Fulham 6-0 QPR: Daily Mirror match report
Published 22:05 02/10/11 By John Cross
Fulham boss Martin Jol hailed hat-trick hero Andy Johnson – then tried to kiss and make up with Bobby Zamora.
Johnson scored Fulham’s first- ever Premier League hat-trick and also opened his account in the league this season as they ran QPR ragged.
But Jol played down a training- ground row with Zamora, although he admitted his striker is “sensitive” and did not like being left at home for Fulham’s Europa League win at Odense last Thursday.
Jol said: “Hopefully Bobby will start liking me – because I like him after scoring a goal. You tell someone he should do something different, but I can’t remember a bust-up with Bobby.
“The only thing is Bobby is a sensitive person. When you leave him out, if he’s ill in bed you can’t expect me to take him with us. We didn’t have a row.
“He was ill. He wasn’t even on the training ground. I told him he had better stay here and do some extra training sessions.
“He makes a combination with Andy Johnson. When I came here I said to Andy, ‘I think you’re capable of scoring 12 or 15 goals.’ I think he will prove me right.”
Jol, who had been critical of Johnson’s lack of goals in the league, is hopeful the former England striker – who is out of contract at the end of this season – will sign a new deal.
“Other people are in negotiations with Andy and I will back him all the time,” said Jol. “He scored more goals today than the whole of last season.
“I think we are a good combination, Fulham and Andy, but it’s a good deal for him. You would be happy with it. We offered AJ this year, next year and an option. It was good.”
The writing was on the wall for Rangers from the moment Fulham scored the quickest goal in the Premier League this season after one minute and 21 seconds.
Moussa Dembele’s low shot was parried straight back into the danger area by keeper Paddy Kenny and Johnson pounced on the rebound to fire home.
That unsettled Rangers but this mauling was due to far more than being stung by an early blow.
They looked unbalanced, lopsided and their formation simply did not work. They hesitated in defence, Johnson closed in and Kenny had a rush of blood to the head and came flying in to concede a penalty.
Danny Murphy fired the spot kick into the top right hand corner.
Fulham were in complete control. Clint Dempsey’s shot was blocked, Zamora drilled the loose ball back across and there was Johnson to steer home and make it three before the break.
Rangers boss Neil Warnock made two changes at half-time, bringing on Tommy Smith and DJ Campbell to try to beef up things because Adel Taarabt and Shaun Derry had been completely ineffective. That went for too many players. Shaun Wright-Phillips is still no closer to being worthy of a place in the England set-up and Joey Barton could have spent all afternoon on Twitter.
It was all too easy for Fulham and an open invitation for Johnson to really get his Premier League account up and running. Murphy took a quick free-kick, the Rangers defence switched off and Johnson pounced to score.
Johnson then turned provider in the 65th minute, beginning the move then crossing for Zamora to flick on to Dempsey to drive home.
Dempsey then passed to Zamora and Fulham’s other striker fired past Kenny almost in slow motion yet the keeper still did not move.