Posted on Feb 25
Fulham players celebrate after Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak (L) scored during the English Premier League football match between Queens Park Rangers and Fulham at Loftus Road in London. Pogrebnyak bagged the second goal of his short Fulham career to send 10-man Queens Park Rangers slipping ever closer to the relegation zone on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat.

Pavel Pogrebnyak bagged the second goal of his short Fulham career to send 10-man Queens Park Rangers slipping ever closer to the relegation zone on Saturday after a 1-0 defeat.

Russian striker Pogrebnyak, a late January transfer window signing following the departure of Bobby Zamora to Rangers, pounced on seven minutes to settle a tense encounter between the two west London rivals.

Fulham had already seen an Andy Johnson effort disallowed for offside before they took a deserved early lead.

Belgian international Moussa Dembele conjured up a deft back heel to feed Pogrebnyak, who coolly rounded Paddy Kenny to finish.

QPR had been humiliated 6-0 by Fulham in the earlier fixture between the teams this season, but their hopes of avenging that reverse were dealt a hammer blow on 33 minutes when debutant Samba Diakite was sent off.

Diakite received his marching orders after picking up his second yellow card of the match for a clumsy challenge on Bryan Ruiz.

It was the third time in four home matches that Rangers have had a player sent off and the dismissal meant Mark Hughes' side were always struggling in their bid to improve a home record that has seen them win at Loftus Road only twice this season.

More significantly, Rangers have now just recorded only one win in 14 games and only goal difference separates them from the relegation zone.

The victory saw Fulham edge closer to safety, with Martin Jol's side now safely in mid-table on 33 points.

A disappointing afternoon for Rangers finished on a sour note when Hughes got embroiled in an altercation with Jol, the Welshman appearing to ignore the Dutch manager's offer of a handshake on the whistle.