

Attendance: 15,963 Away: 1,259


Brendan chats with the fans before the game

There was no Christmas dinner for Swansea City's stars to enjoy ahead of their trek to west London for this table-topping clash.

And after the lack of excitement on show at Bramall Lane eight days earlier the start of this contest exploded into life early on.

Craig Beattie worked hard to win his side a fourth minute corner which led to a goalmouth scramble - Joe Allen's cross picked out Scott Sinclair, his goalbound effort was blocked and as Ashley Williams looked to pounce the Hoops cleared their lines.

Dorus de Vries was called into action to deny Kaspars Gorkss with a header while Paddy Kenny was at hand to deny Beattie and Allen at the other end.

But despite the strong and encouraging start to this game it was the home side that took a 16th minute lead as star man Adel Taarabt waltzed across the face of the area, laid off Jamie Mackie and he side footed home from just inside the box.

But in the minutes proceeding the goal scenes at Loftus Road took a turn for the worst as both sides were reduced to 10 men.

Tempers flared after Alan Tate grounded Kyle Walker as he sprinted towards goal but following a confrontation with goalscorer Mackie he was dismissed by referee Phil Crossley, and was followed quickly by Clint Hill for his role in the aftermath.


Both sides in turn sent on defenders as cover with Neil Taylor introduced in place of Nathan Dyer for the visitors.

When the free-kick was eventually taken it took a fingertip stop to deny Taarabt making it two, but as the game approached the half-hour Joe Allen was close to levelling as he flashed his effort across goal after latching on to Kemy Agustien's pass.

His Wales international team mate, Ashley Williams, curled wide on 33 minutes while the defender set-up Beattie inside the box but he curled wide four minutes later.

Williams was playing a starring role in this first-half and he was gifted space yet again just before the break but Kenny did well to parry his shot while Beattie also came close on two occasions - half connecting with Rangel's cross and also forcing Kenny into racing off his line to block the shot.

Half-Time: QPR 1 Swans 0

The start of the second-half lacked the energy on show in the first period but the Swans still looked the most dangerous of the two.

And within 10 minutes of the re-start Angel Rangel could have levelled had his goalbound header from Scott Sinclair's free-kick not smacked Bradley Orr in the face.

Rangel also used his strength to block Kyle Walker's drive following good work by Taarabt but the latter, a thorn in the Swans' side all afternoon, won his side a penalty on the hour when the referee adjudged that Ashley Williams brought him down. Heidar Helguson placed the ball and picked out the bottom corner to make it two, and within minutes the Icelandic turned provider for Taarabt who charged down on goal and fired between de Vries' legs.

QPR were now enjoying a strong spell of their own and it could easily have been 4-0 with 15 minutes left; Darren Pratley's cross-field pass to Williams was intercepted by Helguson, his shot was saved by Dorus and the follow-up by Taarabt was also blocked by the legs of the Dutchman.

But the former Tottenham youngster made amends 11 minutes from time as he skipped past Joe Allen, curled his shot goalwards and, despite getting fingers to it, de Vries couldn't keep it out.

They had chances to make it five but QPR kept it at four to inflict the Swans' heaviest defeat since losing 5-1 at Blackpool in March.
    Data provided by Press Association