1-0 Oliver Giroud 64'
2-0 Alexis Sanchez 69'
2-1 Charlie Austin 82'
Arsenal won their third straight Premier League match at Loftus Road as the Gunners held off a late charge from Queens Park Raiserr...Rangers in the second biggest London derby today.
Arsenal made three changes from their XI against Everton on Sunday with Per Mertesacker giving Laurent Koscielny a (short-lived) rest, Tomas Rosicky replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Francis Coquelin with a mask filling in for unmasked Francis Coquelin. Nacho Monreal missed due to a back strain and Wojciech Szczęsny was out ill.
QPR had the better of the early goings as Bobby Zamora was giving Gabriel a lesson in Premier League physicality. Zamora was paired with Charlie Austin up front and the two were combining well to trouble Arsenal's backline. Unfortunately for Gabriel, but likely fortunately for Arsenal, the Brazilian had to be subbed off after about 35 minutes due to injury. After that point, Arsenal were largely untroubled by QPR.
Arsenal began to assert their will at the end of the first half. That momentum carried on into the second where the Gunners ran wild. Arsenal had a PK shout denied by Kevin Friend in the 47th minute as Rosicky charged into the box. Karl Henry had a fistful of Özil's skintight Puma kit denying him a chance to convert Tomas' cross.
Arsenal finally broke through in the 64th minute on a counterattack. Santi Cazorla took the ball off a QPR player at the edge of Arsenal's box, dribbled out of pressure and found Özil who passed it onto Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez drove forward, making a brilliant run before laying it off to Kieran Gibbs whose blocked cross fell to Olivier Giroud who hammered it home.
Sanchez had a chance nearly immediately to double Arsenal's lead. Steven Caulker was dispossessed deep in his own half, giving Sanchez a 1v1 opportunity to the Chilean. Unfortunately for Arsenal, he took too much time and his shot was easily saved by American Hero Rob Green.
He quickly made amends by making another run to the byline, cutting inside onto his right foot, and sneaking it past Green's near post.
Arsenal continued to pile on the pressure, but were caught out as Gibbs and Koscielny bungled their defensive marking of Austin who fired an unsaveable shot past David Ospina. Arsenal was able to hold on as QPR increased the pressure late for all three points.
It was not a great overall performance for Arsenal, but it had brilliant individual moments (including this babymaker from Mesut) and three points were earned. On a day where all of Arsenal's challengers for a top 4 spot won, those 3 points are invaluable.