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QPR 0-1 Hull City: Elmohamady starts as Tigers seal three points in Premier League opener
After a goal-less first-half Chester outmuscled R’s debutant Rio Ferdinand to head home from a Stephen Quinn corner early in the second-half.
Charlie Austin had the chance to salvage a late point after referee Craig Pawson had adjudged Chester to have handled the ball inside the box. McGregor however dived the correct way to save the spot-kick to give the Tigers the perfect opining day victory.
The surprise inclusion in the QPR side was the sight of Loic Remy who, having failed a medical at Liverpool, took a place up front partnering on time Hull City target Charlie Austin. Elsewhere Harry Redknapp handed Premier League debuts to new signings Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker and Jordan Mutch.
QPR: Green – Simpson – Dunne – Caulker – Ferdinand – Troare – Barton – Mutch – Faurlin – Austin – Remy
Subs: Murphy – Hill – Phillips – Onuoha – Henry – Hoilett – Zamora
Steve Bruce had a clean bill of health going into the opening game of the new season with only Yannick Sagbo out through suspension. Summer signings Andrew Robertson and Robert Snodgrass took their places in a 3-5-2 system, with another new boy Tom Ince filling a Shane Long sized void up front partnering Nikica Jelavic.
Hull City: McGregor – Robertson – Davies – Chester – Bruce – Elmohamady – Huddlestone – Snodgrass – Livermore – Ince – Jelavic
Subs: Harper – McShane – Figueroa – Meyler – Quinn – Brady – Aluko
QPR had the better of the opening exchanges with Remy the focal point for many of their attacking plays. On the balance of play the home side will feel they should have been ahead going into the break after Alejandro Faurlin dragged his shot wide of the post in the 17th minute.
Ten minutes later Curtis Davies lunged into Remy on the edge of the box earning himself a yellow card in the process and giving QPR a free-kick in a good position. Joey Barton looked to catch Allan McGregor unawares but his effort hit the side-netting.
A constant thorn in the Hull defence, Remy almost turned provider when he crossed from the right but Mutch couldn’t glance his header on target.
A cause for concern for Hull was when Snodgrass appeared to twist his left knee in a tackle with Joey Barton seeing him leave the field for Stephen Quinn.
Hull, in particular Jelavic and Steve Bruce, thought they should have been awarded a penalty when the striker was barged off the ball by Armand Traore before Robertson, a £2.85 million acquisition from Scottish side Dundee United, showed the travelling fans a glimpse of what is to come when he stuck to his post to clear off the line. Deployed as a left-wing back the youngster looked impressive going forward with his overlapping runs causing problems for the QPR backline. The Scot also showed on many occasions his defensive prowess nullifying a few QPR attacks.
Being in the top flight is all about taking your chances and that is exactly what Hull did in the 52nd minute. Quinn swung in a corner-kick – which was won by Ahmed Elmohamady – to the back post which saw Chester outmuscle Ferdinand to head past Robert Green.
Hull, who didn’t particularly travel well last season, were suitably settled by taking the lead and began to grow in confidence in the fixture.
It could have got better for the away side just after the hour mark when Quinn collected a Tom Huddlestone clearance with the QPR midfield out of position. Tom Ince made a 60-yard run to help the Irishman and collected his pass on the right only for Green to save well with his legs.
R’s play-off final winner Bobbie Zamora spurred a chance when he allowed Elmohamady to get back to tackle the striker before he could get his shot away.
It was turning out to be one of them days for QPR on their return to the top flight when Huddlestone denied Ferdinand his chance to redeem himself ten minutes from time.
Hull began to retreat toward their own goal as they looked to get men behind the ball but only gave QPR the chance to throw everything at them. Remy saw a host of chances go his way but the Tigers were equal to his attempts before Chester was adjudged to have handled the ball from Junior Hoilett cross.
The ball appeared to strike the thigh of the defender rather than his hand however, justice you could argue, was served when McGregor got down well to the right to save Charlie Austin’s penalty to give Hull the perfect opening day result.