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Revival continues with Revenge over QPR

December 2 2006

Shefki Kuqi

Shefki Kuqi

Palace continued their revival with a thrilling 3-0 win over QPR, reports Peter Gillman .

The blossoming Freedman-Kuqi partnership provided the first two goals, while veteran Michael Hughes, who played a stormer in midfield, set up the third.

Hudson and Ward were impressive at the heart of the back four, giving Palace their third clean sheet in four games.

Palace went ahead after 12 minutes when Shefki Kuqi picked up a deep clearance from on-loan keeper Iain Turner. He bustled past defender Stewart and squared to Dougie, who slotted the ball inside the left-hand post.

Rangers should have equalised five minutes later when Nygaard somehow contrived to miss from point-blank range, as the Palace defence appealed for offside.

Kuqi made it 2-0 on 38 minutes, after the Doog collected a pass from Danny Butterfield and jinked past the unfortunate Stewart. After gliding into the area he passed to Kuqi, whose right-foot shot squirmed through keeper Royce’s legs.

Palace wasted several chances early in the second half to put the match out of Rangers’ reach, the best falling to Watson who hit over from near the penalty spot.

Kuqi and Freedman sliced open the QPR defence time and again and Jobi McAnuff missed an open goal from six yards, scooping over the bar after Kuqi had powered into the Rangers area.

QPR were hardly in the match now and it was no surprise when Palace notched their third on 86 minutes.

Hughesey collected a Rangers clearance to put away TOM SOARES on the right. SOARES crossed to Clinton Morrison, who had just come on for the Doug, and Clinton blasted home.

For those of us who endured last month’s embarrassing 2-4 defeat at Loftus Road, it was especially gratifying to see the Rangers fans heading for the exits.

The fast-improving Kuqi was voted man of the match. The victory takes Palace to sixteenth place, nine points behind the play-off spots.

Palace: Turner; Butterfield (Lawrence 43), Hudson, Ward, Granville; SOARES, Watson, Hughes (Green 89), McAnuff; Freedman (Morrison 81), Kuqi.

Subs not used: Flinders, Kennedy.

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