Premiership: QPR 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal produced an impressive second-half display to beat QPR in a fourth consecutive Premier League win and consolidate their top-four place.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, poking home when on the ground after Kieran Gibbs’s shot was blocked.

Alexis Sanchez beat Robert Green at his near post to double Arsenal’s lead.

QPR faded after a strong first-half performance, although they were given late hope by Charlie Austin’s powerful strike with eight minutes left.

Arsenal remain on course for automatic Champions League qualification, sitting one point clear of fourth-placed Manchester United, and three points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool.

At the other end of the table, QPR stay three points adrift of safety with games against Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City to come in their remaining 11 matches.

Despite their lowly position, they clearly relished the opportunity to test themselves against Arsene Wenger’s side, and would have been worthy of a half-time lead if Austin had converted one of several attempts on goal.

QPR midfielder Sandro made his first appearance since suffering a medial knee ligament injury in November, and in combination with midfield partner Karl Henry, they gave Arsenal no time on the ball as the home side dominated the first half.

While Arsenal took time to settle, they provided a reminder of their quality when Green kept out Santi Cazorla after a flowing move that saw the Spaniard combine neatly with Giroud.

The Gunners were much the better team after half-time though, and threatened almost immediately, with Mesut Ozil insisting only a foul by Henry had prevented him from converting a Tomas Rosicky cut-back.

Soon after Giroud put Arsenal ahead, they created further chances in quick succession and, having just denied Sanchez, Green was beaten by the Chile forward at his near post from an acute angle.

Contrary to the pattern of the first half, David Ospina was a spectator in the Arsenal goal, and watched on as Green tipped Ozil’s deflected right-foot shot onto the post to keep his side in it.

Austin’s late strike gave QPR hope of a dramatic late equaliser, but the home side failed to build further momentum and Arsenal’s control of possession ensured no further alarms.

Read more at BBC Sport