Premier League - Zamora scores but Wolves win
Bobby Zamora’s goal on debut was in vain as Wolves came back to beat QPR 2-1 in the Premier League at Loftus Road.
The home side dominated the early stages and looked set for a comfortable win thanks to Zamora’s 16th-minute opener, and things looked desperate for Mick McCarthy’s men when Emmanuel Frimpong limped off injured midway through the half.
The inspirational Matt Jarvis levelled within a minute of the resumption, and Wolves got a deserved winner on 71 minutes courtesy of Doyle’s composed finish.
QPR threw bodies forward in the final quarter of an hour in search of an equaliser, but it never came, meaning that for the second time in a week they spurned a winning position in the Premier League.
Wolves escape the relegation zone with the result, and move level on points with QPR.
Zamora had not been registered in time for the midweek clash at Aston Villa, but came straight into the side to form a strike partnership with fellow new arrival Cisse, while Adel Taarabt returned from the African Cup of Nations and was chosen to start.
Wolves handed a debut to on-loan defender Sebastian Bassong, with McCarthy asking Steven Fletcher to play the lone striker role.
But it was the home side who looked stronger as the match began. Only three minutes had passed when Cisse did a superb job of pulling down a ranging ball forward from Taye Taiwo, finding a little space, only to fire a timid shot straight at Wayne Hennessey.
Zamora followed up with a decent effort from distance as Wolves struggled.
The opening goal looked inevitable, but came as the result of a flowing team move which would surely have delighted Mark Hughes.
16 minutes in Taarabt found Cisse with the outside of his boot, who played it for Shaun Wright-Phillips in the box. The midfielder knocked it back for Zamora, who stroked home from 10 yards.
Wolves afternoon looked like going from bad to worse when their other January loan signing, midfielder Frimpong came off worst in a challenge with Joey Barton on halfway and ended up
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake replaced him as Wolves tried to get back into the game, but there was no instant turnaround in fortunes.
Cisse’s angry reaction to Johnson’s challenge on 34 minutes turned the match, with the Frenchman sent off for grabbing at the Wolves defender. Cisse certainly lost his cool, but made minimal contact with Johnson, and the decision was met with disbelief by QPR players, fans and Hughes alike.
Doyle’s introduction for Richard Stearman at the interval signalled more attacking intent from Wolves, and they got their rewards when Jarvis controlled Ebanks-Blake’s lay-off, shimmied past Luke Young and placed a low shot past Paddy Kenny.
Wolves, lacklustre until that point, sprung into life, and just six minutes later Fletcher had a header rebound off the host as their domination continued.
Fletcher and Ebanks-Blake both came close to scoring 52 minutes in, with desperate goal-line defending from Anton Ferdinand saving QPR.
But the goal was fair reward for Wolves’ control of the match, and it was a classy winner, with Jamie O’Hara’s low, angled ball knocked by Ebanks-Blake into Doyle’s path, before the Irish striker confidently tucked the shot away.
QPR threw themselves forward in search of an equaliser, and as Wolves tried to hold on for a priceless victory the hosts came to life.
Taarabt, now playing through the middle, twice hit outrageous shots from distance, one forcing a top save from Hennessey, the other whistling narrowly over the bar.
Ferdinand came closer to tucking away a Wright-Phillips shot in stoppage time, but the goal ultimately eluded them.