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QPR's Premiership hopes rocked by loss at Fulham

Associated Press

4/1/2013 5:38:23 PM

LONDON -- Queens Park Rangers' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League are bleaker after defensive mistakes led to a 3-2 loss against Fulham on Monday.

QPR's headline January signing, Christopher Samba, gifted Dimitar Berbatov two goals inside 22 minutes.

Ashkan Dejagah was brought down to allow Berbatov to score from the penalty spot before the Bulgarian striker exploited Samba's blunder to make it 2-0.

Fulham extended its lead when QPR defender Clint Hill sent John Arne Riise's cross into his own goal in the 41st.

"A disastrous first half cost us, they were the worst goals I've seen in my life," QPR manager Harry Redknapp said. "They were scandalous goals. It was an absolute disaster."

QPR staged a brief fightback, with Adel Taarabt pulling one back right on halftime. Six minutes after the break, Loic Remy scored after his earlier penalty was saved by Mark Schwarzer.

But Fulham held on even though Steve Sidwell was dismissed in the 79th for bringing down Armand Traore.

QPR is seven points from safety with seven games left, and only off the bottom due to Reading's inferior goal difference.

"We came out in the second half and murdered them ... we had enough possession in the second half, when it went 3-2 I thought we would win the game," Redknapp said. "We had twice as many shots as them. I was disappointed with the last 10 minutes. We suddenly started lumping balls up."

Fulham is virtually guaranteed Premier League football next season as it is nine points above the relegation zone.