07/02/2015: QPR 0-1 Saints

Sadio Mane kept Saints' Champions League hopes very much alive with a vital last minute winner at Loftus Road. Ronald Koeman's side played reasonably well throughout, but were left frustrated in front of goal until the very end.

Saints had the better of the first quarter. The visitors edged the possession stakes, and were involved in some good build up play. Graziano Pelle had the first chance, shooting low straight at Rob Green from distance. Eljero Elia then saw his audacious lob go wide from Sadio Mane's neat through ball.

The game was stopped on 18 when Matt Targett went down after being caught by Matt Phillips' arm. Targett lay unconscious on the ground for several minutes before being stretchered off. Thankfully no serious damage was done, with Koeman explaining in his post-match interview that "everything was under control" and that the player "will have a headache, but nothing more". Maya Yoshida moved to left-back with Florin Gardos coming on for Targett to fill in in the middle.

Not long after the game was re-started Mane cut inside and shot low at Green. At the other end Phillips shot wide. Saints' approach play was decent, but QPR defended in numbers and the visiting attackers were crowded out in the box. Jose Fonte hit the bar from a James Ward-Prowse corner. Mane broke through a couple of times, but was thwarted at the last minute. Deep into first half stoppage time Ward-Prowse curled a free-kick just past the post.

Saints did most of the early pressing at the start of the second half. It was Rangers who had the first major opportunity though, with Armand Traore nearly sneaking in at the back post. On 61 Mane shot well over with a volley from the right. The same player had another effort blocked minutes later. Saints looked more assured on the ball than their opponents, who only half threatened with a few deep crosses.

Rangers enjoyed their best spell of the game during the last 20. Fraser Forster made a fine stop from Charlie Austin on 73. Saints were still plugging away on the counter. Mauro Zarate went close on 87. As stoppage time arrived it looked as if the game was heading for a stalemate. Then a quick pass from Yoshida found Mane on the edge of the area. The Senegalese striker manoeuvred himself away from Onuoha before firing into the roof of the net. The drama wasn't over, with Rangers having a goal ruled out for a foul on Forster.

Some claimed Saints were lucky to come away with all three points, but on the balance of play it was probably a fair result. Saints were far from awful. There were plenty of frustrating moments in the final third, but also some excellent incisive one-touch play. The win is all that really matters though. Saints can't afford too many more slip ups with the way the table is shaping up. The points are welcome, no matter how they come.

Player Ratings

Forster: 7. Made one superb save at a vital stage in the match. Otherwise didn't have too much to do

Clyne: 7. Some good runs down the right

Fonte: 7. Caused trouble at a few attacking set pieces. Rarely troubled at the back

Yoshida: 8. Assured on the ball at the back. Looked more than capable on the left, showing his attacking prowess with a fine assist

Targett: 5. Didn't have a great start to the game before his injury

Wanyama: 7. Slotted back in seamlessly. Started several attacks from deep

Ward-Prowse: 7. Some decent delivery as you would expect

Davis: 7. Bright in spells, releasing the ball quickly

Elia: 7. Some tricky wing play, particularly in the first half

Mane: 7. Covered plenty of ground. Made some good runs and displayed some clever footwork before the all-important finish

Pelle: 6. Involved in a few chances, but overall fairly quiet


Gardos: 7. Took a few minutes to get into the game, but overall did pretty well. Some intelligent defending

Schneiderlin: 6. Just kind of there, feeling his way back into things

Tadic: Involved in the build up to the goal

Match Details

Saints - Mane (90)

Attendance - 18,082 (1,772 Saints fans)

Referee - Roger East


QPR: Green, Onuoha, Dunne (Vargas 83), Caulker, Hill, Fer, Barton, Traore (Isla 73), Phillips, Taarabt (Zarate 63), Austin

Subs not used: McCarthy, Henry, Kranjcar, Zamora

Saints: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett (Gardos 26), Wanyama (Schneiderlin 61), S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Elia (Tadic 80), Mane, Pelle

Subs not used: K Davis, Flannigan, Reed, Seager

Previous Match Reports

01/02/2015: Saints 0-1 Swansea
24/01/2015: Saints 2-3 Crystal Palace
17/01/2015: Newcastle 1-2 Saints
15/01/2015: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
14/01/2015: Ipswich 0-1 Saints
12/01/2015: Fulham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
11/01/2015: Man United 0-1 Saints
04/01/2015: Saints 1-1 Ipswich
01/01/2015: Saints 2-0 Arsenal
28/12/2014: Saints 1-1 Chelsea
26/12/2014: Crystal Palace 1-3 Saints
20/12/2014: Saints 3-0 Everton
16/12/2014: Sheffield United 1-0 Saints
13/12/2014: Burnley 1-0 Saints
09/12/2014: Saints U18s 2-1 West Ham U18s
08/12/2014: Saints 1-2 Man United
03/12/2014: Arsenal 1-0 Saints
01/12/2014: Saints U21s 1-0 Man United U21s
30/11/2014: Saints 0-3 Man City
24/11/2014: Aston Villa 1-1 Saints
08/11/2014: Saints 2-0 Leicester
01/11/2014: Hull 0-1 Saints
29/10/2014: Stoke 2-3 Saints
25/10/2014: Saints 1-0 Stoke
18/10/2014: Saints 8-0 Sunderland
05/10/2014: Tottenham 1-0 Saints
29/09/2014: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
27/09/2014: Saints 2-1 QPR
23/09/2014: Arsenal 1-2 Saints
20/09/2014: Swansea 0-1 Saints
13/09/2014: Saints 4-0 Newcastle
12/09/2014: Tottenham U21s 3-2 Saints U21s
30/08/2014: West Ham 1-3 Saints
26/08/2014: Millwall 0-2 Saints
23/08/2014: Saints 0-0 West Brom
22/08/2014: West Ham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
17/08/2014: Liverpool 2-1 Saints
09/08/2014: Saints 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
31/07/2014: Brighton 1-3 Saints
25/07/2014: Bournemouth 0-1 Saints
21/07/2014: Swindon 0-1 Saints