QPR 1-2 Norwich

By John SinnottBBC Sport
Bradley Johnson and Joey Barton
Barton was sent off for the first time in his QPR career

Joey Barton scored and was then sent off as QPR were beaten by Norwich.

Barton gave QPR an 11th-minute lead with a drilled effort but was then red-carded after an off-the-ball incident involving Bradley Johnson.

Norwich quickly capitalised on their numerical superiority with Anthony Pilkington's fine shot making it 1-1.

Referee was conned into sending off Barton - Warnock

QPR held their own in the second half with John Ruddy brilliantly saving Adel Taarabt's free-kick, but late on Steve Morison swept in Norwich's winner.

Last week Rangers captain Barton became a father for the first time after the birth of his son - Cassius Joseph - and the new parent scored only his second goal for QPR to give Rangers an early lead.

Barton fired a low shot past Ruddy after some neat combination play between Alejandro Faurlin and Clint Hill down the left.

The goal helped relax QPR, who had made a tenative start as they searched for their first win in eight games, and Neil Warnock's side controlled the game before Barton's red card.

With QPR sweeping forward after clearing a Norwich corner, Barton was in the centre cirle when he tangled with Zak Whitbread and then Johnson, with referee Neil Swarbrick touching his forehead to indicate the Rangers midfielder had used his head in the clash with the Norwich player.

The former Newcastle midfielder, who has reinvented himself through Twitter over the last year, protested his innocence as he departed down the tunnel, but his team-mates were soon to feel his absence.

With two minutes left in the first half, Pilkington's precise left-footed shot nestled in the corner with Paddy Kenny well beaten.

QPR manager Neil Warnock withdrew James Mackie and replaced him with Shaun Wright-Phillips at the start of the second half - an astute substitution as the former Manchester City winger's ability to run with the ball brought some respite to the home side.

Wright-Phillips quickly tested Ruddy with a low shot and then, in tandem with Taarabt, almost released Heidar Helguson.

Lambert pleased with 'excellent' Norwich

QPR came mightily close to regaining the lead through a dipping Taarabt free-kick that was pushed on to the post by Ruddy.

Both Taarabt and Faurlin also played key roles for QPR in keeping hold of the ball and keeping Norwich at bay.

Midway through the second half, Norwich manager Paul Lambert introduced all three of his substitutes - David Fox, Wesley Hoolahan and Morison - in a bid to wrest control of the game from Rangers.

With 10 minutes remaining, Federico Macheda came on to make his QPR debut following his and almost immediately scored only to be beaten to a Wright-Phillips cross by Ruddy, who punched clear.

Norwich had done little to trouble Kenny in the second half, but with seven minutes remaining substitute Morison swept the ball home after QPR failed to properly clear a cross from the left.

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