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  • Everton 0-1 QPR: Smith great-strike

    Premier League new-boys Queens Park Rangers grabbed their first win back in the top flight with a 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, Saturday 20/08/2011.
    Tommy Smith scored QPR's first Premier League goal in 15 years to claim the club's first points of the campaign.

    Everton, whose scheduled first match of the season at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend was postponed, got off to their now customary poor start to a season. They have only won their first home game of the year six times since the Premier League was formed 19 years ago.

    The one sour note for Rs boss Neil Warnock was the withdrawal through injury of striker Patrick Agyemang. After Kieron Dyer was stretchered off early on in last week's 4-0 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers, Agyemang had to be carried off at Goodison after landing awkwardly as the hour mark approached.

    Agyemang and Akos Buzsaky were preferred to Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell in attack for QPR, while Everton manager David Moyes handed a Premier League debut to 17-year-old Ross Barkley.

    The Premier League new-boys were almost ahead on four minutes when Smith met Matthew Connolly's cross with a fine left-footed volley that flew just wide of Tim Howard's near post.

    Everton had a penalty appeal turned down by referee Kevin Friend when Jack Rodwell was nudged over inside the area by Connolly, before Leighton Baines saw his well-struck free-kick rebound off the crossbar with QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny rooted to the spot.

    The home side appeared to be in control of proceedings when QPR took the lead on the half-hour mark. Buzsaky squared the ball to Smith in the area, and the former Portsmouth attacker turned swiftly past Phil Jagielka and bent a low shot out of Howard's reach and inside the far post.

    That goal roused Everton into action. Tim Cahill stooped low to send a header wide from six yards out before meeting one of many Baines crosses with his forehead but could not guide it under the bar.

    Everton manager David Moyes waited until 10 minutes into the second half before he introduced playmaker Mikel Arteta from the bench, where midfielder Marouane Fellaini and striker Louis Saha also started the game.

    Arteta came on just before Agyemang left on a stretcher, and he was soon joined by Fellaini. The Belgian almost made an instant impact when he played a weighted pass into Cahill's path, but the Australian's shot only drew a save from Kenny at his near post.

    Barkley made an impressive debut which backed up Moyes's claims that he will one day become a regular, and the closest of his several shots from range flashed inches wide of the far post.

    Saha finally came on with 15 minutes remaining but was unable to have any great as QPR did an exemplary job of sapping the momentum from the home side.

    The Toffees did produce one gilt-edged chance in stoppage time when Arteta's free-kick was met by Fellaini at the far post, but he directed his header right at Kenny, and yet another Premier League match this season finished without victory for the home side.
    Tony Mabert - on Twitter @tony_mabert / Eurosport


    EVERTON: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barkley, Heitinga, Rodwell, Osman, Cahill, Beckford
    Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Saha, Arteta, Fellaini, Vellios, Anichebe

    Queens Park Rangers : Kenny, Orr, Hall, Gabbidon, Connolly, Buzsaky, Derry, Faurlin, Smith, Taarabt, Agyemang
    Subs: Murphy, Bothroyd, Gorkss, Perone, Moen, Ephraim, Andrade


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