Queens Park Rangers 0-1 Hull City
- Hull claim first win over QPR at Loftus Road since 1963
- Ferdinand and Caulker fail to keep clean sheet on debut
- Remy starts for QPR but spurns a number of chances
- Hull summer signing Snodgrass injured in first half
QPR made a losing start to life back in the Premier League as James Chester's header gave Hull an opening-day victory at Loftus Road.
Chester outmuscled Rangers debutant Rio Ferdinand at the back post to head in from a corner early in the second half.
The home side had a superb chance to salvage a point after Chester was harshly adjudged to have handled a cross from substitute Junior Hoilett.
But Allan McGregor rescued City by saving Charlie Austin's penalty.
On the balance of play, QPR deserved a point, having created by far the greater number of chances over the course of the game.
Prior to the goal, Rangers' Alejandro Faurlin dragged a shot on the turn wide from inside the box, Joey Barton struck the side-netting with a curling free-kick from 20 yards and summer-signing Steven Caulker saw a header cleared off the line by Hull's off-season recruit Andy Robertson.
But for most top-flight sides, football is all about taking your often limited chances and in this regard, Hull have given the new-comers a valuable refresher lesson.
Chester's header was the away side's first effort on target and one of only a handful throughout the game, yet it gives them the three points and that all-important opening-day platform.
|QPR's poor Premier record|
|QPR have now won just four of their last 40 Premier League matches and have taken just one point from seven opening weekend matches in the competition|
The Tigers may have lacked a distinctly Shane Long-sized physical attacking presence - emphasized by the absence of Yannick Sagbo through suspension - but they were well-drilled, disciplined and hard-working throughout.
Even an injury to summer-signing Robert Snodgrass - who had shown signs of a promising partnership down the left with fellow Scot Robertson - did not affect their solidity.
And had another of their summer recruits, Tom Ince, slotted home a chance on the break with 15 minutes remaining they could even have avoided the late drama to come.
QPR know only too well how costly a poor start can be after a 16-game winless run at the beginning of their last top-flight campaign in 2012-13 led to their relegation to the Championship.
That season, they suffered an opening-day humiliation as Swansea exposed all of their naivety and defensive deficiencies to claim a 5-0 victory at Loftus Road.
This was a much better display, but it again led to another opening-day defeat for the hosts.
Former England captain Ferdinand is a high-profile addition, designed to provide maturity and authority at the back and for the most part did just that, with his every touch in the first half greeted with grateful applause from the home support.
However, the 35-year-old's most significant act was in allowing Chester to get the better off him at the back post and steer the game's only goal into the bottom corner of the net.
Rangers' subsequent failure to conjure an equaliser will evoke unwelcome memories of their last top-flight campaign when they scored just 30 goals - a league low.
Substitute Bobby Zamora had a superb chance when he was through on goal but allowed Ahmed Elmohamady to tackle him.
|Hull tighten up at the back|
|Prior to Saturday's clean sheet, Hull had conceded two or more goals in each of their last five Premier League fixtures|
Loic Remy - who did enough to suggest that talk of a failed medical with Liverpool this summer were wide of the mark - saw the last of a trio of shots saved by McGregor in the closing stages.
Most galling of all for Rangers will be the penalty miss.
Chester was adjudged to have handled Hoilett's cross in the box when the ball appeared to strike his chest, but McGregor ensured any controversy was academic as he dived to his right to push away Austin's tame effort.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp: "Some days it just doesn't go your way.
"You get a penalty late on and I think if we'd scored the penalty we had time to win the game, the momentum was with us. Some days you get the breaks and some days you don't.
"I thought in the first half we played well - we had good control, a good shape to the team, we passed it well and created some good chances so it was encouraging."
Hull boss Steve Bruce: "The referees have got to get together and realise they're making a mockery of it (the rule regarding handball) - it's supposed to be deliberate.
"Chester has got his hand by his side, the ball is a yard away and probably travelling at 50 miles per hour - what's he supposed to do?
"We need to stop all this nonsense and have a bit of common sense."
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- 22DunneBooked at 69minsSubstituted forZamoraat 78'minutes
- 2SimpsonSubstituted forPhillipsat 68'minutes
- 18FaurlinSubstituted forHoilettat 69'minutes
- 4BruceSubstituted forMcShaneat 45'minutes
- 6DaviesBooked at 27mins
- 23InceSubstituted forMeylerat 82'minutes
- 10SnodgrassSubstituted forQuinnat 40'minutes
- 18JelavicBooked at 79mins
- Craig Pawson
- Shots on Target