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Harry Redknapp got the perfect birthday present today as the Barclays Premier League's bottom-placed side Queens Park Rangers took three points from Southampton.
QPR performed admirably on the South Coast and opened the scoring after just 14 minutes through Loic Remy. Saints looked shellshocked having started the brighter and were somewhat fortunate to go in at the break level, with Gaston Ramirez following up a Julio Cesar fumble.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino - coincidentally also celebrating his birthday - sent his side out with renewed vigour but again they were caught napping. Park Ji-sung sent a low cross from the right and Bothroyd slotted home to the delight of Redknapp. Substitute Robert Green, on for the injured Cesar, did superbly to deny a late Jose Fonte header but, despite a late onslaught, QPR held on for victory.
The Saints had threatened after just 13 seconds when Adam Lallana, making his first home start in almost three months, sent over a cross which Christopher Samba was forced to put out for a corner.
Jack Cork and Lallana put audacious long efforts wide as Saints continued to press for an opener, which almost came after 12 minutes. Rickie Lambert headed back across goal but neither Lallana nor former QPR winger Jason Puncheon were able to get a telling touch.
Referee Howard Webb waved away penalty appeals from the pair and after Lallana volleyed wide, the west Londoners caught Southampton off guard.
Junior Hoilett, making his first start since January 2, sent a fine through ball over to Remy, who burst through on goal to strike past Artur Boruc in front of the 3,194 visiting fans. Danny Fox got the final touch as he attempted to hook the ball clear, although it was the Frenchman who deservedly took the credit.
Nathaniel Clyne did well to deny Remy going through again before the returning striker tested Boruc with a low strike. Bothroyd and Stephane Mbia were booked as QPR stayed on top before Lallana crashed into Clint Hill as he looked to break through. After a lengthy break in play for treatment, Lallana, looking decidedly groggy, was replaced by Jay Rodriguez in the 43rd minute.
While QPR were still threatening, Saints had a new spark and, after seeing a shot deflect behind, Ramirez equalised. Rodriguez struck an audacious effort that bounced off Cesar into the path of Ramirez to dink home nonchalantly.
Southampton started the second half well and Fox, Fonte and Lambert all had attempts before Rodriguez's curling effort from the edge of the box went inches over. Luke Shaw came on for Fox in the 57th minute after the left-back appeared to pick up a knock as Saints continued to build nicely.
Cesar was hurt in a collision with Rodriguez as he punched away a threatening Cork cross but hobbled on, only to spill another long-range Rodriguez strike moments later. Green soon replaced the injured Brazilian but not until after Hoilett threatened at the other end.
Saints were still on top but they were again caught napping. After excellent work down the right, Park sent over a low cross for Bothroyd to rifle home with 13 minutes remaining.
Southampton rallied and peppered the QPR goal in the closing stages. Green did fantastically to deny a goalbound Fonte header as the hosts upped the ante but they could not find a way past the Hoops resilient backline.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino: "We have to accept that because we made some mistakes. We've tried very hard. We've put in a great effort to try and get a different kind of result. But because of some mistakes we have made and their goalkeeper's intervention a couple of times we didn't get a positive result.
“Adam Lallana had a knock after coming together with another player on the neck and that is why he couldn't continue. Danny Fox had a knock on [his] quadriceps, which led to him being substituted as well. We do not know how serious it is. In the next couple of days we will do the necessary analysis.”
QPR manager Harry Redknapp: "All I wanted today was to come here and try to get a win, whether it was here or anywhere else we needed a win. It was a great result for us. I picked a team that worked today, a team where everybody was going to work. We didn't have anybody not working. When we didn't have the ball, everybody worked.
"That is the only way anybody can win football matches, everybody has to put a shift in. I decided to pick a team today that would do that for me. I thought they responded, and the subs that came on did the same. All round it was a good performance. Rob Green came off the bench stone-cold and made a world-class save, so a lot of credit goes to him."
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|30 Mar 2013||v Chelsea (H)|
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|13 Apr 2013||v West Ham (H)|
|20 Apr 2013||v Swansea (A)|